William Brady

born: circa 11 June 1913
Washington, District of Columbia,
United States of America
died: 27 April 2003
Rancho Mirage, California,
United States of America
(age 89)

American actor and singer. He signed a long-term contract with the Hal Roach Studios in 1937 and posed in publicity shots with Rosina Lawrence though never appeared with her in any film.
His middle name comes from his 1940 Draft Card. Sometime after that he continually used the middle initial "A". His birth year is written as 1914 which is "scratched" out and 1915 written in. He was actually born in 1913 about June 11th according to a newspaper birth announcement of a "boy" born in DC to his named parents. His parents were "Murril" Brady (Merrill, Gregory & variations) and "Hazelton" (Hazel, Belle, Bell & variations) Chambers. Her Dad was a stable operator who died (age 33) before she was 3 years old. Her marriage to Murril was announced on January 8th of 1913. At the end of June 1913 he was terminated (with many others) from his temporary appointment job with the Census Bureau. Hazel remained in DC and Murril went back to his hometown of Frankfort, IN to die December 17th of "TB of the bowels and organic heart disease" at the age of 24.
In 1916, Hazel's Mom, aged 48, was struck and killed by a truck in DC. In 1918 Hazel had another child, Catherine. In the 1920 Census for DC, the infant daughter is with a foster family and WILLIAM BRADY (age 6) is in the City of Washington Orphans Asylum. I don't know for how long the children were separated from their Mom but around 1923 she married grocery store proprietor, Michael Hurwitz. In the DC 1930 Census, the entire family is living together with 3 additional half-siblings.
According to William Brady's obituary (linked in the sources), he became a nightclub singer in New York until 1936 when he went to Hollywood and acted in "New Faces of 1937". "He then became a singer / Master of Ceremonies at Earl Carroll's Theatre until he joined The Air Transport Command in WWII. Bill was proud to be the first person to sing 'The Star-Spangled Banner' on coast to coast radio." "His second career lasted 33 years, and as a women's clothing mfg, he was voted "Best Dress Mfg." In a pole (sic) conducted by Women's Wear Daily for his Candy Jones Line."
He retired to Rancho Mirage, CA to a life of golf and boating and half-sister, Catherine, became a statistician for the US Dept. of Labor in DC. The whole family ended up well.
Real name: William Goff Brady
Height: 5'11"
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.


Saps At Sea

https://www.newspapers.com/image/145320503/?terms=%22walter%20chambers%22&match=2 (1898 Jan13 obit Hazelton's Dad age 33.
https://newspaperarchive.com/washington-dc-washington-evening-star-jan-08-1913-p-8/ (1913 Jan 8 Parents marriage announce)
https://newspaperarchive.com/washington-dc-washington-evening-star-jun-11-1913-p-7/ (1913 Jun 11 Baby boy born to named parents)
https://newspaperarchive.com/washington-dc-washington-evening-star-jul-12-1913-p-8/ (1913 Jul 12 Murril's job ended Jun 30)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=IndianaVitalsDeaths&indiv=try&h=4711437 (1914 Dec. 17 Death Cert Murril Brady)
"Washington DC Post" 1916 Nov 27 p. 3 obit Hazel's Mom, Annie Chambers
https://newspaperarchive.com/washington-times-mar-10-1917-p-2/ (1917 Mar 10 Mom of Hazel: wrongful death suit: killed by truck)
https://newspaperarchive.com/the-washington-herald-mar-14-1918-p-11/ (1918 Mar 14 DC: "girl" born to "Hugh and Hazel Brady")
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZF7-5NW (1917 Jun 5 DC: Michael Hurwitz: single: clerk in Mom's grocery store)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZF7-5NW (1910 Census DC: Hazel Chambers (single age 15) w/Mom and siblings)
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/145305506:7884 (1910 C Frankfort IN: "Murril" Brady w/ divorced Mom and uncles)
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/19712241:6061 (1920 C: DC: Hazel Brady: widow: age 22: clerk in dept. store)
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/19828187:6061 (1920 C: DC: William Brady: age 6: Inmate City Orphan Asylum)
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/84133549:6061?ssrc=pt&tid=41827791&pid=19973360855 (1920 C: MD: Katherine Brady)
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/121363500:6224 (1930 C: DC: William Brady (16) step-son w/Hurwitz family)
"Los Angeles City Directory" p.301 1938 William Brady: actor h. 107 1/2 Flores Ave
https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/2238/images/43995_01_00017-01677?pId=17198033 (1940 Oct 16 LA: Draft card: ht. 5'11":MN "Goff")
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/3326997:1002 (1942 Apr: Michael Hurwitz: Draft Card Silver Springs, MD: wf Hazel)
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/261331638:62308?tid=&pid=&queryId=7bad1cf68af551a2bac58f2bb68892e0&_phsrc=naG188&_phstart=successSource 1950 C
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/60180165:62308 (1950 C: Silver Springs MD: Katherine Brady w/ Hurwitz Family: Statistician)
https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/633325370:61843?ssrc=pt&tid=17262851&pid=412215818593 (2003 Apr 27: Wm "A" Brady obit Apr 30)
Jim Jarvis (research & bio notes)

This page was last updated on: 11 June 2024