Alice Faye Biography

Alice Jeanne Leppert, 5 May 1912, New York City, New York, USA, d. 9 May 1998, Rancho Mirage, California, USA. An attractive blonde actress and singer, Alice Faye symbolized for many the glamorous 20th Century Fox movies musicals of the 30s and 40s. She was noticed by Rudy Vallee in the Broadway chorus of George White’s Scandals Of 1931, and, after touring and recording with his Connecticut Yankees, she starred with Vallee in the movie George White’s Scandals (1934), making a strong impression with her version of ‘Nasty Man’. She was also cited in Vallee’s divorce trial. Over the next 11 years she made more than 30 films, mostly very appealing musicals such as Poor Little Rich Girl (1936), Sing, Baby, Sing (1936), Stowaway (1936), On The Avenue (1937), In Old Chicago (1938), Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938), Rose Of Washington Square (1939), Hollywood Cavalcade (1939), Tin Pan Alley (1940), Lillian Russell (1940), That Night In Rio (1941), The Great American Broadcast (1941), Weekend In Havana (1941), Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943), and The Gang’s All Here (1943). With her deep-throated, sexy voice, Faye serenaded her good-looking leading men, Dick Powell, Tyrone Power, Don Ameche and John Payne, with songs that included ‘Goodnight My Love’, ‘No Love, No Nothin’’, ‘Sing, Baby, Sing’, ‘You’re A Sweetheart’, and ‘You’ll Never Know’ the Academy Award winning song for 1943.

By this time she was a major star, together with her friend Betty Grable, with an equally loyal following. Faye retired from movies in 1945 after starring in Otto Preminger’s Fallen Angel, and following a much-publicized rift with 20th Century Fox boss Darryl F. Zanuck, but she returned in 1962 for the second re-make of State Fair. Following a first marriage to singer Tony Martin (with whom she co-starred in 1938’s Sally, Irene And Mary), she re-married in 1941 to band leader/singer/actor Phil Harris, famous for his delivery of novelty songs such as ‘Woodman, Woodman, Spare That Tree’, ‘The Darktown Poker Club’ and ‘That’s What I Like About The South’. From 1946-54 they appeared together on a top rated US radio series, and thereafter Faye starred in her own television specials and continued to record, mostly songs forever associated with her. She returned to the stage in 1973 in a revival of Good News.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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