Gladys George

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

Gladys George
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 active19191954
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 life

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 life

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.


Title Year Role Notes
Red Hot Dollars1919Janet Muirfilm debut
The Woman in the Suitcase1920Ethel
Below the Surface1920Alice
Homespun Folks1920Beulah Rogers
The Easy Road1921Isabel Grace
Chickens1921Julia Stoneman
The House that Jazz Built1921Lila Drake
Straight Is the Way1934Shirley
Valiant Is the Word for Carrie1936Carrie SnyderNominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Only Academy Award for which Gladys George was ever nominated.
They Gave Him a Gun1937Rose DuffyCo-starred with Spencer Tracy.
Madame X1937Madame X / Jacqueline Fleuriot / Miss PranOnly film starring Gladys George to have been released on VHS.
Love Is a Headache1938Carlotta 'Charlie' Lee
Marie Antoinette1938Madame du BarryFirst time Gladys George portrayed a historical figure. First supporting role since Oscar nomination.
I'm from Missouri1939Julie Bliss
Here I Am a Stranger1939Clara Paulding
The Roaring Twenties1939Panama SmithJames Cagney film with one of many substantial early supporting roles for Humphrey Bogart.
A Child Is Born1939Florette Laverne
The House Across the Bay1940Mary Bogel
The Way of All Flesh1940Anna Kriza
The Lady from Cheyenne1941Elsie
Hit the Road1941Molly Ryan
The Maltese Falcon1941Iva Archer
The Hard Way1943Lily Emery
The Crystal Ball1943Madame Zenobia
Nobody's Darling1943Eve Hawthorne
Christmas Holiday1944Valerie De Merode
Minstrel Man1945Mae White
Steppin' in Society1945Penelope Webster
The Best Years of Our Lives1946Hortense Derry
Millie's Daughter1947Millie Maitland
Alias a Gentleman1948Madge Parkson
Flamingo Road1949Lute Mae Sanders
Bright Leaf1950Rose
Undercover Girl1950Liz Crow
Lullaby of Broadway1951Jessica Howard
He Ran All the Way1951Mrs. Robey
Detective Story1951Miss Hatch
Silver City1951Mrs. Barber
It Happens Every Thursday1953Mrs. Lucinda Holmes


  1. "Family Tree Legends". Retrieved December 1, 2014. lists Gladys Clare Evans born September 13, 1904, Maine - died December 8, 1954, Los Angeles, California.
  2. "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. 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. TCM
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