Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Two Things to Know About Alice Brady

First, this is not Alice Brady:


But you’d be forgiven for thinking it was. This is, in fact, Alice Nelson, the beloved Brady family housekeeper to whom Sam the Butcher would deliver meat. Alice was not, in fact, adopted by the Brady family, though again you’d be forgiven for thinking so.

Instead, this is Alice Brady:


And the thing to know about this particular Alice is the story of her Oscar. She was given the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1937 for her work in the film In Old Chicago as Mrs. O’Leary, the woman whose cow supposedly started the Great Chicago Fire. (It didn’t, but the rumor nonetheless reflected poorly on both the real-life woman and the cow.) As a result of a broken ankle, however, Brady could not attend the Oscar festivities. When her name was announced, a man stepped forward to accept the award on her behalf. He then promptly run away, never to appear again and never to return the award to its rightful owner. To this day, her Oscar was never recovered. And while the Academy issued her a replacement, it was smaller than the standard statuette and, due to a printing error, listed the year of Brady’s victory as 1838.

A year later, Brady died at 46.

And... “Hollywood!” (with jazz hands a-quivering).

“Now That’s Interesting,” previously:

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