Ethel Martin

Ethel Martin made her professional debut as a child with her family in their vaudeville act. She began as a tap dancer and performed in the 1939 World’s Fair, later studying Jazz and East Indian with Jack Cole and classical Spanish with Carmelita Maracci. After making her Broadway debut and then gravitating to Hollywood, she met her husband George (a 1942 Pillow student) on a movie set and together they became an integral part of Jack Cole’s legendary dance group, appearing in many films and touring in a sensational nightclub act. When Jack Cole deserted Hollywood, the Martins relocated permanently to New York, both working extensively on Broadway, and often assisting Cole. She created her own production company in the late 1960s, producing videos, special events, and live productions for major corporations. The Martins made two pilgrimages to Jacob’s Pillow in the early 2000s, participating in a PillowTalk on Jack Cole and recording a video interview in 2010. “I was dying to do this,” she says in the interview which is full of inside stories about her years with Cole. “I wanted to tell you about Jack.” After a prolonged struggle with Alzheimer’s, she died in December 2015 at 94.