She was born as Gladys Clare Evans on September 13, 1904 in Patten, Maine (Another source says Hatton, Maine; a third source says "Gladys was born in a little town in Missouri, where the troupe her parents belonged to happened to be stranded at the time.") to English parents. Her father was Sir Arthur Claire, "noted Shakespearean actor."
George went on the stage at the age of 3 and toured the United States, appearing with her parents. She starred on stage in the 1920s, although she had made several films in the early part of that decade. She starred in Personal Appearance, a comedy by Lawrence Riley. This role was reprised by Mae West in the classic film, Go West, Young Man, which West adapted from the play. In 1936 George was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for Valiant Is the Word for Carrie.
Her only other first billed roles were in Madame X (1937) and Love is a Headache. She also appeared in The Roaring Twenties (1939), The Way of All Flesh (1940), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and He Ran All the Way (1951). She played the widow of Miles Archer (Iva Archer) in The Maltese Falcon and Mme. Du Barry in Marie Antoinette.
Her last successful roles were as Lute Mae Sanders in Flamingo Road, her brief appearance as the corrupt nurse Miss Hatch in Detective Story, and Lullaby of Broadway as the alcoholic mother of Doris Day's wholesome character.
Gladys George was married and divorced four times.
George was afflicted with numerous ailments, including throat cancer, heart disease, and cirrhosis of the liver. She died from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1954 in Los Angeles, California, aged 50, and was interred in the Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery.
|Red Hot Dollars||Janet Muir||1919||film debut|
|The Woman in the Suitcase||Ethel||1920|
|Below the Surface||Alice||1920|
|Homespun Folks||Beulah Rogers||1920|
|The Easy Road||Isabel Grace||1921|
|The House that Jazz Built||Lila Drake||1921|
|Straight Is the Way||Shirley||1934|
|Valiant Is the Word for Carrie||Carrie Snyder||1936||Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Only Academy Award for which Gladys George was ever nominated.|
|They Gave Him a Gun||Rose Duffy||1937||Co-starred with Spencer Tracy.|
|Madame X||Madame X/Jacqueline Fleuriot/Miss Pran||1937||Only film starring Gladys George to have been released on VHS.|
|Love Is a Headache||Carlotta 'Charlie' Lee||1938|
|Marie Antoinette||Madame du Barry||1938||First time Gladys George portrayed a historical figure. First supporting role since Oscar nomination.|
|I'm from Missouri||Julie Bliss||1939|
|Here I Am a Stranger||Clara Paulding||1939|
|The Roaring Twenties||Panama Smith||1939||James Cagney film with one of many substantial early supporting roles for Humphrey Bogart.|
|A Child Is Born||Florette Laverne||1939|
|The House Across the Bay||Mary Bogel||1940|
|The Maltese Falcon||Iva Archer||1941|
|The Crystal Ball||Madame Zenobia||1943|
|The Hard Way||Lily Emery||1943|
|The Best Years of Our Lives||Hortense Derry||1946|
|Millie's Daughter||Millie Maitland||1947|
|Flamingo Road||Lute Mae Sanders||1949|
|He Ran All the Way||Mrs. Robey||1951|
|Lullaby of Broadway||Jessica Howard||1951|
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