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Alice Joyce
Alice Joyce from Photoplay 1917.jpg
Joyce in Photoplay (1917)
Alice Joyce

(1890-10-01)October 1, 1890
DiedOctober 9, 1955(1955-10-09) (aged 65)
Years active1910–1930
(m. 1914; div. 1920)

James B. Regan
(m. 1920; div. 1932)

(m. 1933; div. 1945)

Alice Joyce Brown (née Joyce; October 1, 1890 – October 9, 1955) was an American actress who appeared in more than 200 films during the 1910s and 1920s. She is known for her roles in the 1923 film The Green Goddess and its 1930 remake of the same name.[1][2][3][4]

Early life and career beginnings

Alice Joyce was born in Kansas City, Missouri,[5] to John Edward and Vallie Olive McIntyre Joyce. She had a brother, Francis "Frank" Joyce, who was 2 years younger and who later became an entertainment manager. Her father was a smelter of Irish and French ancestry and her mother a Welsh seamstress. Educated at a convent in Maryland, she ran away to New York while still a teenager.[4]

By 1900, her parents' marriage fell apart, and her father took custody of Alice and Frank and moved to Falls Church, Virginia, where Joyce spent most of her childhood. According to the 1910 Census, her mother remarried in 1900 to Leon Faber, and they resided in the Bronx, New York, along with Alice and Frank, where she was employed as a photographer's model and appeared in illustrated songs.

She once said that film producer D.W. Griffith had told her that she reminded him of a cow.[5] Despite this unflattering comment, Joyce was a well-respected actress of the silent film era. Though Griffith did not show any interest in her, she found work modelling for both artists and photographers. One film historian ranks her among the top models of 1910, in the company of Mabel Normand and Anna Nilsson. She posed for some of the better known artists of the day: Harrison Fisher, Charles Dana Gibson and Neysa McMein.[4]


Joyce on the cover of Photoplay, 1920
Joyce on the cover of Photoplay, 1920

Director Sidney Olcott at the Kalem Company in New York City gave Joyce her first chance, casting her in his 1910 production The Deacon's Daughter. She worked under director Kenean Buel on the West Coast after Kalem acquired the old Essanay Studios property in East Hollywood in October 1913. Joyce spent time with Kalem (1910–1915) and Vitagraph (1916–1921), later working as independent for various studios. Her stardom began to wane with the advent of sound motion pictures.[citation needed]


Husband Tom Moore with the couple's daughter Alice, 1920
Husband Tom Moore with the couple's daughter Alice, 1920
Joyce and husband James B. Regan, 1921
Joyce and husband James B. Regan, 1921

Joyce was married three times, the first time in 1914 to actor Tom Moore with whom she had a daughter, Alice Joyce Moore. They divorced in 1920. The same year she married James B. Regan, son of the managing director of the old Knickerbocker Hotel; her second daughter was born during this union. They divorced in 1932, shortly after which the actress declared bankruptcy before she married for a third time. Her last marriage came in 1933 in Virginia City, Nevada to film director Clarence Brown; they separated in 1942 and divorced in 1945. The actress retained Brown's name.[6] During their separation, she sued him for reparation on cruelty charges.[7] She resided in Northridge, California. In 1946, after Joyce was seriously injured in a traffic accident, Brown remained with her for nine hours and paid her medical bills.[citation needed]


Joyce was known as "The Madonna of the Screen" for her striking features and presence. She made her last movie in 1930, after which she and ex-husband Tom Moore worked a late vaudeville circuit for a time. She declared voluntary bankruptcy in 1933.[8] Joyce was active in women's organizations in the San Fernando Valley in her later years. She did book reviews and made sketches for friends.

The actress was ill for several years and died from a blood and heart ailment at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, eight days after her 65th birthday. On her death in 1955, Alice Joyce was interred next to her mother Vallie in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, California. Alice Joyce had two daughters: Mrs. Alice Moore de Tolley of Dover, Delaware and Mrs. Peggy Harris of Clark Fork, Idaho.[citation needed] She left an estate valued at $175,000, with a gross income of approximately $27,600. Her daughters received a collection of jewelry, including an eight-carat (1.6 g) emerald-cut diamond ring and a 55 carat (11 g) star sapphire ring. The remainder of the estate was placed in trust under terms of the will. The income from this was divided equally between Joyce's daughters.[citation needed]

Partial filmography

Poster for Kalem's The Strange Story of Elsie Mason (1912)
Joyce on the cover of Motion Picture Classic in 1916, the year she joined Vitagraph Studios
Advertisement for The Spark Divine (1919)
Joyce and Robert Gordon in Dollars and the Woman (1920)
Joyce in Cousin Kate (1921)
Poster for White Man (1924)
Joyce in 1926
Lobby card showing Joyce and Clara Bow in Dancing Mothers (1926)
Lobby card with Joyce and W.C. Fields in So's Your Old Man (1926)


  1. ^ "Alice Joyce, Star of Silent Movies, Dies." Los Angeles Times. October 10, 1955, Page 1.
  2. ^ "Alice Joyce Dies; Silent Film Star." The New York Times. October 10, 1955, Page 27.
  3. ^ "Alice Joyce Estate Said to Top $175,000." Los Angeles Times. October 19, 1955, Page 4.
  4. ^ a b c Golden, Eve. Golden Images: 41 Essays on Silent Film Stars. McFarland&Company, ISBN 0786408340, 2001, p. 65.
  5. ^ a b Slide, Anthony (September 12, 2010). Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-2708-8. Retrieved September 6, 2020.
  6. ^ New York Times. Alice Joyce Gets a Divorce. October 2. 1945. Web. October 18. 2010
  7. ^ New York Times. Alice Joyce Sues Third Spouse. September 15. 1945. p 18. Web. October 18. 2010
  8. ^ Pittsburgh Press. Alice Joyce Broke. April 1. 1933. p 2. Web. October 18. 2010

External links

This page was last edited on 16 October 2022, at 18:15
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