Visiting Alice Ward

Ah the old time show biz Alices! So far, we’ve done Alice Howell, Alice Lake, Alice Day, Alice Faye, Alice White, Alice Brady, Alice Davenport, Alice Joyce, Alice Lloyd, Alice Cooke, and Alice Guy-Blaché. It’s no great mystery. It was clearly a popular name back them. My mother’s middle name was Alice, after an aunt who had been named after Alice Roosevelt! As another Alice might say, “Curioser and curioser!” Anyway, smash it together with Fannie Ward and you’ve got….Alice Ward (1891-1973).

As we wrote here, Brent Walker speculates with strong logic I think that Alice Ward was the daughter of Charles B. Ward and Katherine Clare Ward, given that mother and daughter were both born in Massachusetts, and both worked for Mack Sennett at the same time (and were sometimes in the same films). Silent comedy fans know her as Harry Langdon’s wife in one of his most popular shorts Saturday Afternoon (1926), as Billy Bevan’s wife in several “Billy Brooks” comedies, and from her roles in several of Raymond McKee “Smith” comedies. Features in which she had small roles include Langdon’s Long Pants (1927), Skyline (1931) with Thomas Meighan, The Rainbow Trail (1932) with George O’Brien, and The Face on the Bar-Room Floor (1932) with Bramwell Fletcher. Her last film was the comedy short Courting Trouble (1932), in which she played the wife of the star, Charlie Murray.

Alice Ward was married to Ken Marr (1885-1963), who flew alongside Eddie Rickenbacker in the First World War, and was briefly an assistant director in Hollywood in 1927 and 1928.

For more on silent and slapstick comedy please read Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube