Paterson, New Jersey USA
Place of Death
Los Angeles, California
Cause of Death
Hollywood High School
Full Name at Birth
Alva Violet White
Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Other Crew
Has Detailed Data (New)
Alice White (August 24, 1904, Paterson, New Jersey â€“ February 19, 1983, Los Angeles, California) was an American film actress.
James F. White
Marion Alexander (profesional actress)
Actress (44 credits) Soundtrack (9 credits) Miscellaneous Crew (1 credit)
Claim to Fame
Sea Tiger" (1927)
Wiki Bio Text
Alice White (I) (1904–1983)
Actress | Soundtrack | Miscellaneous Crew
Date of Birth 25 August 1904, Paterson, New Jersey, USA
Date of Death 19 February 1983, Los Angeles, California, USA (stroke)
Birth Name Alva Violet White
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)
Mini Bio (2)
This Hollywood High graduate began her career as a secretary and script girl, working for Josef von Sternberg and Charles Chaplin. A sexy and bubbly player, she was repeatedly miscast as a singer-dancer. She toured the vaudeville circuit after her career spluttered, returning to Hollywood only to get involved in a sex scandal in 1933 with her boyfriend, actor Jack Warburton, and future husband Sy Bartlett. She continued working on the stage and screen for the next two decades, but a series of divorces, further sex scandals, and a 1957 accident effectively ended her career.
- IMDb Mini Biography By:
Alice White was born Alva Violet White on August 24, 1904 in Paterson, New Jersey. Her mother, a former chorus girl, died when she was just three years old. She was raised by her Italian grandparents in New Haven, Connecticut. When Alice was a teenager they moved to California where she attended Hollywood high school. She started working as a secretary but lost several jobs for being too "sexy". Eventually Alice was hired by Charlie Chaplin to be a script girl. He encouraged her to try acting and she made her film debut in the 1927 drama The Sea Tiger. The following year she had starring roles in Gentleman Prefer Blondes and Show Girl. Alice had a bubbly onscreen personality and was often compared to Clara Bow. Her short blonde hair and big lips would become her trademark. Audiences fell in love with Alice but critics were rarely impressed with her acting. It was also rumored that her singing voice was being dubbed. Alice had serious romances with aviator Dick Grace and actor Donald Keith. In 1931 she took a break from making movies. The studio claimed that she was unhappy with her salary and had become difficult to work with. Alice became involved in a love triangle with British actor John Warburton and producer Sidney "Sy" Bartlett. She accused Warburton of beating her so badly she needed reconstructive surgery on her nose. Warburton told the press that Alice and Sy hired thugs to disfigure him. Alice married Sy in 1933 and tried to make a comeback. Unfortunately the bad publicity had damaged her reputation and she could only get minor roles. In 1936 she suffered a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized for two months. The following year her marriage to Sy ended. She married screenwriter John Roberts in 1941 but they divorced eight years later. In court she said he "threw things and wasn't very nice". Alice's last film role was in the 1949 drama Flamingo Road. For many years she lived with musician William Hinshaw. She never had any children. With her movie star days behind her Alice went back to work as a secretary. In 1957 she fell off a ladder and landed on a pair of scissors. The accident left her blinded for several months. When she recovered she was offered a small role on The Ann Sothern Show. As she grew older Alice stayed out of the spotlight but she continued to answer the fan mail she received from around the world. She died on February 19, 1983 after suffering a stroke. Alice is buried at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Elizabeth Ann
Jack Roberts (24 August 1940 - 14 April 1949) (divorced)
Sy Bartlett (3 December 1933 - 17 February 1938) (divorced)
Trade Mark (1)
Helmet blonde hairdo
Returned to being a secretary after her screen career ended.
She was Warner Brothers answer to Clara Bow.
Parents were James F. White and Marion Alexander, she being a professional actress. Her mother died while Alice was quite young and Alice and her maternal grandmother moved to Hollywood.
Attended Roanoke College.
One-time secretary and script girl for Josef von Sternberg who thought she lacked the temperament to be a secretary for him. She later worked for Charles Chaplin.
In 1957 she was blinded for several months after falling off a ladder and landing on a pair of scissors.
Her real hair color was reddish brown. She dyed it blonde to stop comparisons to her rival Clara Bow.
She was once one of Hollywood's most popular actresses and received more than 30,000 fan letter a month.
Had a pet sheepdog in the mid-1930s named Snoots, with whom she posed for publicity photos at Universal Pictures.
In 1927 Alice had a pet chow dog named Ching-a-Ling.
Personal Quotes (3)
[1933 interview] Knocks make you stronger. My chin ought to be scarred. But it's tough, it can take 'em. I like beans so if I had to eat a tin-can diet it wouldn't kill me.
[1958 interview] Look at that Marilyn Monroe walk. I did it first. That's an Alice White walk!
