Brady, William A.

Brady, William A.
   The flamboyant actor, author, and producer was born in San Francisco, where he ushered at a theatre and became determined to go into management. William Aloysius Brady's 1937 memoir, Showman, colorfully recounts his first season as an actor touring the west in Bartley Campbell's The White Slave in the 1880s. Then he joined Joseph R. Grismer's company as a utility man and learned every aspect of the business while playing remote mining camps. After a stint with Lewis Morrison, Brady formed the Webster-Brady Company (with George Webster). He bought the stage rights to Dion Boucicault's melodrama After Dark, which proved lucrative.
   Brady came to New York as a producer in 1896. He featured James J. "Gentleman Jim" Corbett in several productions and even managed him as a heavyweight prizefighter. In 1938, when he was 75, Brady estimated that he had already produced over 260 shows. Among his most successful were Way Down East (1898) and Elmer Rice's Street Scene (1929). In 1899, Brady married actress Grace George. Brady built two New York theatres, the Playhouse (1911), where he had his offices, and the nearby 48th Street Theatre (1912). He was the father of actress Alice Brady.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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