Gladys Brockwell

Born Sept. 26, 1893 in Brooklyn New York. Born Gladys Lindeman, her mother was an actress who bore her child at a young age. Brockwell claimed she had her first speaking part at age three and worked continuously in the theatre until appearing in her first movie in 1913 at age twenty. Although she originally signed with Lubin, she also worked for Mutual, Majestic and Fine Arts (working briefly for D.W. Griffith) before signing with Fox in 1916. By the time she signed with Fox, she had already made 21 features before making her first, "The End of the Trail" in 1916 for Fox. Although none of her films from this period stand out as classics of the silent screen, her popularity grew steadily. She was very active in patriotic endeavors during World War I, particularly as a women's rights advocate encouraging women to take on traditionally male-dominated jobs. As she entered the 1920's, would more likely be seen in character roles such as Nancy Sykes in "Oliver Twist" (1922) with Lon Chaney and Jackie Coogan, as the insane mother in Chaney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1923) and as Janet Gaynor's evil sister in "Seventh Heaven" (1927). She also had supporting roles in Colleen Moore's "So Big" (1924) and "Twinkletoes" (1926), Harry Langdon's "Long Pants" (1927), "Man, Woman and Sin" (1927) with John Gilbert, and "Spangles" (1926) with Marian Nixon. The coming of the sound era was not a concern for Brockwell as she signed a long-term contract with Warner Brothers and immediately made her first talkie, "The Lights of New York," in which she was a gangster's moll. Brockwell made four more sound films before tragedy hit. She and advertising man Thomas Drennan were in an automobile accident in the summer of 1929. They lost control of the car which plunged over a 75-foot cliff. Brockwell died July 2 of peritonitis.

Selected films of this star available for viewing:

On the Night Stage (1915)

Oliver Twist (1922)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

Twinkletoes (1926)

Long Pants (1927)

Seventh Heaven (1927)

A Girl in Every Port (1928)


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