On The Gale Quadruplets: Definitely Gales, Not Really Quadruplets


Gale Sisters there were four, two sets of twins in fact (not Quadruplets, as billed): June (1911-1996), Jean (1912-1974), Jane (b. 1911) and Joan (1912-1998). Their real names were Doris, Lenore, Helen and Lorraine Gilmartin. A popular dance act in vaudeville in the 1920s, they made it all the way to Broadway in George White’s Scandals of 1931. In 1932, the quartet went out to Hollywood to appear in the Warner Brothers short Poor Little Rich Boy.

Shortly after this, each went their separate ways career wise. Each of them played small roles in films. June (whose birthday is today) made it the farthest — she got the most parts (and the biggest ones, though they were in B pictures) and lasted in the business the longest. In 1939 she married Oscar Levant and essentially put her own career on hold, with brief emergences from retirement. In 1956 she co-hosted a local tv show with Levant, which spawned her own program, which she hosted for several years. She continued to keep a hand in show business, and in later years was a mentor to singer/ musician/ songwriter Michael Feinstein. 

To find out more about  the history of vaudeville, including performers like the Gale Quintuplets, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


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