Alice Brady: From the Boxing World to Broadway

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Today is the birthday of actress Alice Brady (Mary Rose Brady, 1892-1939). She was the daughter of actor/ producer/ boxing promoter William A. Brady; his position as both a Broadway and movie producer made it possible for Brady to become successful on both stage and screen as a teenager. On Broadway she appeared in numerous Gilbert and Sullivan operettas between 1911 and 1915, and played Meg in a 1912 production of Little Women, among other shows. She appeared in scores of silent films between 1915 and 1923, then quit film to concentrate on the theatre.

It was after starring as Lavinia in the original production of Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra (1931-32) that she decided to return to the screen, and today we know her best from her films of the 1930s, including such classics as The Gay Divorcee (1934); Gold Diggers of 1935; Go West, Young Man (1936); My Man Godfrey (1936), In Old Chicago (1937), Zenobia (1939), and Young Mr. Lincoln (1939). Because she often played silly middle aged women, she seemed older than she was even if she didn’t look it. She was only 47, when cancer took her prematurely in 1939.

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