Gladys George

Gladys George (September 13, 1904[1] – December 8, 1954) was an American actress of stage and screen.

Gladys George
Gladys George in Marie Antoinette trailer
from the trailer for the film Marie Antoinette (1938)
Gladys Clare Evans

September 13, 1904
DiedDecember 8, 1954 (aged 50)
Years active1919–1954
Spouse(s)Ben Erway (m. 1922–1930; divorced)
Edward Fowler (m. 1933–1935; divorced)
Leonard Penn (m. 1935–1944; divorced)
Kenneth Bradley (m. 1946–1950; divorced)

Early life

She was born as Gladys Clare Evans on September 13, 1904[1] in Patten, Maine (Another source says Hatton, Maine;[2] a third source says "Gladys was born in a little town in Missouri, where the troupe her parents belonged to happened to be stranded at the time.")[3] to English parents. Her father was Sir Arthur Clare, "noted Shakespearean actor."[2]


George went on the stage at the age of 3[3] and toured the United States, appearing with her parents. She starred on stage in the 1920s, although she had made several films in the early part of that decade. She starred in Personal Appearance, a comedy by Lawrence Riley. This role was reprised by Mae West in the classic film, Go West, Young Man, which West adapted from the play. In 1936 George was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for Valiant Is the Word for Carrie.[4]

George's Broadway credits include The Distant City, Lady in Waiting, and The Betrothal.[5]

Her only other first billed roles were in Madame X (1937) and Love is a Headache.[6] She also appeared in The Roaring Twenties (1939), The Way of All Flesh (1940), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and He Ran All the Way (1951). She played the widow of Miles Archer (Iva Archer) in The Maltese Falcon and Mme. Du Barry in Marie Antoinette.

Her last successful roles were as Lute Mae Sanders in Flamingo Road, her brief appearance as the corrupt nurse Miss Hatch in Detective Story, and Lullaby of Broadway as the alcoholic mother of Doris Day's wholesome character.

Personal life

Gladys George was married and divorced four times.

  • On March 31, 1922, she and actor Ben Erway eloped and were married by a judge in Oakland, California.[7] "They were remarried in San Luis Obispo August 3 of the same year. They separated September 14, 1930."[8] The couple divorced in October 1930.[9]
  • Her second husband was millionaire paper manufacturer Edward Fowler, who walked out in 1933 after finding the actress in the arms of her leading man, Leonard Penn. At the time George was playing a nymphomaniacal star in the Broadway hit Personal Appearance.[10]
  • George and actor Leonard Penn were married in a probate court in New Haven, Connecticut, September 19, 1935.[11]
  • Her last husband Kenneth Bradley, whom she married when she was 46, was a hotel bellboy 20 years her junior.[12]


George was afflicted with numerous ailments, including throat cancer, heart disease, and cirrhosis of the liver.[12] She died from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1954 in Los Angeles, California, aged 50, and was interred in the Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery.


Title Year Role Notes
Red Hot Dollars 1919 Janet Muir film debut
The Woman in the Suitcase 1920 Ethel
Below the Surface 1920 Alice
Homespun Folks 1920 Beulah Rogers
The Easy Road 1921 Isabel Grace
Chickens 1921 Julia Stoneman
The House that Jazz Built 1921 Lila Drake
Straight Is the Way 1934 Shirley
Valiant Is the Word for Carrie 1936 Carrie Snyder Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Only Academy Award for which Gladys George was ever nominated.
They Gave Him a Gun 1937 Rose Duffy Co-starred with Spencer Tracy.
Madame X 1937 Madame X / Jacqueline Fleuriot / Miss Pran Only film starring Gladys George to have been released on VHS.
Love Is a Headache 1938 Carlotta 'Charlie' Lee
Marie Antoinette 1938 Madame du Barry First time Gladys George portrayed a historical figure. First supporting role since Oscar nomination.
I'm from Missouri 1939 Julie Bliss
Here I Am a Stranger 1939 Clara Paulding
The Roaring Twenties 1939 Panama Smith James Cagney film with one of many substantial early supporting roles for Humphrey Bogart.
A Child Is Born 1939 Florette Laverne
The House Across the Bay 1940 Mary Bogel
The Way of All Flesh 1940 Anna Kriza
The Lady from Cheyenne 1941 Elsie
Hit the Road 1941 Molly Ryan
The Maltese Falcon 1941 Iva Archer
The Hard Way 1943 Lily Emery
The Crystal Ball 1943 Madame Zenobia
Nobody's Darling 1943 Eve Hawthorne
Christmas Holiday 1944 Valerie De Merode
Minstrel Man 1945 Mae White
Steppin' in Society 1945 Penelope Webster
The Best Years of Our Lives 1946 Hortense Derry
Millie's Daughter 1947 Millie Maitland
Alias a Gentleman 1948 Madge Parkson
Flamingo Road 1949 Lute Mae Sanders
Bright Leaf 1950 Rose
Undercover Girl 1950 Liz Crow
Lullaby of Broadway 1951 Jessica Howard
He Ran All the Way 1951 Mrs. Robey
Detective Story 1951 Miss Hatch
Silver City 1951 Mrs. Barber
It Happens Every Thursday 1953 Mrs. Lucinda Holmes


