Back to prior page

Gertrude Messinger

Nickname: "Gertie"

Sometimes credited as Messenger or Messinger

Full name:
Gertrude Dolores Emma Messinger

1911 - 1995

(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

(From Old Corral collection)

(From Old Corral collection)
Gertrude Messinger was born April 28, 1911 in Spokane, Washington to Henry Albert Messinger and Josephine Hone.

In the photo left, Bill Cody and Gertrude look worried as they examine the body of prolific western supporting player Budd Buster in a still from Cody's BLAZING JUSTICE (Spectrum, 1936).

Messinger also did 1930s westerns with Bob Steele, Lane Chandler and Harry Carey, Sr.

Gertie's Hollywood career began during the silent film era, and as a youngster, she was a member of the "Fox Kiddies" (along with her brother Buddy and sister Marie) and also co-starred in the "Johnny Jones" comedies for Pathe. She later co-starred in "The Boy Friends" series for producer Hal Roach. Future stuntman Dave Sharpe was also a member of "The Boy Friends" cast and he and Gertude were married from April, 1932 - May, 1935. Daughter Kay / Kathryn Sharpe was born August 6, 1933.

Gertie's last starring / heroine role was in the mid 1930s. After that, she did mostly unbilled support / bit parts and her last film appearance was in the early 1950s.

Les Adams has her identified in 50+ SOUND films, and of that number, eleven are westerns. She did no serials.

In one of Boyd Magers' film reviews, he notes: "When Gertie's brother, Buddy, died in 1965, Dave (Sharpe) married his widow, Margaret Messinger. Gertie later married cameraman Schyler [sic] Sanford (primarily at Paramount) who received an Oscar with the Todd-A-O group for AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS."

Gertrude tied the knot with Schuyler Sanford in September, 1939. Just prior to that pairing, she was married for a few months in 1939 to a Henry Walsh Knight of Florence, Arizona.

Suffering from various medical problems, Gertrude Messinger Sanford passed away on November 8, 1995 at the Motion Picture Hospital, Woodland Hills, California.

In the early 1920s, Gertie co-starred in the "Johnny Jones" comedies for Pathe. The young man portraying Johnny Jones was Charles Edward Peil (1907 - 1962), the son of prolific character actor Edward Peil. Above is a 1922 ad from Motion Picture News (available at the Internet Archive) with images of Gertrude on the left and Peil on the right.

Above from the July 26, 1930 issue of Exhibitors Herald-World available at the Internet Archive: left to right are David Sharpe, Gertrude Messinger, Micky Daniels, Mary Kornman, Grady Sutton, and Dorothy Granger starring in THE BOY FRIENDS series for producer Hal Roach. Kornman was also a member of the Our Gang / Little Rascals.

(Pressbook ad courtesy of Les Adams)
SOCIAL ERROR (William Berke Prod / Ajax, 1935) was released on May 1, 1935, and was one of several films that future stuntman Dave Sharpe did for producer William Berke.

Note his billing as the more formal 'David Sharpe'.

Shortly after making this film, Sharpe and Gertrude Messinger divorced.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above - actor and stunt man Dave Sharpe during his starring role in Monogram's Range Busters trio westerns in 1942 - 1943. Gertie and Sharpe married in April, 1932 and divorced in May, 1935. Their daughter Kay / Kathryn Sharpe was born August 6, 1933.

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Gertrude Messinger and brother Buddy:
          Gertrude Messinger:
          Gertie's brother, Buddy Messinger (Melvin Joseph Messinger; 1907 - 1965):
          Gertrude's second husband, cameraman Schuyler A. Sanford:

YouTube has a 4 1/2 minute tribute to a very young Dave Sharpe during his early film work in "The Boy Friends" series for producer Hal Roach. Some scenes include Gertrude Messinger (as a brunette):

Gertrude and brother Buddy were members of the "Fox Kiddies" and did many silents. The Silents Are Golden website has info and a review of the 1917 ALADDIN AND HIS WONDERFUL LAMP with the Fox Kiddies. Gertrude was about six years old when she did this film:

Family Search (free), (subscription), trade publications, Death certificate, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), and the California Death Index have more on Gertrude Messinger:

Find A Grave website notes that Gertrude Messinger is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California:

As a blond

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card from Bob Steele's RIDERS OF THE DESERT (Sono Art/World Wide, 1932).

(Courtesy of Wes Baker)

Above left is Silver Tip Baker and Louise Carver with their hands up. Exiting the coach is heroine Gertrude/Gertie Messinger, and Bob Steele is on the far right. Scene from Steele's RIDERS OF THE DESERT (Sono Art-World Wide, 1932).

As a brunette

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Richard 'Dick' Cramer has his grip on Gertrude Messinger while hero Lane Chandler looks on in this title card from LAWLESS VALLEY (Kent, 1932).


Virginia Brown Faire
Real name: Virginia Labuna
1904 - 1980

Right are 'Starlight', Jack Perrin and Virginia Brown Faire in RAINBOW RIDERS (Reliable, 1934), one of her last films. A 1923 WAMPAS Baby Star, Faire was in silents and early 1930s talkies.

Hans Wollstein adds some info on Faire: "Virginia Browne Faire was the best friend of Mary Brian (who's a friend of mine) and Mary told me that Virginia's Italian immigrant mother was a constant embarrassment to her daughter when they were filming PETER PAN (1924) together. Mary, of course, was Wendy and Virginia a very pretty Tinker Bell."

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Virginia Brown Faire:

(From Old Corral collection)

Above are Jack Perrin, Virginia Brown Faire, and Perrin's trusty steed Starlight in a scene from RAINBOW RIDERS (Reliable, 1934), one of Faire's last films.

(From Old Corral collection)

Above is a well worn lobby card from TRAILS OF DANGER (National Players/Big 4, 1930), an early talkie starring real life cowpoke Wally Wales (who later became Hal Taliaferro). The gal is Virginia Brown Faire. In these early sound westerns, Wales sometimes rode Silver King, which had been ridden by Fred Thomson. This horse is not Silver King. It's the "horse with a mottled face and many names" which is documented in the Trusty Steeds/Movie Horse section on the Old Corral.

(Courtesy of Ed Tabor)

Above are Wallace MacDonald with heroine Virginia Brown Faire. TEX TAKES A HOLIDAY (Argosy, 1932) was shot in "Multicolor", an early two-strip color process. The star was MacDonald and he had a brief fling in front of the camera before becoming a B film producer at Columbia Pictures. He also worked for Multicolor. TEX TAKES A HOLIDAY (Argosy, 1932) is one of the lost/missing westerns.

Back to prior page