Alice Howell

Alice Howell (May 20, 1886 – April 11, 1961)[1] was a silent film comedy actress from New York City. She was the mother of actress Yvonne Howell.


Early reviews of her movies describe her as "the scream of the screen". One reviewer likened her to a "sort of Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., and Max Linder." All this was compressed into "one more or less diminutive package of femininity". Sometimes called "the girl Charlie Chaplin", she worked for Mack Sennett and later L-KO Kompany. Her early comedies were often produced by Universal Pictures.

Among more than 100 screen credits, Howell made such motion pictures as Caught in a Cabaret (1914), Mabel and Fatty's Married Life (1915), Neptune's Naughty Daughter (1917), Green Trees (1924), and Madame Dynamite (1926). Her Bareback Career (1917) was the first of 12 two-reel comedies for a new corporation which was formed to manufacture and distribute Alice Howell comedies.

In this era, such female slapstick stars as Howell, Dorothy Devore, and Billie Rhodes were inhibited by second-rate films and the absence of genuine star buildup.

Howell's film career continued into the sound-movie era with a role as a mute servant of the master murderer in the motion picture The Black Ace (1933).

Alice Howell died in Los Angeles, California, in 1961, aged 74.

Partial filmography


  1. Slide, Anthony. Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2002. p. 185.


  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa Republican, At The Theaters, October 8, 1926, Page 3.
  • Elyria, Ohio Chronicle Telegram, Public Will Always Love Laughmakers, July 6, 1978, Page 24.
  • Janesville, Wisconsin Daily Gazette, News Notes From Movieland, August 31, 1917, Page 6.
  • Los Angeles Times, Book Alice Howell Comedies-Superba, September 23, 1917, Page III17.
  • Los Angeles Times, Actress Gets Half Job, March 24, 1933, Page 7.
  • Slide, Anthony: She Could Be Chaplin!: The Comedic Brilliance of Alice Howell. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2016.
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