Veronica Lake

Happy birthday to actress VeronicaLakeVeronica Lake, born Nov. 14, 1922 in Brooklyn, NY. After graduating high school in 1938, Lake’s family moved her from Miami, Florida to Beverly Hills, CA so she could enroll in the Bliss Hayden School of Acting. In addition to her exceptional beauty and natural charm, the family felt acting would be good treatment for her diagnosis as a schizophrenic. Starting in 1939, Lake appeared in several small roles for RKO and eventually signed with Paramount in 1941. Her breakthrough movie was I Wanted Wings (1941), in which she established her trademark “peek-a-boo” look of long blonde hair covering her right eye. She appeared in 20 more films in the 1940s, some being very successful, while others failing badly at the box office and with critics. Among her successful outings were three classic noir films, in which she was paired with Alan Ladd: This Gun for Hire (1942), The Glass Key (1942), and The Blue Dahlia (1946). But by 1950, Lake’s film career was in severe decline – none of her recent pictures had been a success and she was drinking heavily, which made her difficult to work with. Her final film of the decade was Stronghold (1951), which was not well-received. At this point, she and her second husband, director Andre de Toth, were forced to file for bankruptcy and Lake moved back to New York on her own, where she started appearing on television and in small stage productions until she collapsed on stage in 1955. In 1962, it was reported she was working as a barmaid and living in a cheap hotel in New York. She made a handful of television and stage appearances in the 1960s and appeared in two more low-budget films before her death, the thriller Footsteps in the Snow (1966) and a horror film, Flesh Feast (1970). Lake died of hepatitis in 1973 at age 50.

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