Oscar Actors: Brady, Alice–Social Background; Career; Filmography

Updated May 25, 2020

Career Summary:

Occupational inheritance: Yes; father, producer; stepmother actress

Social Class: middle class

Education: No formal education

Stage debut: age 14

Broadway debut: age 18

Film debut: silent

Oscar awards: 1 Supporting Actress Award; age 47

Oscar nominations: 1 Supporting Actress nomination

Other awards:

Career span: over two decades (silent included)

Last film: Young Mr. Lincoln, 1939; age 46

Death: 1939; age 46


Alice Brady was born Mary Rose Brady on November 2, 1892 in New York City. Her father, William A. Brady, was an important theatrical producer. Her mother, Rose Marie Rene, died in 1896.

She was interested at an early age in becoming an actress. She 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 with which her father was associated.

In 1913, Brady appeared with John Barrymore in “A Thief for a Night” at McVicker’s Theatre in Chicago.

She continued to perform on Broadway (often in shows her father produced) for the next 22 years.

In 1931 she appeared in the premiere of Eugene O’Neill’s “Mourning Becomes Electra.”

Her step-mother was actress Grace George whom her father married when Alice was a child.

Brady’s father moved into movie production and presentation in 1913, with his World Film Company. Brady soon followed along after him, making her first silent feature 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 in New York.

In 1923, she stopped appearing in films to concentrate on stage acting.  She did not appear on the screen again until 1933, when she made the move to Hollywood.

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 7 years.

Her final film was “Young Mr. Lincoln” in 1939, starring Henry Fonda.

Brady was married to actor James Crane from 1919 to 1922, when they divorced. They co-starred in three silent films together: His Bridal Night (1919), Sinners (1920) and A Dark Lantern (1920). The couple had one child, Donald.

Brady died from cancer on October 28, 1939, five days before her 47th birthday.

It was not until the 1930s that Brady returned to the screen. By that time, she was cast mainly in character roles, ranging from screwball comedy to heavy drama.


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Oscar Records

She was nominated as Supporting Actress for “My Man Godfrey” (1936) and won the Supporting Actress Award for her performance in “In Old Chicago” (1937).

Oscar Nominations: 2

1936: My Man Godfrey
1937: In Old Chicago

In 1936, Brady lost the Supporting Actress Oscar to Gale Sondergaard, who won for “Anthony Adverse.”