Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon (October 25, 1912 – March 4, 1996), known professionally as Minnie Pearl, was an American country comedian who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years (from 1940 to 1991) and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1991.
Sarah Colley was born in Centerville, in Hickman County, Tennessee, about 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Nashville. She was the youngest of the five daughters of a prosperous lumberman in Centerville. She graduated from Ward-Belmont College (now Belmont University), at the time Nashville's most prestigious school for young ladies, where her major was theater studies and dance was a particular interest. After graduation she taught dance for several years.
Her first professional theatrical job was with the Wayne P. Sewell Production Company, a touring theater company based in Atlanta, for which she produced and directed plays and musicals for local organizations in small towns throughout the southeastern United States...
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