Alice Joyce: The Madonna of the Screen

Just a quick note on Alice Joyce (1890-1955), “The Madonna of the Screen”. Joyce’s film career worked in round numbers, stretching from 1910 through 1930 and consisting mostly of silent screen melodramas — hundreds of them. She began working for Kalem in The Deacon’s Daughter (1910). She remained with the studio until 1915, when she moved over to Vitagraph, where she remained until the early 1920s. Most of her best remembered films today are from the late silent era. They include The Green Goddess (1923) as well as its sound remake (1930); the original version of Stella Dallas (1925), The Noose (1928, famous for its connection to Barbara Stanwyck); and The Squall (1929). She retired from films in 1930 and undertook a vaudeville tour with her ex-husband Tom Moore, also a former silent screen star. This lasted only a couple of years, for vaudeville was just as dead as the silent screen by the early ’30s. In 1933 she married Clarence Brown, director of such well known films as Anna Christie, Anna Karenina, Idiots Delight and The Human Comedy. Their marriage lasted until 1945. In her last couple of decades, Joyce wrote book reviews, created visual art, and was involved in women’s clubs.

To find out more about  the history of vaudevilleconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, and for more on early film see Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube.