Gladys George

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Gladys George
Gladys George in Marie Antoinette trailer.jpg
from the trailer for the film Marie Antoinette (1938)
Born Gladys Clare Evans
(1904-09-13)September 13, 1904
Patten, Maine, U.S.
Died December 8, 1954(1954-12-08) (aged 50)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Cerebral hemorrhage
Occupation Actress
Years active 1919–1954
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)

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

Early life[edit]

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 Claire, "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[edit]

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.[13] She died from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1954 in Los Angeles, California, aged 50, and was interred in the Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery.

Selected filmography[edit]

Film Role Date Notes
Red Hot Dollars Janet Muir 1919 film debut
The Woman in the Suitcase Ethel 1920
Below the Surface Alice 1920
Homespun Folks Beulah Rogers 1920
The Easy Road Isabel Grace 1921
Chickens Julia Stoneman 1921
The House that Jazz Built Lila Drake 1921
Straight Is the Way Shirley 1934
Valiant Is the Word for Carrie Carrie Snyder 1936 Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Only Academy Award for which Gladys George was ever nominated.
They Gave Him a Gun Rose Duffy 1937 Co-starred with Spencer Tracy.
Madame X Madame X/Jacqueline Fleuriot/Miss Pran 1937 Only film starring Gladys George to have been released on VHS.
Love Is a Headache Carlotta 'Charlie' Lee 1938
Marie Antoinette Madame du Barry 1938 First time Gladys George portrayed a historical figure. First supporting role since Oscar nomination.
I'm from Missouri Julie Bliss 1939
Here I Am a Stranger Clara Paulding 1939
The Roaring Twenties Panama Smith 1939 Film contains one of the more substantial of Humphrey Bogart's early roles.
A Child Is Born Florette Laverne 1939
The House Across the Bay Mary Bogel 1940
The Maltese Falcon Iva Archer 1941
The Crystal Ball Madame Zenobia 1943
The Hard Way Lily Emery 1943
The Best Years of Our Lives Hortense Derry 1946
Flamingo Road Lute Mae Sanders 1949
He Ran All the Way Mrs. Robey 1951
Lullaby of Broadway Jessica Howard 1951


  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". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 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"?". West Virginia, Charleston. The Charleston Daily Mail. 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". California, Oakland. Oakland Tribune. April 1, 1922. p. 4. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via  open access publication - free to read
  8. ^ "Utah Actress Asks Divorce". Utah, Ogden. The Ogden Standard-Examiner. September 20, 1930. p. 1. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via  open access publication - free to read
  9. ^ "Star Divorced". California, Oakland. Oakland Tribune. 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.". Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Sentinel. August 27, 1935. p. 18. Retrieved 5 March 2016. 
  11. ^ "Gladys George Marries Actor Named in Suit". Utah, Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Tribune. September 19, 1935. p. 4. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via  open access publication - free to read
  12. ^ Profile,; accessed December 1, 2014.
  13. ^ "Gladys George at Find a Grave". Retrieved December 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]