Emil Sitka

Emil Sitka

Johnstown, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 16 Jan 1998 (aged 83)
Camarillo, Ventura County, California, USA
Burial Camarillo, Ventura County, California, USA
Plot Santa Cruz 2 Garden, Lot 139, Space A
Memorial ID 4637 · View Source
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Motion picture and television character actor. When he was twelve years old, his father, a coal miner, died from black lung disease, and his mother was hospitalized shortly thereafter. His younger four siblings went into foster care, but young Emil found a home in a Pittsburgh church with a priest. He became interested in acting when he got a role in the church's yearly Passion Play. However, at the time he wasn't yet set in the idea of becoming a professional actor; he wanted to become a priest. At the age of sixteen, he and one of his brothers spent a year riding the rails. Upon their return to Pittsburgh, Emil began working in a factory. He left town again in 1936 after Pittsburgh's Great Flood and moved to Hollywood, where he found work in a small theatre. Since the theatre didn't pay much, he also worked a regular job during the day. During this time he married Donna Driscoll, with whom he would eventually have seven children. His work in the theatre, as both an actor and director, eventually earned him the attention of a talent scout in 1946. The talent scout was so impressed with his work that he had him signed to Columbia Studios, where he became a very prolific character actor in comedies, both features and short subjects. His first screen appearance came in 'Hiss and Yell,' starring Vera Vague. The many stars he supported included Jack Lemmon, Walter Brennan, Red Skelton, Mickey Rooney, Betty Grable, Tyrone Power, Milton Berle, Lucille Ball, Glenn Ford, Joey Bishop, and the Three Stooges. His association with the Three Stooges, with whom he made 35 short subjects and four features, is what he is best remembered for today. His first short with them was 'Half-Wits' Holiday' (1946), in which he played a butler. His most famous line was "Hold hands, you lovebirds," which came in their 1947 short 'Brideless Groom.' He had the distinction of being the only supporting player who worked with all four sets of Stooges. In the early Seventies he was asked to be the latest third Stooge after Larry Fine suffered a stroke. Sitka considered this a great honor and was only too happy to accept the offer, but shortly afterwards Moe Howard died, along with the act, and the project never came to fruition. He continued to act even in his later years, motivated by a love of acting more than needing the money. His final film role came in 1992, in the movie 'Nutt House.' He had experienced a new surge in popularity during his last few decades due to a new generation getting acquainted with his films, and he was known for writing back to all of his fans, sending them greeting and holiday cards, and corresponding with them regularly.

Bio by: Carrie-Anne

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 1 Mar 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 4637
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Emil Sitka (22 Dec 1914–16 Jan 1998), Find a Grave Memorial no. 4637, citing Conejo Mountain Memorial Park, Camarillo, Ventura County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .