Grace Bradley

Grace Bradley (September 21, 1913 – September 21, 2010)[1] was an American film actress who was active in Hollywood during the 1930s.

Grace Bradley
Bradley on cover of Argentine sports magazine, 1936
Born(1913-09-21)September 21, 1913
Brooklyn, New York, United States
DiedSeptember 21, 2010(2010-09-21) (aged 97)
Dana Point, California, United States
Other namesGrace Bradley Boyd
OccupationActress, singer, dancer
Years active1930–1972
Spouse(s)William Boyd
his death)

Early life

Bradley was born in Brooklyn[1] and was an only child.[2] As a child, she took piano lessons and, by the age of six, she gave her first recital. She attended the Eastman School of Music near Rochester, New York by age 12, after winning a scholarship. Originally, she had wanted to become a professional pianist. While in school, she took dance lessons and played piano.

She "played the piano, sang and danced, on stage and in nightclubs, from an early age to help support her widowed mother."[1]

Her grandfather had wanted her to be educated in Berlin, Germany so that she could receive more formal education but a Broadway producer discovered her during one of her dance recitals and hired her for a professional show.[3]

On December 22, 1930, she made her Broadway debut at New York's Hammerstein Theatre in Ballyhoo of 1930.[4] Her next stage appearance came one year later at The Music Box Theatre in The Third Little Show. Soon Bradley found herself working in various New York nightclubs and theatres. In March 1933, she appeared in Strike Me Pink at the Majestic Theatre. She left the show after deciding to give Hollywood a try.[5]


Although she made one film in 1932, her film career did not gather steam until she starred in the film Too Much Harmony (1933), which provided her "first film credit".[1] She was under contract to Paramount Pictures beginning in 1933, and reportedly took home $150 per week.

An obituary of Bradley noted, "From 1933 to 1943, she appeared in dozens of quickly made second features, often cast as what were termed 'good-time girls,' as distinct from good girls, sometimes with invented ooh-la-la French names."[1]

In the 1930s, she became one of the period's most popular musical stars. Her other screen credits include parts in:

Personal life and post-career activities

In May 1937, Bradley agreed to a blind date and met Hopalong Cassidy star William Boyd. The two of them hit it off so well that they married in June 1937. The union was happy but childless. In the 1940s, Bradley's star began to wane and, in 1943, she starred in her last big role in Taxi, Mister. Following this, Bradley had officially played out her Paramount contract and she spent the remainder of the 1940s alongside her husband William Boyd and traveled around the country with him helping to promote his cowboy image. She did come out of her publicity trips with Boyd to make one more film appearance, an uncredited cameo role in Tournament of Roses (1954).

Bradley was a Republican and supported the campaign of Dwight Eisenhower during the 1952 presidential election.[7]

On September 12, 1972, Boyd died. Following his death, Bradley retired from the entertainment world; however, since she shared such a strong union with her husband she still continued to do things to help keep Boyd's memory alive. She also endured years of fighting for the legal rights to her late husband's 66 "Hopalong Cassidy" features. With her acting career behind her, she devoted her time to volunteer work at the Laguna Beach Hospital where her husband had spent his final days.


Grace Bradley Boyd, at age 97, died on her birthday in 2010. Two days later, private services were held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, where she was interred with her husband in the Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Sacred Promise.[8]


  1. Bergan, Ronald (November 8, 2010). "Grace Bradley obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  2. "Hollywood Horizon Shines With Light of Rising Stars; Grace Bradley Stands Out in New Line-Up". California, San Bernardino. The San Bernardino County Sun. June 23, 1935. p. 10. Retrieved April 17, 2016 via
  3. Grace Bradley profile,; accessed August 7, 2015.
  4. "Ballyhoo of 1930 - Cast". Playbill. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  5. Grace Bradley at the Internet Broadway Database
  6. Grace Bradley on IMDb
  7. Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 34, Ideal Publishers
  8. McLellan, Dennis (September 24, 2010). "Grace Bradley Boyd dies at 97; actress, widow of William 'Hopalong Cassidy' Boyd". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 7, 2016.

Further reading

  • Boyd, Grace Bradley and Cochran, Michael (2008) Hopalong Cassidy: An American Legend Gemstone, York, Pennsylvania; ISBN 978-1-60360-066-8
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