Alice Brady


Actor
Alice Brady

About

Also Known As
Mary Rose Brady
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
November 02, 1892
Died
October 28, 1939
Cause of Death
Cancer

Biography

Best-known for playing dithery society matrons in 1930s films, this performer actually had a long and varied career. The daughter of famed theatrical producer William A. Brady and stepdaughter of stage great Grace George, Alice Brady rejected a career in grand opera and began acting in stock companies. She first reached Broadway as an ingenue in "The Balkan Princess" (1911) and scored a ...

Family & Companions

James Crane
Husband
Actor. Married on May 20, 1920; divorced in 1922.

Biography

Best-known for playing dithery society matrons in 1930s films, this performer actually had a long and varied career. The daughter of famed theatrical producer William A. Brady and stepdaughter of stage great Grace George, Alice Brady rejected a career in grand opera and began acting in stock companies. She first reached Broadway as an ingenue in "The Balkan Princess" (1911) and scored a hit in several Gilbert and Sullivan revivals the following year. Brady varied between light comedy and heavy drama over the next twenty years in shows like "Little Women" (1912, as Meg), "Sinners" (1915), "Anna Ascends" (1920), "Zander the Great" (1923), "The Bride of the Lamb" (1926) and "Love, Honor and Betray" (1930). Perhaps her biggest Broadway hit was as the tragic daughter Lavinia in Eugene O'Neill's "Mourning Becomes Electra" (1931).

Brady's film career was just as impressive as her work onstage. Her father's film company, World, sponsored her screen bow in 1914's "As Ye Sow." She went on to appear in a total of 50 silent films as a glamorous leading lady, including "The Gilded Cage" (1916), "The Divorce Game" (1917), "The Whirlpool" (1918), the film versions of "Sinners" (1920) and "Anna Ascends" (1922), and her last, "The Snow Bride" (1923). At age 30, she abandoned her screen work and returned to the stage.

But Alice Brady's return to the screen in 1933 heralded a whole new career as one of Hollywood's busiest character actresses. She made five films for MGM in 1933 alone, including her talkie debut, "When Ladies Meet." She appeared in more than 25 features, often stealing the films from such able stars as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers ("The Gay Divorcee," 1934), Mae West ("Go West, Young Man," 1936) and Deanna Durbin ("100 Men and a Girl" and "Three Smart Girls," both 1937). Perhaps Brady's ultimate comic role was as Carole Lombard's giggly, self-absorbed mother in the classic "My Man Godfrey" (1936), for which she earned an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress.

