For a few years Alice White (New Jersey, 1904 - Los Angeles, 1983) was one of Hollywood's most alluring actresses. After leaving school she became a secretary and script girl for director Josef Von Sternberg. After clashing with Von Sternberg, Alice left his employment to work for Charlie Chaplin, who decided before long to place her in front of the camera. She played a succession of flappers and gold diggers.
During the 1920s Alice White's beauty and bubbly personality made her a star
In her seventh film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1928), she finally got a leading role. It was based on the popular novel by Anita Loos. It was a big hit and Alice's performance got rave reviews. Sadly this silent film is now lost (in 1953 the movie was remade as a musical starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell).
Her 16th picture, Broadway Babies (1929), became her first 100% talkie, it was a smash hit. Her next big musical was Show Girl in Hollywood (1930) in the Western Electric sound-on-film process. Alice continued to make successful talkies but her career was hurt by several scandals.
Sy Bartlett and Alice White
In 1933 she had an alleged affair with two men at the same time, her then boyfriend, British actor Jack Warburton, and producer 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. Although she later married Bartlett, her reputation was tarnished and she appeared only in supporting roles after this. By 1938, her name was at the bottom of the cast lists and she made her final film appearance in 1949.
next stop: White Alice!