Alice Brady was an American actress who began her career in the silent film era and survived the transition into talkies. She worked up until six months before her death from cancer in 1939. Her films include My Man Godfrey, in which she played the flighty mother of Carole Lombard’s character, and In Old Chicago for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Brady was born in New York City as Mary Rose Brady, and was interested at an early age in becoming an actress. Her father, William A. Brady, was an important theatrical producer, and her mother was Rose Marie Rene who died in 1896 when little Alice was four. Alice first went on the stage when she was 14 and got her first job on Broadway in 1911 at the age of 18, in a show her father was associated with. She continued to perform there consistently for the next 22 years. In 1931 she appeared in the premiere of Eugene O’Neill’s Mourning Becomes Electra. Her step mother was the Broadway star Grace George whom her father married when Alice was a child. Her half-brother was William A. Brady Jr, the son of her father & Grace George.
Brady’s father moved into movie production and presentation in 1913, with his World Film Corporation, and Brady soon followed along after him, making her first silent feature appearance in As Ye Sow in 1914. She appeared in 53 films in the next 10 years, all while continuing to perform on stage, the film industry at the time being centered in New York.
In 1923, she stopped appearing in films to concentrate on stage acting, and did not appear on the screen again until 1933, when she made the move to Hollywood and M-G-M’s When Ladies Meet become her first talking picture. From then on she worked frequently until her death, making another 25 films in seven years. Her final film was Young Mr. Lincoln .