Surprisingly, Brady managed to avoid the type-casting which effectively limited so many other careers. She played a hard-hearted "Stage Mother" (1933), won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as the industrious Irish widow Mrs. O'Leary, whose cow purportedly started the Great Fire in "In Old Chicago" (1938), and was the mother of youths defended by Henry Fonda's "Young Mr. Lincoln" (1939). Brady was only 46 and at the height of her career when she lost a long battle with cancer in 1939.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
Abigail Clay
Zenobia (1939)
Mrs. Carter
Goodbye Broadway (1938)
Molly Malloy
Joy of Living (1938)
Minerva [Garret]
In Old Chicago (1938)
Molly O'Leary
Mama Steps Out (1937)
Ada Cuppy
Mr. Dodd Takes the Air (1937)
Mme. [Sonya] Moro
One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937)
Mrs. Frost
Call It a Day (1937)
Muriel West
Merry-Go-Round of 1938 (1937)
Aunt Hortense
Mind Your Own Business (1936)
Melba Shanks
The Harvester (1936)
Mrs. Biddle
My Man Godfrey (1936)
Angelica Bullock
Three Smart Girls (1936)
Mrs. Lyons
Go West Young Man (1936)
Mrs. Struthers
Lady Tubbs (1935)
Lady [Henrietta] Tubbs, [also known as Mom]
Let 'Em Have It (1935)
Aunt Ethel
Metropolitan (1935)
Ghita Galin
Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)
Mrs. [Mathilda] Prentiss
Miss Fane's Baby Is Stolen (1934)
Mrs. Molly Prentiss
The Gay Divorcee (1934)
[Aunt] Hortense
Should Ladies Behave (1933)
Laura [Merrick]
Beauty for Sale (1933)
Mrs. [Henrietta] Sherwood
Broadway to Hollywood (1933)
Lulu Hackett
Stage Mother (1933)
Kitty Lorraine
When Ladies Meet (1933)
Bridget [Drake]
Missing Millions (1923)
Mary Dawson, a crook de luxe
The Snow Bride (1923)
Annette Leroux
The Leopardess (1923)
Tiare
Anna Ascends (1922)
Anna Ayyob
Out of the Chorus (1921)
Florence Maddis
The Land of Hope (1921)
Marya Nisko
Little Italy (1921)
Rosa Mascani
Hush Money (1921)
Evelyn Murray
Dawn of the East (1921)
Countess Natalya
The Fear Market (1920)
Sylvia Stone
The New York Idea (1920)
Cynthia Karslake
Sinners (1920)
Mary Horton
A Dark Lantern (1920)
Katherine Dereham
The End of the Road (1919)
The World to Live in (1919)
Rita Charles
Redhead (1919)
Dazie
His Bridal Night (1919)
Tiny Playfair/Vi Playfair
Marie, Ltd. (1919)
Drina Hilliard
The Indestructible Wife (1919)
Charlotte Field Ordway
At the Mercy of Men (1918)
Vera Souroff
The Death Dance (1918)
Flora Farnsworth
In the Hollow of Her Hand (1918)
Hetty Castleton
Woman and Wife (1918)
Jane Eyre
Her Great Chance (1918)
Lola Gray
The Better Half (1918)
Trixie Thorley/Louise Thorley
The Spurs of Sybil (1918)
Sybil Drew
The Trap (1918)
Doris Shaw
The Ordeal of Rosetta (1918)
Lola Gelardi/Rosetta Gelardi
The Whirlpool (1918)
Bella Cavallo
The Knife (1918)
Kate Tarleton
The Maid of Belgium (1917)
Adoree
The Divorce Game (1917)
Florence, Viscountess de Sallure
A Self-Made Widow (1917)
Sylvia Smith
The Dancer's Peril (1917)
Vasta Mascova/Lola Cortez, Vasta's mother
A Hungry Heart (1917)
Gilberte Brigard [Frou Frou]
A Woman Alone (1917)
Nellie Waldron
Maternity (1917)
Ellen Franklin
Her Silent Sacrifice (1917)
Arlette
Betsy Ross (1917)
Betsy Ross
Darkest Russia (1917)
Ilda Barosky
National Association's All-Star Picture (1917)
Tangled Fates (1916)
Jane Lawson
The Gilded Cage (1916)
Princess Honore
Bought and Paid for (1916)
Virginia Blaine
La Vie De Boheme (1916)
Mimi
Miss Petticoats (1916)
Agatha, Miss Petticoats
Then I'll Come Back to You (1916)
Barbara Allison
The Ballet Girl (1916)
Jennie Raeburn/La Syrena
The Rack (1916)
Blanche Gordon
The Woman in 47 (1916)
Viola Donizetti
The Lure of Woman (1915)
Katie O'Day
The Boss (1915)
Emily Griswold
As Ye Sow (1914)
Dora Leland

Life Events

1911

Made New York stage debut in "The Balkan Princess"

1914

Film debut, "As Ye Sow"

1923

Left films for return to stage, after starring in 50 silent films

1932

Last Broadway show, "Madamoiselle" (co-starring stepmother Grace George)

1933

Signed by MGM for talkie debut in "When Ladies Meet"

1937

Sued Actor's Equity over rights to use her photo in advertisements (she had previously refused to join Screen Actor's Guild and charged this was retaliation). She won suit and Equity was about to suspend her when her illnes was was made known to them.

