Faye Facts

1912 or 1915?
America's No. 1 Song Plugger
Songs Introduced in Films that became Hit Parade Favorites

Top Ten Box Office Star
Did Betty replace Alice?
Set the record straight!

1912 or 1915?

Alice Faye was born May 5, 1915; some sources say May 5, 1912. At age13 Alice graduated from the 8th grade at Public School No. 84 in New York City. She was a good student with perfect attendance and was to enroll at Washington Irving High School. However, she decided to give up her education and go into show business. She had the figure of a more mature girl, and she tried out for and was accepted by the Earl Carroll Vanities.

When they discovered she was only 13, they politely dismissed her. Two years later, at age 15, she tried out for and landed a spot in the Chester Hale Vaudeville Unit. Afraid she might be dismissed again because of her age, she gave her year of birth as 1912, making them believe she was 18.

In an interview on American Movie Classics, Alice chuckled about the fact that she had gone through life with many references making her older than she actually was.

Contact with the public school system in New York City by Miles Kreuger, theatre and film historian, verified that her birth year was indeed 1915.


America's No. 1 Song Plugger

Alice Faye was voted America's No. 1 female song plugger by such celebrated composers as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Harry Warren. "There's something about the way Alice projects a song that spells immediate success for it" was the consensus of the Tin Pan Alley songsmiths.

Alice introduced almost twice as many hits in movies (23) as each of her closest competitors: Judy Garland (13), Betty Grable (12), and Doris Day (12). She was also successful in reviving standards such as "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "My Man," and "Rose Of Washington Square".


Songs Alice Introduced in Films that became Hit Parade Favorites

Nasty Man
I Feel a Song Comin' On
I'm Shooting High
When I'm With You
But Definitely
Sing, Baby, Sing
You Turned the Tables On Me
Goodnight My Love
He Ain't Got Rhythm
Slumming On Park Avenue
This Year's Kisses
I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
Wake Up and Live

Never In a Million Years
There's a Lull In My Life
Afraid To Dream
You're a Sweetheart
Now It Can Be Told
I Never Knew Heaven Could Speak
Blue Love Bird
You'll Never Know
No Love, No Nothin'
A Journey To a Star


Top Ten Box Office Star

Alice’s first film, "George White’s Scandals," was released in
1934.  Her rise in the Hollywood firmament was meteoric.
By 1938 the industry-respected SHOWMEN’S TRADE REVIEW
listed her as a top ten star.  Following is a listing of her box
office triumphs:    
        1938  -  No. 2 female box office star
	1939  -  No. 1 female box office star
	1940  -  No. 2 female box office star
	1941  -  No. 4 female box office star
         1942  -           (maternity leave)         
	1943  -  No. 4 female box office star

Note: During her 11-year association with Fox/Twentieth Century-Fox none of Alice's films lost money.

This includes her two pictures made at other studios: "Every Night at Eight" (Paramount 1935)

and "You're a Sweetheart" (Universal 1937)


Did Betty
replace Alice?

Did Betty Grable replace Alice Faye? Some sources have indicated so, but the facts say NO.

Because of Alice's illness, Betty did take over her role in Down ArgentineWay (1940). They then starred together playing sisters in Tin Pan Alley (1940). For the next five years they co-existed at 20th Century-Fox, each churning out hit after hit. Alice's last two musicals for the studio were among her biggest money-makers; however, her new family life meant much more to her than her career and she retired, relinquishing her title as Queen of the Fox lot to Betty.

Their screen personas were vastly different. Alice was primarily a singer who radiated warmth as she sang her ballads in those lovely, mesmerizing close-ups; Betty was primarily a dancer who was breezy and brash as she displayed her famous legs and wiggle. Betty loved her cheesecake image and insisted that her legs be prominently showcased in most of her films. Alice would occasionally display her voluptuous figure, especially during her early years, but after attaining top stardom, she dreaded and resisted it.

It should also be pointed out that neither Alice nor Betty felt any rivalry with the other, and they remained good friends until Betty's death in 1973.

Set the Record Straight!

Don't always believe what you read in newspapers/magazines, so-called reference books, eBay listings, or what you hear on television, etc.

Here are more facts-