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Alice Pearce
Alice Pearce
Credits
Role Gladys Kravitz
Biographical Information
Birthdate October 16, 1917
Birthplace New York, New York, United States
Death Date March 3, 1966 (age 48)
Death Place Hollywood, California, United States
Series Affiliations Paul Davis, spouse (1964-1966, her death)

Alice Pearce portrayed nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz in the first two seasons of Bewitched (1964-1966).

Biography[]

Making a career out of a post-nasal drip, this scene-stealing character comedienne was one of the best Broadway and Hollywood had to offer. It is too bad, then, that she was not utilized in films more often for this slight, chinless, parrot-faced, squawky-voiced bundle of (kill)joy could draw laughs from a well with a mere sniffle, gulp or stare.

Plaintive Alice Pearce was born in New York City, the only child of a bank vice-president, but was raised in different European schools - wherever her father had business. Eventually Alice settled back in New York City and began to gather experience in summer stock shows. She became a huge hit on the nightclub circuit which eventually paved the way to Broadway. She drew raves in the "New Faces of 1943" and was sensational in the role of Lucy Schmeeler, the sexless, adenoidal blind date, in the New York smash "On the Town" the very next year. As a testament to her talent, Alice was the only performer kept on board when Gene Kelly transferred the sailors-on-leave musical to film. Strangely, this did not lead to a slew of comedy vehicles, but Alice certainly sparked a number of fluffy films, even in the tiniest of roles - never more so than as the hypochondriac patient who expounds on her physical ailments ad nauseum while overly-attentive Jerry Lewis suffers through a wrenching series of "sympathy pains" in The Disorderly Orderly (1964). It is slapstick comedy at its very best.

Television proved an attractive medium for her as well, hosting her own variety show briefly in 1949. Her career ended on a high note as the nagging, irrepressibly nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz in the Bewitched (1964) sitcom. Ideally teamed with George Tobias as her hen-pecked husband, Abner, the two provided non-stop hilarity - her frightened gulps, blank gaze and confused exasperation coupled with his dour disgust was comedy heaven.

Sadly, Pearce developed ovarian cancer and died in 1966, only two seasons into the show. She was only 48. She quite deservedly won an Emmy trophy for her work a few months after her death. Hollywood lost a treasured talent in Alice Pearce, gone way before her time.

Bewitched Appearances[]

Episode Airdate
Be It Ever So Mortgaged September 24, 1964
Mother Meets What's-His-Name October 8, 1964
Little Pitchers Have Big Fears October 22, 1964
...And Something Makes Three December 3, 1964
A Vision of Sugar Plums December 24, 1964
It's Magic January 7, 1965
Ling Ling February 11, 1965
Red Light, Green Light March 4, 1965
Which Witch Is Which? March 11, 1965
Pleasure O'Riley March 18, 1965
Open the Door, Witchcraft April 8, 1965
Abner Kadabra April 15, 1965
That Was My Wife April 29, 1965
Illegal Separation May 6, 1965
A Change of Face May 13, 1965
Remember the Main May 20, 1965
Alias Darrin Stephens September 18, 1965
My Grandson, the Warlock October 7, 1965
Take Two Aspirins and Half a Pint of Porpoise Milk October 21, 1965
And Then I Wrote November 11, 1965
Aunt Clara's Old Flame November 25, 1965
A Strange Little Visitor December 2, 1965
A Vision of Sugar Plums (repeat) December 23, 1965
My Baby, the Tycoon January 20, 1966
Fastest Gun on Madison Avenue February 3, 1966
Samantha, the Dressmaker February 24, 1966
Baby's First Paragraph March 10, 1966
Prodigy June 9, 1966

External Links[]

"Sunshine Before the Dark" by Kathleen Post, TV Radio Mirror article, June 1966. Retrieved on November 26, 2019 via Harpie's Bizarre.com.

Source[]

Alice Pearce on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on November 6, 2019.

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