Gladys George

Gladys George (born Gladys Clare Evans, September 13, 1904[1] – December 8, 1954) was an American actress of stage and screen. She was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1936 for her role in Valiant is the Name for Carrie. Most of her performances were in secondary parts, appearing in films such as The Maltese Falcon and The Best Years of Our Lives.

Gladys George
Gladys George in Marie Antoinette trailer.jpg
from the trailer for the film Marie Antoinette (1938)
Gladys Clare Evans

(1904-09-13)September 13, 1904
DiedDecember 8, 1954(1954-12-08) (aged 50)
Years active1919–1954
Ben Erway
(m. 1922; div. 1930)

Edward Fowler
(m. 1933; div. 1935)

Leonard Penn
(m. 1935; div. 1944)

Kenneth Bradley
(m. 1946; div. 1950)

Early lifeEdit

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 Clare, "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 lifeEdit

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


Title Year Role Notes
Red Hot Dollars 1919 Janet Muir film debut
The Woman in the Suitcase 1920 Ethel
Below the Surface 1920 Alice
Homespun Folks 1920 Beulah Rogers
The Easy Road 1921 Isabel Grace
Chickens 1921 Julia Stoneman
The House that Jazz Built 1921 Lila Drake
Straight Is the Way 1934 Shirley
Valiant Is the Word for Carrie 1936 Carrie Snyder Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Only Academy Award for which Gladys George was ever nominated.
They Gave Him a Gun 1937 Rose Duffy Co-starred with Spencer Tracy.
Madame X 1937 Madame X / Jacqueline Fleuriot / Miss Pran Only film starring Gladys George to have been released on VHS.
Love Is a Headache 1938 Carlotta 'Charlie' Lee
Marie Antoinette 1938 Madame du Barry First time Gladys George portrayed a historical figure. First supporting role since Oscar nomination.
I'm from Missouri 1939 Julie Bliss
Here I Am a Stranger 1939 Clara Paulding
The Roaring Twenties 1939 Panama Smith James Cagney film with one of many substantial early supporting roles for Humphrey Bogart.
A Child Is Born 1939 Florette Laverne
The House Across the Bay 1940 Mary Bogel
The Way of All Flesh 1940 Anna Kriza
The Lady from Cheyenne 1941 Elsie
Hit the Road 1941 Molly Ryan
The Maltese Falcon 1941 Iva Archer
The Hard Way 1943 Lily Emery
The Crystal Ball 1943 Madame Zenobia
Nobody's Darling 1943 Eve Hawthorne
Christmas Holiday 1944 Valerie De Merode
Minstrel Man 1945 Mae White
Steppin' in Society 1945 Penelope Webster
The Best Years of Our Lives 1946 Hortense Derry
Millie's Daughter 1947 Millie Maitland
Alias a Gentleman 1948 Madge Parkson
Flamingo Road 1949 Lute Mae Sanders
Bright Leaf 1950 Rose
Undercover Girl 1950 Liz Crow
Lullaby of Broadway 1951 Jessica Howard
He Ran All the Way 1951 Mrs. Robey
Detective Story 1951 Miss Hatch
Silver City 1951 Mrs. Barber
It Happens Every Thursday 1953 Mrs. Lucinda Holmes


  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". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. May 12, 1940. p. 47. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via  
  3. ^ a b Tildesley, Alice L. (November 8, 1936). "Are You a "Yes-Woman"?". The Charleston Daily Mail. West Virginia, Charleston. p. 76. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via  
  4. ^ "The 9th Academy Awards | 1937". | Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  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". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. April 1, 1922. p. 4. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via  
  8. ^ "Utah Actress Asks Divorce". The Ogden Standard-Examiner. Utah, Ogden. September 20, 1930. p. 1. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via  
  9. ^ "Star Divorced". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. October 8, 1930. p. 1. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via  
  10. ^ "Must Wait 3 Years to Wed in N.Y." The Milwaukee Sentinel. Wisconsin, Milwaukee. August 27, 1935. p. 18. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Gladys George Marries Actor Named in Suit". The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah, Salt Lake City. September 19, 1935. p. 4. Retrieved March 5, 2016 – via  
  12. ^ a b Gladys George TCM. Retrieved 26 December 2019.

Further readingEdit

  • Alistair, Rupert (2018). "Gladys George". The Name Below the Title : 65 Classic Movie Character Actors from Hollywood's Golden Age (softcover) (First ed.). Great Britain: Independently published. pp. 101–103. ISBN 978-1-7200-3837-5.
  • Maltin, Leonard (2015) [First published 1969]. "Gladys George". The Real Stars : Profiles and Interviews of Hollywood's Unsung Featured Players (softcover) (Sixth / eBook ed.). Great Britain: CreateSpace Independent. pp. 88–102. ISBN 978-1-5116-4485-3.

External linksEdit