Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
A popular Hollywood actress and singer of the 1930s and '40s, Alice Faye was born Alice Leppert in New York City on May 5, 1915. By the age of 14 she was already singing and dancing professionally, and in 1931 was working as a chorus girl in Broadway's George White's Scandals; there she was spotted by Rudy Vallée, who quickly signed her to sing with his touring band. When George White's Scandals began filming in Hollywood, Vallée insisted that Faye be given the starring role; a bleached blonde in the tradition of Jean Harlow, she quickly became a fixture of the screen musical, appearing in films including 1937's On the Avenue and the following year's Alexander's Ragtime Band and In Old Chicago. She also became a popular radio performer. However, by the early '40s, Faye's frequent clashes with Fox studio boss Darryl F. Zanuck began to undermine her career -- after banning her from future broadcast appearances, Zanuck then signed Betty Grable, who quickly surpassed Faye as Fox's dominant musical star. After starring in 1945's Fallen Angel, Faye effectively retired from the screen for the next two decades, finally resurfacing in State Fair in 1962; she then left Hollywood for another 14 years, instead rounding out her career on Broadway and on tour. She died at the age of 83 on May 9, 1998.