circa 11 June 1913
Washington, District of Columbia,
United States of America
27 April 2003|
Rancho Mirage, California,
United States of America
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
|Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography.|