Martha O'Driscoll

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This article is part of
"The Pin-up Girl History Project"
"The Movie Star History Project"
"The YANK Magazine History Project"
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Martha O'Driscoll (March 4, 1922 - November 3, 1998) was an American film actress from 1937 until 1947. At age 25, she retired from show business to marry a Chicago businessman. In the 1980s and 1990s, she was a guest speaker at numerous movie-nostalgia conventions.

She died November 3, 1998 in Ocala, Florida.

Mini Biography from

written by Gary Brumburgh
Martha O'Driscoll at the Internet Movie Database

Another gorgeous "B" movie blonde who came and went uneventfully in the 40s, the beautiful Martha O'Driscoll started off modeling as a child. Her parents were nonprofessionals. Trained in singing and dancing, she was discovered by choreographer Hermes Pan in a local theater production in Phoenix, which led to unbilled bits in musical movies from 1935. Once she had her foot in the door, she was groomed in more visible parts and began pitching products for Max Factor and Royal Crown Cola, among many others, in magazine ads, while such endorsements promoted her upcoming pictures in return. She attracted film offers from both Paramount and Universal studios in her twelve Hollywood years, which included musicals, silly slapstick and horror films. She appeared as "Daisy Mae" in the first screen version of Li'l Abner (1940) and proved a sexy foil for Abbott & Costello and Olsen & Johnson in their comedy vehicles. She played the pretty prairie flower to a couple of notable western film stars including Tim Holt, and was terrorized by the Wolfman, Dracula AND the Frankenstein Monster in her most notable feature House of Dracula (1945). In 1943, she married a Lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy but they separated ten months later. Following her last film Carnegie Hall (1947) and a final divorce decree from her first marriage, she married a second time to Chicago businessman Arthur Appleton, heir to an industrial empire, and retired completely. She was only 25. In Chicago, she became one of the city's more civic-minded leaders, an interest which would last for more than four decades. She also served as an executive for many committees, including the Sarah Siddons Society, and on the Board of Directors for a few of her husband's companies. From time to time, she even appeared in nostalgia conventions. She died in 1998.

Pin-up Gallery

  • Martha O'Driscoll appeared in YANK magazine on 07 May 44 & 23 Mar 1945

Partial filmography

  • 1945 Here Come the Co-eds - with Abbott and Costello
  • 1944 Ghost Catchers - Susanna Marshall
  • 1943 Crazy House - Marjorie Nelson
  • 1942 Reap the Wild Wind - Ivy Devereaux
  • 1941 The Lady Eve - Martha
  • 1941 Henry Aldrich for President - Mary Aldrich
  • 1940 Lil Abner - Daisy Mae


  • Joined her husband, Arthur, and sister-in-law to build the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala, Florida, USA. The museum opened in 1987.
  • She made her film debut in Collegiate (1936) after lying about her age. She was just 13.
  • Served on the Board of Directors for her husband's firms Appleton Electronics and Appleton Oil Co.
  • She and second husband Arthur Appleton had three sons and one daughter.

External links


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