Alice Joyce

Active - 1912 - 2013  |   Born - Oct 1, 1889   |   Died - Oct 9, 1955   |   Genres - Drama, Adventure, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Once billed as "The Madonna of the Screen," Alice Joyce was earning her own living from the age of 13, first as a telephone operator and then as a model. In 1910 she made her film bow at the old Kalem studios. Even in her early 20s, Joyce seemed too mature and intelligent for the standard ingenue roles that were the lot of the other Kalem actresses; by 1916, the year that Kalem was bought up by Vitagraph, Joyce was the studio's most important female star. While she was still capable of pulling off a romantic lead assignment in the 1920s, Joyce's best acting opportunities came in the form of patrician, maternal roles. One of her finest and most unusual vehicles was Dancing Mothers (1925), in which she played a middle-aged socialite who, tired of being taken for granted by her philandering husband and jazz-baby daughter (Clara Bow), embarks upon a romance of her own -- and, to the audience's immense satisfaction, she doesn't return to her selfish family at the end. As proven by her appearance in 1930's The Green Goddess (the third film version of this old theatrical chestnut, all of which featured Joyce) Joyce could have gone on to a successful talkie career, but she chose instead to retire while still on top. Alice Joyce's husbands included film star Owen Moore and director King Vidor.

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