Jump to content

Lucy's Movie Stand-In/Stunt Woman Dies at 94


Recommended Posts

This woman's sole IMDB credit lists her as Lucy's stand-in for Room Service, but her extensive career and association with Lucy is fleshed out in this obituary (although I can't imagine why Lucy would needed a stand-in as early as 1934! Hmm...)




While taking college classes in Los Angeles, Alice Broderick met a casting director who helped her become a stuntwoman in "oaters" — cowboy movies.


Hollywood's top 1930s stunt men taught her how to fall off a horse and escape down a canyon while chased by five horses.


She got parts in 68 movies, including 40 with Lucille Ball,who became a friend, and 28 Westerns, appearing with cowboy star Hopalong Cassidy and his famous white horse, Topper.


After meeting a man from St. Louis, they eloped and moved back to the Gateway City.


Alice B. Broderick was 94 when she died Saturday (Jan. 22, 2011) at Health Care Center of Friendship Village West in Chesterfield. She had been ill after a stroke and from battling Parkinson's disease, her family said. .


She was 10 days old when her father, a switchman for the railroad, was killed after an engine backed over him near their home in La Junta, Colo.


She was a year old when her mother left her to be raised by relatives. Her grandfather owned land and a saloon, and her four uncles taught her poker.


After high school, she moved to Los Angeles, where she swapped college for a job in a low-budget film.


She became a stunt double, taught by Clif Lyons and Yakima Canutt, whom she described as famous for the chariot scene in "Ben-Hur" and the recover-the-reins scene in "Stagecoach."


"I didn't know beans when I started, and these men carried me through," she wrote in an unpublished memoir, "To Hollywood and Back Again."


Some of what she saw made her uncomfortable.


"The producers of these films didn't care whether the horses or even the actors got hurt," she wrote. "In fact, in those days, they would run them off of a cliff if the scene called for it."


In 1934, a producer got her the "role of a lifetime — that of Lucille Ball's stand-in on her movie sets." They remained lifelong friends, with Mrs. Broderick returning decades later to help with rehab after Lucy suffered a stroke.


Mrs. Broderick used the stage name Alice Eldridge and got small parts with Lucy in "Top Hat," "Follow the Fleet," "That Girl from Paris" and 37 other movies.


In 1939, she met Johnny Broderick on a blind date at the Coconut Grove. They eloped after six months, got married before a justice of the peace and later said their vows at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Santa Monica, Calif. The Post-Dispatch carried a story on their marriage.


In 1943, Johnny Broderick was called back to St. Louis, where his family business won a big contract making wire rope for the Navy during World War II.


Mrs. Broderick said she was ready for the change after horses on a Western set nearly trampled her.


In St. Louis, she did radio shows with Jack Dempsey, Ed Wilson and some of her Hollywood friends. Lloyd Bridges did a live interview from her home during his "Sea Hunt" TV show days.


The Brodericks had three children. When they were teens, she became a travel agent and saw the world. Back home, she took groups of blind children to the Zoo.


Her husband held an elected position as a Frontenac police judge presiding over traffic court. He wasn't a lawyer, "but he did know a lot of police judges and lawyers," she wrote. She attended political social parties to help him "and partly to have fun."


Her husband died in 1988.


In her memoir, Mrs. Broderick said that parts of her life "could have filled the pages of today's celebrity magazines," but her family was most important.


"That is what I want others to take away from the story of my life," she wrote.


Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Feb. 3 at St. Louis Abbey Church, 500 South Mason Road, on the campus of St. Louis Priory School in Creve Coeur. Burial will be private at Oak Hill Cemetery.


Among the survivors are a daughter, Anne Broderick of Ludington, Mich.; two sons, John W. Broderick, also of Ludington, and Bryan P. Broderick of Camdenton, Mo.; and two grandchildren.



Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...