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RodrigoQuast ( 2007-10-12 )
Source: Alice White - imdb.com Alice White - Too Much, Too Soon - Films of the Golden Age
Alice White had one of the briefest spell of stardom of any movie star. She is the quintessential flapper, perky, bright-eyed and drop-dead pretty, all boons to her career. She was also cast in films where she starred with far better actors (Edward G. Robinson, Blanche Sweet and Myrna Loy to name a few) which did little to boost her career. Furthermore, her career was marred with some astounding scandals which led to the end of her brief career. Born Alva White on 28 August, 1907, or 25 August, 1904, she was raised by her grandmother in California. She attended Hollywood High School and studied at Roanoake College. In 1925 she found work as a script girl for Joseph von Sternberg, who said that she lacked the temprament for the job. She showed him otherwise and was fired. After a stint as a script girl with Charlie Chaplin, she was given a small role in First National's 1927 film The Sea Tiger. In 1928 Alice made a name for herself in the 1928 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as the dark haired Dorothy Shaw, a part originally set with Louise Brooks in mind. The naturally red haired White was one of the first actresses to dye her hair platinum blonde. She became First National's answer to Clara Bow, just slimmer and blonde. When film's sound era arrived Alice was one of the few stars to successfully graduate to the new medium. It did not hurt that she was the girlfriend of First National's rising director Mervyn LeRoy, who directed her in six films in succession. Her silent films were successful as she played the carefree flapper with conviction. The problem was that most of her talking flapper films became available after the 1929 stock exchange crash and the public was for some strange reason not interested in the lifestyles of the wild and breezy. Many of her films were repetitive stories, either as an up-and-coming starlet or as a girl out for vengeance against the mob. Her films released in 1930 did not do well and she was reduced to secondary roles. In 1932 she was involved in a well publicized sex scandal when on her wedding day she left her ceremony with another man. A few months before that she had been badly beaten by a boyfriend, requiring cosmetic nose surgery. She made a well-publicized return in the film Employee Entrance (1933) but it did not garner her any future film prospects. From 1933 to 1937 she did less film and more stage work in London, New York and Pasedina. From 1937 to 1949 she appeared in seven more films, her last performance being in the 1949 Michael Curtiz film Flamingo Road starring Joan Crawford. After that she went back to Warner Brothers as a secretary, continuing the job that she started with in Hollywood nearly three decades before. Her career came to finish in 1957 after a terrible accident when she fell off of a ladder in her home. She fell on some garden shears and was blinded for months. After that she appeared in one show as an actress, the Anne Sothern Show (1958) and appeared in a number of local Southern California talk shows. She was an actress who was known never to turn down an autograph request or interview from a fan. Alice White died from the results of a stroke on 19 February, 1983.
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