  1. ^ a b "Family Tree Legends". Retrieved December 1, 2014. lists Gladys Clare Evans born September 13, 1904, Maine - died December 8, 1954, Los Angeles, California.
  2. ^ a b "Gladys George Made Her Hit, Had to Run". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. May 12, 1940. p. 47. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ a b Tildesley, Alice L. (November 8, 1936). "Are You a "Yes-Woman"?". The Charleston Daily Mail. West Virginia, Charleston. p. 76. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ "Gladys George". Academy Awards. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  5. ^ "We found 141 results for "Gladys George"". Playbill. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  6. ^ Profile,; accessed December 1, 2014.
  7. ^ "Ben Erway, Oakland Actor, And Gladys George Are Wed". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. April 1, 1922. p. 4. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via open access publication – free to read
  8. ^ "Utah Actress Asks Divorce". The Ogden Standard-Examiner. Utah, Ogden. September 20, 1930. p. 1. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via open access publication – free to read
  9. ^ "Star Divorced". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. October 8, 1930. p. 1. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via open access publication – free to read
  10. ^ "Must Wait 3 Years to Wed in N.Y." The Milwaukee Sentinel. Wisconsin, Milwaukee. August 27, 1935. p. 18. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Gladys George Marries Actor Named in Suit". The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah, Salt Lake City. September 19, 1935. p. 4. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via open access publication – free to read
  12. ^ a b TCM

External links

A Child Is Born (film)

A Child Is Born is a 1939 American drama film directed by Lloyd Bacon and written by Robert Rossen. The film stars Geraldine Fitzgerald, Jeffrey Lynn, Gladys George, Gale Page, Spring Byington and Johnnie Davis. The film was released by Warner Bros. on December 17, 1939.

Alias a Gentleman

Alias a Gentleman is a 1948 film starring Wallace Beery. The supporting cast includes Dorothy Patrick, Tom Drake, Gladys George and Sheldon Leonard and the movie was the final one to be directed by Harry Beaumont.

Chickens (1921 film)

Chickens is a 1921 American silent comedy drama film directed by Jack Nelson and written by Agnes Christine Johnston based on the story "Yanconna Yillies" by Herschel S. Hall. The film stars Douglas MacLean, Gladys George, Claire McDowell, Charles Hill Mailes, Raymond Cannon, and Willis Marks. The film was released on February 13, 1921, by Paramount Pictures. It is not known whether the film currently survives.

Here I Am a Stranger

Here I Am a Stranger is a 1939 American drama film directed by Roy Del Ruth and written by Sam Hellman and Milton Sperling. The film stars Richard Greene, Richard Dix, Brenda Joyce, Roland Young, Gladys George and Kay Aldridge. The film was released on September 28, 1939, by 20th Century Fox.

I'm from Missouri

I'm from Missouri is a 1939 American comedy film directed by Theodore Reed and written by Duke Atteberry and Jack Moffitt. The film stars Bob Burns, Gladys George, Gene Lockhart, Judith Barrett, William "Bill" Henry and Patricia Morison. The film was released on April 7, 1939, by Paramount Pictures.

Love Is a Headache

Love Is a Headache is a 1938 American comedy film directed by Richard Thorpe and written by Marion Parsonnet, Harry Ruskin and William R. Lipman. The film stars Gladys George, Franchot Tone, Ted Healy, Mickey Rooney, Frank Jenks and Ralph Morgan. The film was released on January 14, 1938, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Lullaby of Broadway (film)

Lullaby of Broadway is a 1951 American musical romantic comedy film directed by David Butler and released by Warner Bros.. It stars Doris Day as Melinda Howard, an entertainer who travels to New York to see her mother, and Gene Nelson as Tom Farnham, a fellow entertainer and Melinda's love interest. Gladys George appears as Jessica Howard, Melinda's alcoholic mother, in addition to S.Z. Sakall, Billy De Wolfe, Florence Bates, and Anne Triola.

Songs from the film were released in an album of the same name.

Millie's Daughter

Millie's Daughter is a 1947 American drama film directed by Sidney Salkow, from a screenplay by Edward Huebsch, based on the novel of the same name by Donald Henderson Clarke. The film stars Gladys George, Gay Nelson, and Paul Campbell, and was released on March 20, 1947.

Nobody's Darling

Nobody's Darling is a 1943 American musical film directed by Anthony Mann and written by Olive Cooper. The film stars Mary Lee, Louis Calhern, Gladys George, Jackie Moran, Lee Patrick and Benny Bartlett. The film was released on August 27, 1943, by Republic Pictures.

