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Martha Sigall
General information
Born: Martha Goldman
April 17, 1917
USA Flag Buffalo, New York
Died: December 13, 2014 (aged 97)
Los Angeles, California
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Alternate names:
Occupation(s): animator, inker, painter
Years active: 1936 - 1989 (animator)
Spouse: Sol Sigall
Children: 2

Martha Goldman Sigall (April 17, 1917 – December 13, 2014) was an American inker, painter, and animator who worked in the Hollywood animation industry for 53 years before retiring in 1989. After she retired, she published a book and memoir, Living Life Inside the Lines: Tales from the Golden Age of American Animation in which she describes her careers at Warner Bros., MGM, Graphic Films, and Celine Miles Productions (the latter two are now defunct) as well as stories and important moments that she remembered.

Early life and career

Sigall moved to California from Buffalo, New York, in 1926 and by chance lived around the corner from Leon Schlesinger's Pacific Title and Art company. From about age twelve, she ran errands for the staff there and was put to work as an apprentice painter on July 13, 1936 at Leon Schlesinger Productions, home of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies.

Sigall worked first as a cel painter, then later as an inker until 1943. Sigall was offered a job at Graphic Films with better pay in 1942. Unable to leave Schlesinger due to a union, she attempted to get herself fired.[1] After leaving Schlesinger, Sigall moved to Graphic Films, a small animation house in Hollywood. After Graphic Films shut down, Sigall went on to work for MGM studios in the cartoon unit, and then became an assistant in the camera room. Sigall also worked at Celine Miles Productions, another now-defunct company.

Documentaries and Books

Karl Cohen credited Sigall in his book Forbidden Animation: Censored Cartoons and Blacklisted Animators in America, which was published in 1997. Michael Barrier interviewed Sigall for his book Hollywood Cartoons: American Animation in its Golden Age, which was published in 1999.

Sigall wrote a memoir, Living Life Inside The Lines: Tales from the Golden Age of Animation (University Press of Mississippi, 2005). Her book explores the creation of such characters as Bugs Bunny, Tweety and Road Runner. Sigall has also contributed commentary to the Looney Tunes - Golden Collection, Volume One DVD set, along with Jerry Beck.[2]

She was part of several documentaries. One, made by Teleductions, called Cartoons Go to War. Another was Extremes and Inbetweens: A Tribute to Chuck Jones.

Awards

In 1986, Sigall recieved the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Golden Animation Award for working 50 years in the animation field.[3] She later retired in 1989.

In 2004, Sigall received the June Foray Award from ASIFA-Hollywood for her lifetime of work in the animation field.[4]

Later years

In 2010, Sigall helped solve the mystery of some vintage production cels on the PBS series History Detectives.[5]

Death

Sigall died from natural causes on December 13, 2014. She was 97.[6]

References

  1. Error on call to Template:cite book: Parameter title must be specifiedSigall, Martha (2005). pp. 149–150. University Press of Mississippi.
  2. Error on call to Template:cite book: Parameter title must be specifiedSigall, Martha (2005). pp. 219–220. University Press of Mississippi.
  3. Error on call to Template:cite book: Parameter title must be specifiedSigall, Martha (2005). pp. 207. University Press of Mississippi.
  4. Error on call to Template:cite book: Parameter title must be specifiedSigall, Martha (2005). pp. 228–230. University Press of Mississippi.
  5. "Looney Tunes on PBS History Detectives", Cartoon Brew, August 31, 2010. Retrieved on December 14, 2014. 
  6. "Martha Goldman Sigall (1917-2014)", Animation Scoop, December 13, 2014. Retrieved on December 14, 2014. 
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