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Brockwell, c. 1920
September 26, 1894
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||July 2, 1929 (aged 34)|
Hollywood, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Peritonitis|
|Spouse(s)||Robert B. Broadwell (m.1915–div.1918)|
Gladys Lindeman was born in Brooklyn, New York on September 26, 1894. Her mother, Lillian Lindeman, a chorus girl turned actress, put her daughter on stage at an early age. By the time she reached her middle teens, she was already a veteran and taking on dramatic leading roles. She took on the stage name Gladys Brockwell, and made her film debut in 1913 for Lubin Studios and within a short time was starring in a number of films. Developing her craft, she moved to Hollywood where she garnered a role in the acclaimed 1922 version of Oliver Twist and in The Hunchback of Notre Dame the following year.
By the mid-1920s she was past the age of thirty and although still given top female billing, Brockwell performed mainly in supporting roles. Regarded as one of the finest character actresses of the day who not only adapted to the new talkies but excelled in them, her first appearance in a "talkie" came in 1928 in Lights of New York. Her performance received strong reviews at the time of the film's release and as well by present-day critics of the preserved film.
A Warner Bros. feature-length production, Lights of New York was filmed with microphones strategically hidden around the sets, creating the first motion picture released with fully synchronic dialogue. She was then signed by Warner Bros. and was looking forward to continued success in talkies.
Brockwell married actor Robert B. Broadwell on March 3, 1915. They separated on September 1, 1915, due to "Much quarreling and unpleasantness generally," as she told the court when she sought a divorce in March 1918. "We never seemed to agree on anything," she added. Los Angeles Judge Jackson granted her divorce decree on March 13, 1918, on grounds of desertion.
On June 27, 1929, Brockwell and a friend, Thomas Brennan, were involved in an automobile accident near Calabasas, California. She was crushed beneath the automobile driven by Brennan, an advertising man from Los Angeles, California. The auto went over a 75-foot (23 m) embankment on the Ventura Highway near Calabasas.
Seriously injured, four blood transfusions were performed in an effort to save her life, the last just before her death. Brennan recovered after sustaining serious injuries. He said a bit of dust had blown into his eye, temporarily blinding him. Following a second blood transfusion, Brockwell appeared to improve until peritonitis set in from her internal injuries, particularly a puncture of her large intestine.
After two more transfusions, Brockwell died at 7 p.m. on July 2, 1929 at Osteopathic Hospital. No negligence was placed on Brennan, who was still recovering in the hospital. Her final film, The Drake Case, was directed by Edward Laemmle while she was on loan to Universal Pictures, and was released posthumously in September 1929. Brockwell was cremated and her ashes given to her mother.
|1913||The Rattlesnake||Tony's sister||Incomplete film|
|When Mountain and Valley Meet||Beth|
|His Blind Power|
|The Last of the Line|
|One of the Discard||Flora|
|A Political Feud||Helen Kent|
|A Relic of Old Japan||Annette Walsh|
|Stacked Cards||Edna Johnson|
|The Worth of a Life||Ruby Baker|
|1915||A Confidence Game|
|Double Trouble||Daisy Scarlett|
|A Man and His Mate||Betty|
|On the Night Stage||Saloon girl|
|Providence and the Twins||Miss Abagail Dean|
|1916||The Crippled Hand||The Prima Donna|
|The End of the Trail||Adrienne Cabot|
|The Fires of Conscience||Margery Burke|
|Sins of Her Parent||Adrian Gardiner / Valerie Marchmont|
|1917||A Branded Soul||Conchita Cordova||Lost film|
|Her Temptation||Shirley Moreland|
|The Honor System||Trixie Bennett||Lost film|
|The Price of Her Soul||Ailene Graham|
|The Soul of Satan||Miriam Lee|
|1918||The Bird of Prey||Adele Durant|
|The Devil's Wheel||Blanche De Montfort|
|Her One Mistake||Harriet Gordon / Peggy Malone|
|Kultur||Countess Griselda von Arenburg||Lost film|
|The Moral Law||Isobel de Costa / Anita de Costa|
|The Scarlet Road||Mabel Halloway|
|The Strange Woman||Inez de Pierrefond|
|1919||Broken Commandments||Nella Banard|
|The Call of the Soul||Barbara Deming|
|The Divorce Trap||Eleanor Burton|
|The Forbidden Room||Ruth Lester|
|Pitfalls of a Big City||Molly Moore|
|1920||Flames of the Flesh||Candace||Lost film|
|The Mother of His Children||Princess Yve||Lost film|
|A Sister to Salome||Elinore Duane|
|1921||The Sage Hen||The Sage Hen|
|Paid Back||Carol Gordon|
|1923||The Hunchback of Notre Dame||Sister Gudule|
|Penrod and Sam||Mrs. Schofield|
|The Darling of New York||Light Fingered Kitty||Lost film, only the last reel survives|
|1924||The Foolish Virgin||Nancy Owens||Lost film|
|So Big||Maartje Poole||Lost film|
|Stella Maris||Louisa Risca|
|The Ancient Mariner||Life In Death||Lost film|
|1926||The Skyrocket||Rose Kimm (prologue)||Lost film|
|Her Sacrifice||Mary Cullen|
|The Last Frontier||Cynthia Jaggers|
|1927||Long Pants||His Mother|
|The Country Doctor||Myra Jones|
|Man, Woman and Sin||Mrs. Whitcomb|
|1928||A Girl in Every Port||Madame Flore|
|My Home Town||Mae Andrews|
|Hollywood Bound||Hollywood Leading Lady||short; Vitaphone sound|
|The Home Towners||Lottie Bancroft||Lost film|
|Lights of New York||Molly Thompson|
|The Woman Disputed||Countess|
|The Law and the Man||Margaret Grayson|
|1929||The Hottentot||Mrs. Chadwick||Lost film|
|The Argyle Case||Mrs. Martin||Lost film, but the sound to reels 3, 5, 7, and 9 survive|
|Hardboiled Rose||Julie Malo||The soundtrack is lost except for the fourth reel disc|
|The Drake Case||Lulu Marks|
- "The Stars of Hollywood Forever - Tony Scott". Books.google.com. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
- Keaton, Jessica (September 29, 2011). "Silence is Platinum: Miss Gladys Brockwell". Silenceisplatinum.blogspot.com. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
- Staff, "Gladys Brockwell Is Granted Divorce by Judge on Grounds of Desertion", Los Angeles Evening Herald, Los Angeles, California, Wednesday 13 March 1918, Volume XLIII, Number 113, page 1.
- Albert Lea (Minnesota) Evening Tribune, "Gladys Brockwell, Picture Actress, Dies of Injuries", (Wednesday, July 3, 1929) page 1
- New York Times, "Gladys Brockwell Dies" (July 3, 1929) page 14
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