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About Grace Bradley
Grace Bradley (September 21, 1913 – September 21, 2010) was an American film actress who was active in Hollywood during the 1930s.
She was born on September 21, 1913 in Brooklyn, New York. As a child she took piano lessons and by the age of six she gave her first recital. She attended the Eastman School of Music near Rochester, New York by age twelve after winning a scholarship. Originally she had wanted to become a professional pianist. While in school she took dance lessons and played piano. Her grandfather wanted her to be educated in Berlin, Germany so that she could receive more formal education but a Broadway producer discovered her during one of her dance recitals and hired her for a professional show.
On December 22, 1930 Bradley made her Broadway debut at New York's Hammerstein Theatre in Ballyhoo. Her next stage appearance came one year later at The Music Box Theatre in The Third Little Show. Soon Bradley found herself working in various New York nightclubs and theatres. In March 1933, she appeared in Strike Me Pink at the Majestic Theatre. Soon Bradley decided to give Hollywood a try. After she left Broadway her role in Strike Me Pink was taken over by Dorothy Dare who would later become a musical film star.
Although she made one film in 1932 her true film career did not begin until 1933 when she starred in a lead role in the film Too Much Harmony (1933). She was under contract to Paramount Pictures beginning in 1933 and she reportedly had a take home of $150 per week. In the 1930s she became one of the periods most popular musical stars and her other screen credits include parts in:
Girl Without a Room (1933)
The Cat's-Paw (1934)
Anything Goes (1936)
Sitting on the Moon (1936)
Wake Up and Live (1937)
Larceny on the Air (1937)
The Big Broadcast of 1938
During her career she co-starred opposite such notable figures as Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, Alice Faye, Bruce Cabot, William Bendix, Fred MacMurray, Harold Lloyd, Claudette Colbert, and W.C. Fields. In May 1937, Bradley agreed to a blind date and met Hopalong Cassidy star William Boyd. The two of them hit it off so well that they were wed in June 1937.
Later life and death
In the 1940s Bradley's star began to wane and in 1943 she starred in her last big role in Taxi, Mister. Following this Bradley had officially played out her Paramount contract and she spent the remainder of the 1940s alongside her beloved husband William Boyd and traveled around the country with him helping to promote his cowboy image. She did come out of her publicity trips with Boyd to make one more film appearance, an uncredited cameo role in Tournament of Roses (1954).
On September 12, 1972, just nine days before her 59th birthday, William Boyd died and Bradley became a widow. Following his death she retired from the entertainment world; however, since she shared such a strong union with her husband she still continued to do things to help keep Boyd's memory alive. Although she never bore children she considered all the children who enjoyed her husband's work as Hopalong Cassidy to be like her children. She also endured years of fighting for the legal rights to her late husband's sixty-six "Hopalong Cassidy" features. With her acting career behind her she devoted her time to a lot of volunteer work at the Laguna Beach Hospital where her husband had spent his final days.
Grace Bradley Boyd died on her 97th birthday; Tuesday, September 21, 2010. On Thursday, September 23, 2010, private services were held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. She was interred with her husband there in the Great Mausoleum, Sactuary of Sacred Promise.