Alice Terry

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Alice Terry
Alice Terry Stars of the Photoplay.jpg
Born Alice Frances Taaffe
(1899-07-29)July 29, 1899
Vincennes, Indiana
Died December 22, 1987(1987-12-22) (aged 88)
Burbank, California
Occupation Actress
Years active 1916–1933
Spouse(s) Rex Ingram (1921–1950)

Alice Terry (July 29, 1899 – December 22, 1987) was an American film actress who began her career during the silent film era, appearing in thirty-nine films between 1916 and 1933.


Born Alice Frances Taaffe in Vincennes, Indiana, she made her film debut in 1916 in Not My Sister, opposite Bessie Barriscale and William Desmond Taylor.

Jackie Coogan "Nazimova" (actress) Gloria Swanson Hollywood Boulevard Picture taken in 1907 of this junction Harold Lloyd Will Rogers Elinor Glyn (Writer) "Buster" Keaton William S. Hart (Two-Gun Bill) Rupert Hughes (Novelist) Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle Wallace Reid Douglas Fairbanks Bebe Daniels "Bull" Montana Rex Ingram Peter the hermit Charlie Chaplin Alice Terry (Actress) Mary Pickford William C. DeMille Cecil Blount DeMille Use button to enlarge or cursor to investigate
This 1921 Vanity Fair caricature by Ralph Barton[1] shows the famous people who, he imagined, left work each day in Hollywood; use cursor to identify individual figures.

That same year, she played several different characters in the 1916 anti-war film Civilization, co-directed by Thomas H. Ince and Reginald Barker. One of her most acclaimed performances came as "Marguerite" in 1921's The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, starring Rudolph Valentino.[2]

In 1925 her husband co-directed Ben-Hur, filming parts of it in Italy. The two decided to move to the French Riviera, where they set up a small studio in Nice and made several films on location in North Africa, Spain, and Italy for MGM and others. In 1933, Terry made her last film appearance in Baroud, which she also co-directed with husband Rex Ingram.

Personal life[edit]

In 1921, she married director Rex Ingram during production of The Prisoner of Zenda (released 1922), which he directed and in which she appeared as Princess Flavia. The couple sneaked away over one weekend, were married in Pasadena, and returned to work promptly the following Monday.[3]

During the making of The Arab (1924) in Tunisia, they met a street child named Kada-Abd-el-Kader, whom they adopted upon learning that he was an orphan. Allegedly, el-Kader misrepresented his age to make himself seem younger to his adoptive parents, and after he "began associating with fast women and fast cars throughout the San Fernando Valley", Terry and Ingram sent him back to Morocco "to finish school."[4]

Terry was known to have several gay male friends in the film industry, including Ramón Novarro (a former leading man of hers) and Barry Norton.[5] During the 1930s, she accompanied Novarro to speakeasies with predominantly gay clientele, allegedly in part to throw off any suspicion about Novarro's homosexuality.[6]

Terry with her husband, Rex Ingram. Photoplay, March 1922.

Terry and Ingram retired together in the 1930s. By all accounts, theirs was a happy marriage, though they often had separate bedrooms during their marriage and occupied separate retirement community bungalows at the end of their marriage.[5] Nonetheless, they remained together until his death in 1950. After his death, Terry became romantically involved with actor Gerald Fielding, who bore a strong physical resemblance to her late husband.[5] They were lovers until his death, at the age of forty-six, in 1956.[7]

Terry had a sister, Edna, who died in 1984.[7]


Terry died on December 22, 1987 of natural causes, and was interred in the Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Alice Terry has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6628 Hollywood Blvd.

Selected filmography[edit]

Terry in Picture-Play, May 1921
Year Title Role Notes
1916 Not My Sister Ruth Tyler Credited as Alice Taafe
Civilization Extra (Various, from a peasant to a German Soldier) Uncredited
A Corner in Colleens Daisy Credited as Alice Taafe
1917 Wild Winship's Widow Marjory Howe Credited as Alice Taafe
Strictly Business
The Bottom of the Well Anita Thomas
Alimony Extra Uncredited
1918 The Clarion Call
A Bachelor's Children Penelope Winthrop
Old Wives for New Saleslady Credited as Alice Taafe
The Song and the Sergeant
Sisters of the Golden Circle Mrs. Pinkey McGuire
The Brief Debut of Tildy Tildy
Love Watches Charlotte Bernier
The Trimmed Lamp
1919 Thin Ice Jocelyn Miller
The Love Burglar Elsie Strong Credited as Alice Taafe
The Valley of the Giants Mrs. Cardigan Credited as Alice Taafe
Alternative title: In the Valley of the Giants
The Day She Paid Credited as Alice Taafe
Alternative title: Oats and the Woman
1920 Shore Acres Extra Uncredited
The Devil's Pass Key Extra Uncredited
Hearts Are Trumps Dora Woodberry
1921 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Marguerite Laurier
The Conquering Power Eugenie Grandet Alternative title: Eugenie Grandet
1922 Turn To The Right Elsie Tillinger
The Prisoner of Zenda Princess Flavia
1923 Where the Pavement Ends Matilda Spener
Scaramouche Aline de Kercadiou, Quintin's Niece
1924 The Arab Mary Hilbert
1925 The Great Divide Ruth Jordan
Sackcloth and Scarlet Joan Freeman
Confessions of a Queen Frederika/The Queen
Any Woman Ellen Linden
1926 Mare Nostrum Freya Talberg Alternative title: Our Sea
The Magician Margaret Dauncey
1927 Lovers Felicia
The Garden of Allah Domini Enfilden
1928 The Three Passions Lady Victoria Burlington
1933 Baroud Co-director
Alternative title: Love in Morocco


  1. ^ Vanity Fair magazine September 1921, accessed 2009[dead link]
  2. ^ Pratt, George C. (March 1974). ""If You Beat Me, I Wept", Alice Terry Reminisces About Silent Films" (PDF). Image (Rochester, N.Y.: International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House Inc.) 17 (1): 17–22. Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ Alice Terry Biography at IMBD
  4. ^ Kada-Abd-el-Kader Biography at IMBD
  5. ^ a b c Slide, Anthony; Silent Topics: Essays on Undocumented Areas of Silent Film; p. 48
  6. ^ Soares, Andre; Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro; St. Martin's Press, New York, 2002; p. 158
  7. ^ a b Soares, André; Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro; St. Martin's Press, New York, 2002; p. 303

External links[edit]