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Alice Hyatt (born Alice Graham in the movie; Alice Spivak in the television series) is a fictional character in the movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and in the subsequent television series Alice. In the movie, she was played by Ellen Burstyn, who won an Academy Award for the role. In the television series, Alice was played by actress and singer Linda Lavin.

Alice was born and raised in New Jersey. While still young, she marries truck driver Donald Hyatt (Billy Green Bush), whom she meets at a club she was singing at in Newark, New Jersey. They have a son, Tommy (Alfred Lutter). Some time later, Don dies in a trucking accident. Now a widow with a 12-year-old son to care for, she sets off for Monterey, California but her car broke down outside Phoenix, Arizona. She rents an apartment at the Phoenix Palms Apartments, and finds a job as a singer at a nightclub, where she meets a charming younger man named Ben (Harvey Keitel). They date until Alice finds out that Ben is married; when she tries to break it off with him, he threatens to kill her. Frightened, she and Tommy flee to Tucson, Arizona, where she finds a job as a waitress at a greasy spoon called Mel's Diner, which is run by Mel Sharples (Vic Tayback).

She struggles with her new job at first, but eventually gets the hang of it with help from the cynical head waitress, Florence Jean "Flo" Castleberry (Diane Ladd). She also meets local, divorced farmer named David (Kris Kristofferson), and they fall in love. They nearly break up when they get into an argument over their future together, but David ultimately says he loves her and Tommy and wants to spend the rest of his life taking care of them. Alice decides to stay in Phoenix with David, and decides to marry him after making sure it is all right with Tommy.


  • Burstyn, Ellen. Lessons in Becoming Myself. Penguin, 2007. ISBN 1101217502
  • Cashmore, Ellis. Martin Scorsese's America. John Wiley & Sons, 2013. ISBN 0745658970
  • Terrace, Vincent. Encyclopedia of Television Pilots, 1937-2012. McFarland, 2013. ISBN 1476602492
  • Wernblad, Annette. The Passion of Martin Scorsese: A Critical Study of the Films. McFarland, 2010. ISBN 0786462329

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