Steppin' in Society

Steppin' in Society is a 1945 American comedy film directed by Alexander Esway, written by Bradford Ropes, and starring Edward Everett Horton, Gladys George, Ruth Terry, Robert Livingston, Jack La Rue and Lola Lane. It was released on July 9, 1945, by Republic Pictures.

Straight Is the Way

Straight Is the Way is a 1934 American drama film directed by Paul Sloane, written by Bernard Schubert, and starring Franchot Tone, May Robson, Karen Morley, Gladys George, Nat Pendleton and Jack La Rue. It was released on August 10, 1934, by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

The Crystal Ball (film)

The Crystal Ball is a 1943 film directed by Elliott Nugent. It stars Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard.

The House Across the Bay

The House Across the Bay is a 1940 film directed by Archie Mayo, starring George Raft and Joan Bennett, produced by Walter Wanger, written by Myles Connolly and Kathryn Scola, and released by United Artists. The supporting cast features Lloyd Nolan, Walter Pidgeon and Gladys George.

The Maltese Falcon (1941 film)

The Maltese Falcon is a 1941 film noir with screenplay by and directed by John Huston in his directorial debut, and based on Dashiell Hammett's 1930 novel of the same name. The film stars Humphrey Bogart as private investigator Sam Spade and Mary Astor as his femme fatale client. Gladys George, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet co-star, with Greenstreet appearing in his film debut. The story follows a San Francisco private detective and his dealings with three unscrupulous adventurers, all of whom are competing to obtain a jewel-encrusted falcon statuette.The film premiered on October 3, 1941, in New York City, and was nominated for three Academy Awards. The Maltese Falcon was selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 1989.The Maltese Falcon is a part of Roger Ebert's Great Movies series and was cited by Panorama du Film Noir Américain as the first major film noir.

The Roaring Twenties

The Roaring Twenties is a 1939 crime thriller starring James Cagney, Priscilla Lane, Humphrey Bogart, and Gladys George. The epic movie, spanning the periods between 1919 and 1933, was directed by Raoul Walsh and written by Jerry Wald, Richard Macaulay and Robert Rossen based on "The World Moves On", a short story by Mark Hellinger, a columnist who had been hired by Jack L. Warner to write screenplays. The movie is hailed as a classic in the gangster movie genre, and considered an homage to the classic gangster movie of the early 1930s.The Roaring Twenties was the third and last film that Cagney and Bogart made together. The other two were Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) and The Oklahoma Kid (1939).

The Skin of Our Teeth

The Skin of Our Teeth is a play by Thornton Wilder which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It opened on October 15, 1942, at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, before moving to the Plymouth Theatre on Broadway on November 18, 1942. It was produced by Michael Myerberg and directed by Elia Kazan. The play is a three-part allegory about the life of mankind, centering on the Antrobus family of the fictional town of Excelsior, New Jersey. The original production starred Tallulah Bankhead, Fredric March, Florence Eldridge, and Montgomery Clift. Bankhead won a Variety Award for Best Actress and the New York Drama Critics Award for Best Actress of the Year for her role as Sabina. When she left the production in March 1943, she was replaced by Miriam Hopkins. Hopkins was in turn replaced by Gladys George. For two performances, while George was ill, Lizabeth Scott, who had been Bankhead's understudy, was called in to play the role. Scott then played the role for the production's run in Boston. Originally billed in New York as "Elizabeth Scott", she dropped the "E" before taking the part in Boston, and it became her breakthrough role.

The epic comedy-drama is noted as among the most heterodox of classic American comedies — it broke nearly every established theatrical convention.

The Way of All Flesh (1940 film)

The Way of All Flesh is a 1940 American drama film directed by Louis King and written by Lenore J. Coffee. The film stars Akim Tamiroff, Gladys George, William "Bill" Henry, Muriel Angelus, Berton Churchill and Roger Imhof. The film was released on July 5, 1940, by Paramount Pictures. It is a remake of the lost 1927 silent film of the same name.

They Gave Him a Gun

They Gave Him a Gun is a 1937 American crime drama film directed by W. S. Van Dyke and starring Spencer Tracy, Gladys George, and Franchot Tone. The picture bears a resemblance to later films noir in its dark theme regarding the struggles and failures of a man trying to take a criminal shortcut to the American dream. The screenplay was written by Cyril Hume, Richard Maibaum, and Maurice Rapf, based on the 1936 book of the same name by William J. Cowen.

Valiant Is the Word for Carrie

Valiant Is the Word for Carrie is a 1936 drama film directed by Wesley Ruggles and starring Gladys George, Arline Judge and John Howard. George was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1936. The film was adapted by Claude Binyon from the novel of the same name by Barry Benefield.

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