[1958 interview] I don't mind playing a maid. Save the hearts and flowers. Show business is my racket...and right now I'm only interested in getting back to work.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1928) $2,000 a week
Biography by Hal Erickson
Blonde "boop-a-doop," silent film leading lady Alice White worked as a Hollywood secretary and script girl before getting her acting break in The Sea Tiger (1927). White's popularity hit her peak just before the silent films gave way to the talkies. Her voice matched her screen image perfectly, and she made a successful switchover to sound. Unfortunately, the "flapper" roles in which she specialized went out of fashion; also, at least according to one of her co-stars, White was terrified of the microphone and found it more difficult to perform in each successive film. By the mid-'30s, White was playing brassy "bad girl" second leads in lesser pictures; by the 1940s, movie opportunities dried up and she went back to work as a secretary. Alice White made her last screen appearance in a tiny role in Joan Crawford's Flamingo Road (1949).
Alice White (August 24, 1904, Paterson, New Jersey – February 19, 1983, Los Angeles, California) was an American film actress.
Early life and career
She was born Alva White of French and Italian parents. Her mother, a former chorus girl died when Alice was only three years old. She attended Roanoke College in Virginia and then took a secretarial course at Hollywood High School also attended by future actors Joel McCrea and Mary Brian. After leaving school she became a secretary and "script girl" for director Josef Von Sternberg. After clashing with Von Sternberg, White left his employment to work for Charlie Chaplin, who decided before long to place her in front of the camera.
Her bubbly and vivacious persona led to comparisons with Clara Bow, but White's career was slow to progress. After playing a succession of flappers and gold diggers, she attracted the attention of the director and producer Mervyn LeRoy who saw potential in her. Her first sound films included Show Girl (1928) made in the Vitaphone sound-on-disc system, and Show Girl in Hollywood (1930) in the Western Electric sound-on-film process, both released by Warner Brothers and both based on novels by J. P. McEvoy. In these two films, White appeared as "Dixie Dugan". In October 1929, McAvoy started the comic strip Dixie Dugan with the character Dixie having a "helmet" hairstyle and appearance similar to actress Louise Brooks. White also used the services of Hollywood 'beauty sculptor' Sylvia of Hollywood to stay in shape.
She left films in 1931 to improve her acting abilities, returning in 1933 only to have her career hurt by a scandal that erupted over her involvement with boyfriend actor Jack Warburton and future husband Sy Bartlett. Although she later married Bartlett, her reputation was tarnished and she appeared only in supporting roles after this. By 1937 and 1938, her name was at the bottom of the cast lists. She made her final film appearance in Flamingo Road (1949).
White died of complications from a stroke, aged 78, on February 19, 1983.
White has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Motion Pictures, at 1501 Vine Street.
At one point she was Warner Brothers answer to Clara Bow, a vivacious flapper with at the height of the jazz age. Like her Clara Bow, Alice White was the epitome of what "IT" was. Bubbly, blonde and energetic on film, she would also face some of the career pitfalls Bow had, learning all too quickly how quickly Hollywood and the public can change their minds. Alice White was born Alva White on August 25, 1904 in Paterson, New Jersey. When she was still quite young her mother who was also an actress died, and she and her maternal grandmother moved to Hollywood.
There she attended and graduated from Hollywood High School with the likes of Joel Mcrea. She got work as a secretary and script girl for Joseph Von Sternberg who thought she lacked the temperment to be a secretary for him, she then went to work for Charlie Chaplin. Her first break into film was in the movie "Sea Tiger" (1927). She was generally cast as the sexy, bubbly flapper types which worked quite well for her. She was one of the lucky few who made a successful transition to sound, but her flapper image was about to become a her downfall.
When the stock market crashed in 1929 people began to resent all things that were considered a frivolis holdover from the 1920`s. The Jazz Age was over and Alice suddenly found herself playing second female leads in usually the tough girl type of role. She did some work on stage when parts were starting to become scarce.
If the slow down in work wasn`t hard enough, her personal life was about to become her next downfall. In 1933, White was involved in a very public fight with Jack Warburton. Warburton and Alice apparently got into an argument at a party resulting in Warburton getting drunk and beating Alice. Shortly after the beating, Warburton was assaulted by two men who later claimed that Alice and future husband Sydney Bartlett had hired them to beat up Warburton. The idea apparently to disfigure him where he would leave Hollywood and return to England. The charges were dropped, however the publicity was ugly and appeared in the papers for days. Alice`s career took somewhat of a detour from here. The once steady stream of parts suddenly started to dry up by the late 1930`s. She went back to work on the stage and taking small parts in films. Her final film was a small part in the 1949 film "Flamingo Road" starring Joan Crawford. An accident in 1957, did finally succeed in ending her career. White had been trimming her garden when she fell from the ladder she had been standing on. The fall caused her to have an accident where her left eye was gashed and she was blinded for a year.
Following the end of her acting career she returned to work as a secretary, and on February 19, 1983 Alice White died in Los Angeles, California of a stroke. Her ashes were scattered at sea.. Alice White was part of a fascinating time period in Hollywood history that is mostly forgotten today. Unfortunately, today she isn`t always remembered for her work as an actress, but for scandal and misfortunes. Her wonderful films are quite a legacy for this actress and we can only hope that more of her films will start to become available to the public.
Ching-a-Ling the Chow
Profile Bio Text
Actress (44 credits)
Soundtrack (9 credits)
Miscellaneous Crew (1 credit)
Self (5 credits)
Archive footage (2 credits)
Helmet blonde hairdo
Snoots the Sheepdog
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