1939

Final film, "Young Mr. Lincoln," released posthumously

Photo Collections

Young Mr. Lincoln - Movie Posters
Young Mr. Lincoln - Movie Posters

Videos

Movie Clip

When Ladies Meet (1933) - One Of My Horses First scene, golfing, for Ann Harding (as "Claire"), being schmoozed by Jimmy (Robert Young), unhappy that his not-girlfriend, novelist Mary (Myrna Loy) is staying with her amorous publisher, Claire's husband (Frank Morgan), at the home of Bridget (Alice Brady), in When Ladies Meet, 1933.
When Ladies Meet (1933) - There Are Cousins And Cousins Jimmy (Robert Montgomery) has contrived to arrive with Claire (Ann Harding), posing as his "cousin" and date, annoying his hoped-for girlfriend, novelist Mary (Myrna Loy), who doesn't know she's the wife of her lusty publisher, Alice Brady their hostess, in When Ladies Meet, 1933.
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) - Did He Get On? With a long pause on a poem, John Ford begins with pompous Stuart (Edwin Maxwell) introducing lanky Abe (Henry Fonda), then his first encounter with the pivotal, but fictional, Clay family, in Young Mr. Lincoln, 1939.
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) - Blessed Are The Merciful New lawyer Abe (Henry Fonda) quells a mob, featuring Jack Pennick as "Big Buck," ready to lynch his first clients, their mother (Alice Brady) looking on, in a wholly fictional scene from John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln, 1939.
When Ladies Meet (1933) - The Human Eel Opening scenes, Robert Montgomery as newsman "Jimmy" performing a stunt to impress novelist Mary (Myrna Loy) to no avail, her friend Bridget (Alice Brady) and gigolo (Martin Burton) happening by, in the first production of When Ladies Meet, 1933, from the Rachel Crothers play.
Gay Divorcee, The (1934) - A Third Party Might Spoil This Sexier than their average meet-cute, American in England Mimi (Ginger Rogers) managing dotty aunt Hortense (Alice Brady), in trouble with Customs, when just-landed fellow Yank and entertainer Guy (Fred Astaire) happens by, in their first top-billed outing, The Gay Divorceè, 1934.
In Old Chicago (1938) - There Wasn't Any Gambling Involved Having arrived as kids in the prologue, it’s now 1867 and Don Ameche appears as lawyer Jack O’Leary, with mom Molly (Alice Brady) at her thriving laundry, joined by Tyrone Power as rakish Dion, Andy Devine his sidekick Pickle, dreaming big, in 20th-Century Fox’s In Old Chicago, 1938.
In Old Chicago (1938) - Mrs. O'Leary, Your Barn! October, 1871, and if you hadn’t realized, Alice Brady is named O’Leary for a reason, which becomes clear when her cow kicks over a lantern in the shed, the disaster begun, Tyrone Power her political operative son who thinks his brother the mayor is to blame, in In Old Chicago, 1938.
My Man Godfrey - It's Cornelia! As Cornelia (Gail Patrick) puts her foot down, Godfrey (William Powell) is obliged to hoist Irene (Carole Lombard) upstairs, where he catches on to her scheme in My Man Godfrey, 1936.
My Man Godfrey - Can You Butle? Godfrey (William Powell) helps Irene (Carole Lombard) win a high society contest, prompting her to reciprocate with a job offer in My Man Godfrey, 1936.

Trailer

Family

William A Brady
Father
Theatrical producer. Born in 1863; died in 1950.
Rosemarie Brady
Mother
Dancer. Died in 1895.
Grace George
Step-Mother
Actor. Born in 1878; married William Brady in 1899; died in 1961.
William A Brady Jr
Step-Brother
Producer, director. Born in 1900; died in fire in 1935.
Donald Crane
Son

Companions

James Crane
Husband
Actor. Married on May 20, 1920; divorced in 1922.

Bibliography