Gladys Brockwell pr

Promotional photograph of Gladys Brockwell

Gladys Brockwell (September 26, 1893July 2, 1929) was an American actress whose career began during the silent film era.

Early lifeEdit

Born Gladys Lindeman in Brooklyn, New York, she was the daughter of a chorus girl who put her on stage at a very early age. By the time she reached her middle teens, she was already a veteran and taking on dramatic leading roles. She made her East Coast film debut in 1913 as Gladys Brockwell for Lubin Studios and within a short time was starring in a number of films. Developing her craft, Brockwell moved to Hollywood where she earned herself an important role in the acclaimed 1922 version of Oliver Twist and in The Hunchback of Notre Dame the following year.


1918 - 05 cover - gladys brockwell

Brockwell on the cover of Motion Picture Classic magazine, 1918

Never one of the glamorous leading ladies, by the mid 1920s she was past the age of thirty 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 the new talkies but excelled in them, her first appearance in a "talkie" came in 1928 in The Lights of New York. Her performance received strong reviews at the time of the film's release and as well by present-day critics of the preserved film.

A Warner Bros. feature length production, The Lights of New York was filmed with microphones strategically hidden around the sets, creating the first motion picture released with fully synchronic dialogue. Signed by Warner Bros. to a multi-year contract, Brockwell's next talkie was in another supporting role to Norma Talmadge in one of only three sound films Talmadge ever made.


On June 27, 1929 Gladys Brockwell and friend Thomas Brennan were involved in an automobile accident near Calabasas, California. Brockwell was crushed beneath the automobile driven by Brennan, an advertising man from Los Angeles, California. The auto went over a 75 foot embankment on the Ventura Highway near Calabasas.

Seriously injured, the thirty-five-year old Brockwell died a few days later in a Hollywood hospital. Her physician, Dr. Norman P. Sprague, said death was the result of peritonitis. Four blood transfusions were performed in an effort to save her life, the last just prior to her death. Brennan recovered after sustaining serious injuries. He said a bit of dust had blown into his eye, temporarily blinding him.

Gladys 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.

Selected filmographyEdit

Year Title Role
1913 The Rattlesnake The Girl
When Mountain and Valley Meet The Girl
1914 The Typhoon Helene
The Worth of a Life Ruby Baker
1915 A Man and His Mate Betty
Providence and the Twins Miss Abagail Dean
1916 The Crippled Hand The Prima Donna
The Fires of Conscience Margey Burke
1917 The Price of Her Soul Ailene Graham
The Soul of Satan Miriam Lee
1918 The Devil's Wheel Blanche De Montfort
Kultur Countess Griselda von Arenburg
1919 Pitfalls of a Big City Molly Moore
Chasing Rainbows Sadie
1920 Flames of the Flesh Candace
A Sister to Salome Elinore Duane
1921 The Sage Hen The Sage Hen
1922 Double Stakes The Girl
Paid Back Carol Gordon
Oliver Twist The Girl
1923 Penrod and Sam Mrs. Schofield
The Darling of New York Light Fingered Kitty
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Sister Gudule
1924 The Foolish Virgin Nancy Owens
So Big Maartje Poole
1925 Chickie Jennie
Stella Maris Louisa Risca
1926 Her Sacrifice Mary Cullen
Twinkletoes Cissie Lightfoot
1927 Long Pants His Mother
The Country Doctor Myra Jones
1928 My Home Town Mae Andrews
The Home Towners Lottie Bancroft
1929 The Hottentot Mrs. Chadwick
The Argyle Case Mrs. Martin


External linksEdit