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September 26, 1894
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||July 2, 1929 (aged 34)|
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Robert B. Broadwell
(m. 1915; div. 1918)
(m. 1918; annulled 1919)
Early life and career
Gladys Lindeman was born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 26, 1894. Her father was H. R. Lindeman. Her mother, Lillian Lindeman (nee Voltaire), a chorus girl turned actress, put her daughter on stage at an early age. By the time Gladys was 14, she played leading roles, and when she was 17 she had her own company. She took on the stage name Gladys Brockwell , and made her film debut in 1913 for Lubin Studios. Within a short time she was starring in a number of films. Developing her craft, she moved to Hollywood where she garnered a role in the acclaimed 1922 version of Oliver Twist and in The Hunchback of Notre Dame the following year.
Her mother Lillian took to the screen in 1914 and also adopted the surname Brockwell, first as Lillian Brockwell then as Billie Brockwell, achieving fame in her own right but after her daughter. The name Brockwell appears to be a corruption of Gladys' fiance's surname, Broadwell but may stem from a remarriage of Lillian around 1907/8 with both mother and daughter taking a new surname.
By the mid-1920s she was past the age of 30 and although still given top female billing, Brockwell performed mainly in supporting roles. Regarded as one of the finest character actresses of the day who not only adapted to sound films but excelled in them, her first appearance in a "talkie" came in 1928 in Lights of New York. Her performance received strong reviews at the time of the film's release as well as by present-day critics of the preserved film.
A Warner Bros. feature-length production, Lights of New York was filmed with microphones strategically hidden around the sets, creating the first motion picture released with fully synchronic dialogue. She was then signed by Warner Bros. and was looking forward to continued success in talkies. She died in an automobile accident in 1929.
Brockwell married actor Robert B. Broadwell on March 3, 1915. They separated on September 1, 1915, due to "Much quarreling and unpleasantness generally," as she told the court when she sought a divorce in March 1918. "We never seemed to agree on anything," she added. Los Angeles Judge Jackson granted her divorce decree on March 13, 1918, on grounds of desertion.
On June 27, 1929, Brockwell and a friend, Thomas Brennan, were involved in an automobile accident near Calabasas, California. She was crushed beneath the automobile driven by Brennan, an advertising man from Los Angeles, California. The automobile went over a 75-foot (23 m) embankment on the Ventura Highway near Calabasas.
Seriously injured, she underwent four blood transfusions as part of the effort to save her life, the last just before her death. Following a second blood transfusion, Brockwell appeared to improve until peritonitis set in from her internal injuries, particularly a puncture of her large intestine. After two more transfusions, Brockwell died at 7 p.m. on July 2, 1929, at Osteopathic Hospital. Brennan recovered after sustaining serious injuries. He said a bit of dust had blown into his eye, temporarily blinding him. No negligence was placed on Brennan, who was still recovering in the hospital. Brockwell's final film, The Drake Case, was directed by Edward Laemmle while she was on loan to Universal Pictures, and was released posthumously in September 1929.
Gladys Brockwell was cremated at Hollywood Cemetery and her ashes given to her mother. Her ashes now lie with her mother in the columbarium of Inglewood Park Cemetery on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
|1913||The Rattlesnake||Tony's sister||Incomplete film|
|When Mountain and Valley Meet||Beth|
|His Blind Power|
|The Last of the Line|
|One of the Discard||Flora|
|A Political Feud||Helen Kent|
|A Relic of Old Japan||Annette Walsh|
|Stacked Cards||Edna Johnson|
|The Worth of a Life||Ruby Baker|
|1915||A Confidence Game|
|Double Trouble||Daisy Scarlett|
|A Man and His Mate||Betty|
|On the Night Stage||Saloon girl|
|Providence and the Twins||Miss Abagail Dean|
|1916||The Crippled Hand||The Prima Donna|
|The End of the Trail||Adrienne Cabot|
|The Fires of Conscience||Margery Burke|
|Sins of Her Parent||Adrian Gardiner / Valerie Marchmont|
|1917||A Branded Soul||Conchita Cordova||Lost film|
|Her Temptation||Shirley Moreland|
|The Honor System||Trixie Bennett||Lost film|
|The Price of Her Soul||Ailene Graham|
|The Soul of Satan||Miriam Lee|
|1918||The Bird of Prey||Adele Durant|
|The Devil's Wheel||Blanche De Montfort|
|Her One Mistake||Harriet Gordon / Peggy Malone|
|Kultur||Countess Griselda von Arenburg||Lost film|
|The Moral Law||Isobel de Costa / Anita de Costa|
|The Scarlet Road||Mabel Halloway|
|The Strange Woman||Inez de Pierrefond|
|1919||Broken Commandments||Nella Banard|
|The Call of the Soul||Barbara Deming|
|The Divorce Trap||Eleanor Burton|
|The Forbidden Room||Ruth Lester|
|Pitfalls of a Big City||Molly Moore|
|1920||Flames of the Flesh||Candace||Lost film|
|The Mother of His Children||Princess Yve||Lost film|
|A Sister to Salome||Elinore Duane|
|1921||The Sage Hen||The Sage Hen|
|Paid Back||Carol Gordon|
|1923||The Hunchback of Notre Dame||Sister Gudule|
|Penrod and Sam||Mrs. Schofield|
|The Darling of New York||Light Fingered Kitty||Lost film, only the last reel survives|
|1924||The Foolish Virgin||Nancy Owens||Lost film|
|So Big||Maartje Poole||Lost film|
|Stella Maris||Louisa Risca|
|The Ancient Mariner||Life In Death||Lost film|
|The Reckless Sex||Mrs. Garcia|
|1926||The Skyrocket||Rose Kimm (prologue)||Lost film|
|Her Sacrifice||Mary Cullen|
|The Last Frontier||Cynthia Jaggers|
|1927||Long Pants||His Mother|
|The Country Doctor||Myra Jones|
|Man, Woman and Sin||Mrs. Whitcomb|
|1928||A Girl in Every Port||Madame Flore|
|My Home Town||Mae Andrews|
|Hollywood Bound||Hollywood Leading Lady||short; Vitaphone sound|
|The Home Towners||Lottie Bancroft||Lost film|
|Lights of New York||Molly Thompson|
|The Woman Disputed||Countess|
|The Law and the Man||Margaret Grayson|
|1929||The Hottentot||Mrs. Chadwick||Lost film|
|The Argyle Case||Mrs. Martin||Lost film, but the sound to reels 3, 5, 7, and 9 survive|
|Hardboiled Rose||Julie Malo||The soundtrack is lost except for the fourth reel disc|
|The Drake Case||Lulu Marks|
- Scott, Tony. The Stars of Hollywood Forever - Tony Scott. ISBN 9781312916975. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
- Slide, Anthony (2010). Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. University Press of Kentucky. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-8131-3745-2. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
- Golden, Eve (2015). Golden Images: 41 Essays on Silent Film Stars. McFarland. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7864-8354-9. Retrieved April 4, 2020.
- Staff, "Gladys Brockwell Is Granted Divorce by Judge on Grounds of Desertion", Los Angeles Evening Herald, Los Angeles, California, Wednesday 13 March 1918, Volume XLIII, Number 113, page 1.
- Resting Places: The Burial Places of 14,000 Famous Persons, by Scott Wilson
- Albert Lea (Minnesota) Evening Tribune, "Gladys Brockwell, Picture Actress, Dies of Injuries", (Wednesday, July 3, 1929) page 1
- New York Times, "Gladys Brockwell Dies" (July 3, 1929) page 14
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gladys Brockwell.|