|Now we know why Alice Joyce is and always has been our favorite screen wife and mother. Practice makes perfect, they say, and when a charming mother has such a subject on which to practice as little Peggy Regan, no wonder she's perfect.|
"I've been getting married," says Miss Joyce, "and, recently, looking for a good part to play. Now I'm back to the screen to stay, and both my husband and I are delighted"
By E.V. Durling
|Alice Joyce has been selected by artists as an ideal of feminine beauty, but she is more than beautiful. She is a charming and accomplished actress--and a charming and very real woman.
AFTER a too-prolonged absence from the screen, Alice Joyce has delighted the picture patrons. Not only did she appear with George Arliss in "The Green Goddess," but she has signed a contract to make several pictures. Now she is in Europe, making the "Passionate Adventurer" for Myron Selznick. Few actresses had or have the personal following of Alice Joyce. When she married and retired from pictures, there were weeping and wailing.
"She'll never come back," said her admirers. "They never do. Her husband will object. You can't mix a career and a home."
And now that she's back she's just as charming just as talented as ever. She is back to stay, she says, and she scoffs at the idea that husbands and careers can't get along together--that is, if the husband and the career are of the right kind.
For many reasons, both the picture producers and the patrons should be glad. There are not many actresses like Alice Joyce. Not only has she remarkable talent, but she is an exceptionally charming woman and she possesses to a high degree what Broadway tersely but expressively terms "class."
Alice Joyce is Fifth Avenue personified. She is what visitors from the provinces expect to see when they have luncheon at the Ritz or tea at the Plaza. One of New York's royalty in fact, possessing that indefinable something which makes hardened headwaiters lose their air of superiority, saleswomen cast aside their cloak of belligerency and haughty, hard-boiled taxi drivers assume an air of servility. Money can't buy nor finishing schools bring the ease and grace of the Joycean type. You're either born that way or you are not.
She is very "regular." Sincere, without affectation, modest, with a good sense of humor, and never voluntarily talks about herself.
Women who read this probably will ask, "What did she have on?" As to what the lady wore the first day I talked to her, I am not positive, except that the prevailing color was black, properly and unobtrusively decorated, or, should I say? trimmed with some materials of the type Joseph probably used in his coat of many colors.
At the first night of "The Green Goddess," in which picture she returned to the screen, she wore a brown evening gown, I think, and when I saw her not long ago at luncheon her general scheme of attire was also brown.
In this connection, Miss Joyce said that hereafter she is going to dress in a more "striking" fashion. All her life, she says, she has leaned towards simplicity in attire, but in the future she is going to try to it the spectators right between the eyes, as it were.
Not so long ago Miss Joyce married James B. Regan, Jr., son of the owner of the late and very much lamented Knickerbocker Hotel. As Mrs. Regan, she enjoys--in addition to what Nature has so generously given her--social position, wealth and an altogether wonderful home life. She has two children, both girls. In the winter the Regans live on park Avenue, New York. Their summer home is at Allenhurst, N.J. and they also have a mountain camp in the Adirondacks. They make an annual trip to Europe, and also the regular social pilgrimages to Palm Beach and Hot Springs. So it can be readily seen Alice Joyce has achieved the maximum of what every woman wants.
"First," she said appealingly, "please correct the impression that I retired from the screen. I never did, and what's more, I never expect to. My ambition is some time to be the grand old lady of the movies and write a book of reminiscences of the days when the industry was in its infancy."
"But," I interrupted." If you haven't retired, where have you been? Everybody's been asking for you."
"I've been getting married, having a honeymoon, and perhaps least, I have been looking for a good part to play.
"It has been said that my husband, or, as a catty Chicago critic puts it, my 'latest husband,' did not want me to appear in the movies. Nothing is further from the truth. He has given me considerable reason to believe that he is anxious to have me return. Confidentially, I think he is proud of me. Isn't that nice?
"It is my husband's idea," she continued, "and mine too, that absence, instead of making the hearts of the screen fans grow fonder, hastens one on the road to oblivion. And if there is anything I dread, it's oblivion.
"You know," she went on, in a manner which left no doubt of her sincerity, "that every actress longs to achieve, attain, reach or have thrust upon her that position in which she doesn't have to play a part unless she wants to. I have been fortunate enough to have done so, and I don't mind saying I love it. I haven't enjoyed myself so much in years as I have recently, grandly rejecting parts. It is such a satisfying feeling. But I couldn't resist Arthur Friend when he offered me the part of Mrs. Crespin in 'The Green Goddess.'
"So," concluded Alice, "now you know why I am where I am today. Back in the studio to stay."
"So far," said I, "so good. But you have resumed your career and comparative peace seems to reign here in the Regan home. How come?"
"I have read considerable about that career versus home problem," answered Alice, "but in my opinion its solution centers around two things. Picking the right career and the right husband.
"Of course," she added, "There must be compromises on the wife's part. No married woman can become completely absorbed in a career and make a success of matrimony. History and the daily news reports prove that.
"In the first place, no man of any degree of sense flatly opposes a woman whether she be his wife, fiancee or daughter. Immediately he does that, the lady wants the thing in question more than ever.
"The successful husband may inwardly be very opposed to a career for his wife, but he does not show it. He encourages her, helps her in every way, and then, if she is the right sort of woman, the wife will realize and appreciate his sacrifices and make some in turn, thus effecting a compromise.
"Then there are the children. Nine times out of ten they furnish the solution. Isn't it the truth that the career argument results fatally and ends in divorce more in the childless home than any other?"
Then came a pause. Alice Joyce was lost in thought.
"Anyway," she resumed, "it all depends on the people themselves. There is nothing so futile as blanket advice. One rule for all? It can't be done. All I can say is as I said first, 'pick the right husband.'"
"What," I inquired, "is your idea of the right sort of husband?"
"You must come up some time," replied Alice, "and meet Mr. Regan."