Actress Connie Sawyer, Hollywood’s oldest working member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy, died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 105 in her home in Woodland Hills, California. Sawyer lived a long and illustrious career, although the title of her autobiography pokes fun at it.
She was born on November 27, 1912, in Pueblo, Colorado, and was two years old when World War I began. At the age of 8, she won a talent contest in Oakland, which led to her first vaudeville show in Santa Cruz at the age of 18, according to Deadline Hollywood.
Sawyer was mentored by Sophie Tucker, an entertainer known for her singing, acting, and comedy before she stepped onto Broadway to play Miss Wexler in “A Hole in the Head.” Later, she starred alongside Frank Sinatra in the Hollywood film adaptation.
In addition to numerous cameo roles throughout the years, some of her credits include “The Way West,” “Ada,” and “The Man in the Glass Booth.” Fans recognize her as the woman who stole Jim Carrey’s character’s wallet in “Dumb and Dumber.”
In November, Sawyer sat down with People magazine to disclose the secrets to her longevity.
“There aren’t that many people around who are 105,” said Sawyer. “I always say you have to move, you have to get off the couch. I used to swim, play golf, tap dance, line dance — I was always moving and I was lucky.”
“My parents lived a long time,” she added. “Papa died at 91 and my mama was 89, so I had good genes too. That’s the reason.”
Before her passing, she was living at the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s residential community for entertainment industry retirees, located in Los Angeles. She talked at length with People about her routine there, where she lived for 12 years.
“I go to exercise class, I go to all the parties that they throw, I go to all the dinners, I go to all the shows,” she said. “Sometimes I’ll see movies twice to make sure I want to vote for them, I’m very serious about it,” she said in regards to voting for Oscar contenders.
Sawyer’s autobiography, entitled, “I Never Wanted to Be a Star – and I Wasn’t”, told about her experiences in Hollywood. She is survived by her two daughters, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Please pray for the Sawyer family during this difficult time of loss. In recent news, author Beth Moore opened up about the loss of her family pet.