Edna Purviance's bio

Currently working on Edna Purviance's family biography.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Alice Chapple Judd, former Mrs. Wheeler Dryden

Alice Chapple Judd, the former wife to Charlie Chaplin's half-brother Wheeler Dryden, died December 25, 2005, in Glendale, California. She was 94 years old.

Alice was the mother to Spencer Dryden (drummer for Jefferson Airplane), who died January 2005.

Alice was born September 18, 1911, in Bayonne, New Jersey and was a longtime resident of Glendale, California. In the 1930's, she was a prima ballerina in New York.

She is survived by two step-daughters, seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchilden and longtime friend and advisor, David Banta.

Special thanks to Paul Carpenter for this information. Also, I added Paul's interesting and informative comments on this below.

"There is not a lot of information on Wheeler Dryden's relatively brief marriage to Alice Chapple - sources indicate they were married from about 1938 until 1944, the early years of Wheeler's employment at the Chaplin Studios. Chaplin biographer David Robinson wrote in his 1985 book that the marriage may have been undone by Wheeler's single-minded devotion to his famous half-brother.

Robinson also alludes that Wheeler was an emotionally fragile man prone to odd behavior. His sad decline into isolation and paranoia in the years after both Charlie and Sydney left America (as described to Robinson by the Chaplins' cousin Betty Tetrick) seems to bear this out.

It is unfortunate that we have no record of interviews with Ms. Chapple, regarding either her recollections of the Chaplins, or her own interesting life. If anyone knows of any more information, please forward it on." - Paul Carpenter

3 comments:

Edna's Place said...

Thanks to Paul for the correction.

Paul C. said...

There is not a lot of information on Wheeler Dryden's relatively brief marriage to Alice Chapple - sources indicate they were married from about 1938 until 1944, the early years of Wheeler's employment at the Chaplin Studios. Chaplin biographer David Robinson wrote in his 1985 book that the marriage may have been undone by Wheeler's single-minded devotion to his famous half-brother. Robinson also alludes that Wheeler was an emotionally fragile man prone to odd behavior. His sad decline into isolation and paranoia in the years after both Charlie and Sydney left America (as described to Robinson by the Chaplins' cousin Betty Tetrick) seems to bear this out. It is unfortunate that we have no record of interviews with Ms. Chapple, regarding either her recollections of the Chaplins, or her own interesting life. If anyone knows of any more information, please forward it on.

Edna's Place said...

Thanks Paul! It would be interesting to know more about her.