Martha Raye (August 27, 1916--October 19, 1994) was an American comic actress and standards singer who performed in movies, and later on television. She was honored in 1969 with an Academy Award as the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient for her volunteer efforts and services to the troops. Raye's life as a singer and comedic performer began very early in her childhood. She was born at St. James Hospital, in Butte, Montana, as Margy Reed, where her Irish immigrant parents, Peter F. Reed and Maybelle Hooper, were performing at a local vaudeville theatre as 'Reed and Hooper.' Two days after Martha was born, her mother was already back on stage, and Martha first appeared in their act when she was three years old.
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