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Veronica Lake

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This Gun For Hire DVD Veronica Lake stars in this adaptation of a classic noir novel by Graham Greene.... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

So Proudly We Hail! DVD Academy Award winner Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard and Veronica Lake star... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Connie Keane, Constance Keane, Constance Frances Marie Ockleman, Constance Keane Died: July 7, 1973
Born: November 14, 1919 Cause of Death: hepatitis
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA Profession: actor, barmaid

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An icy blonde whose trademark hairstyle - a cascade of golden tresses that obscured one heavy-lidded eye - remained among the enduring images of Hollywood glamour, Veronica Lake was for a time, one of the most popular and sought-after actresses in motion pictures. She starred in a handful of features that, though the years, earned legendary status, including the film noirs, "This Gun for Hire" (1942) and "The Blue Dahlia" (1946), as well as the smart comedies, "Sullivan's Travels" (1941) and "I Married a Witch" (1942). She also motivated a generation of women to imitate her cool sexuality and chic style, at the same time, causing an equal number of men - particularly fighting WWII G.I.s - to fall for her. Unfortunately, her success was short-lived, her star fizzling under the weight of personal tragedies, gossip and metal illness. Despite her fall from grace, Lake stood the test of time as a Tinseltown icon, inspiring tribute in songs, literature, and movies - most notably Kim Basinger's Academy Award-winning turn in "L.A. Confidential" (1997), as a prostitute whose glacial beauty is modeled after Lake.

An icy blonde whose trademark hairstyle - a cascade of golden tresses that obscured one heavy-lidded eye - remained among the enduring images of Hollywood glamour, Veronica Lake was for a time, one of the most popular and sought-after actresses in motion pictures. She starred in a handful of features that, though the years, earned legendary status, including the film noirs, "This Gun for Hire" (1942) and "The Blue Dahlia" (1946), as well as the smart comedies, "Sullivan's Travels" (1941) and "I Married a Witch" (1942). She also motivated a generation of women to imitate her cool sexuality and chic style, at the same time, causing an equal number of men - particularly fighting WWII G.I.s - to fall for her. Unfortunately, her success was short-lived, her star fizzling under the weight of personal tragedies, gossip and metal illness. Despite her fall from grace, Lake stood the test of time as a Tinseltown icon, inspiring tribute in songs, literature, and movies - most notably Kim Basinger's Academy Award-winning turn in "L.A. Confidential" (1997), as a prostitute whose glacial beauty is modeled after Lake.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Flesh Feast (1970) Dr. Elaine Frederick
2.
 Stronghold (1952) Maria Stevens
3.
 Slattery's Hurricane (1949) Dolores Greeves
4.
 Saigon (1948) Susan Cleaver
5.
 Isn't It Romantic (1948) Candy
6.
 The Sainted Sisters (1948) Letty Stanton
7.
 Variety Girl (1947)
8.
 Ramrod (1947) Connie Dickason
9.
 The Blue Dahlia (1946) Joyce Harwood
10.
 Miss Susie Slagle's (1946) Nan Rogers
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Grew up in Lake Placid NY and Miami FL
:
Won third prize in a beauty contest; encouraged by her mother, she moved to Hollywood in 1938
1939:
Made film debut in "All Women Have Secrets"
:
Was known as Constance or Connie Keane during her first few years in Hollywood; used stepfather's surname
1941:
Changed name to Veronica Lake
1941:
Achieved star status in "I Wanted Wings"
1942:
Co-starred with Alan Ladd for the first time in "This Gun for Hire"
1942:
Performed "A Sweater, a Sarong, and a Peekaboo Bang" with Paulette Goddard and Dorothy Lamour in Paramount's all-star review, "Star Spangled Rhythm"; Lake's vocal dubbed by Martha Mears
1946:
Made headlines when husband Andre De Toth assaulted 20 year old Seward Hewitt, a fan who tried to stroke Lake's famous locks
1947:
Loaned out to United Artists; acted in film directed by De Toth, "Ramrod"
1948:
Made last film under Paramount contract, "Isn't It Romantic?"
1949:
De Toth arranged for her to play second lead in his 20th Century Fox production, "Slattery's Hurricane"
1950:
Made television debut in CBS drama, "Shadow of the Heart"
1951:
Journeyed to Mexico to star in independent, low-budget film, "Stronghold", released in 1952
1951:
Lake and De Toth declared voluntary bankruptcy; $120,000 home sold at auction
1951:
Made stage debut in Atlanta in "The Voice of the Turtle" opposite Carl Betz
:
Stage work in 1950s included road tour of "Peter Pan" and stock productions of "The Gramercy Ghost", "Remains to Be Seen", "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", and "I Am a Camera"
1959:
Endured three years of professional inactivity; plagued by problems with children and several physical accidents
1962:
Discovered by reporter working as a barmaid in the Martha Washington Hotel, New York
1962:
Accepted offer of WJZ-TV in Baltimore to host their Saturday evening movie show
1962:
Named an innocent dupe in real-estate scam by New York State Attorney General's Office
1965:
Arrested for public drunkenness in Galveston TX
1966:
Returned to film acting in Canadian "Footsteps in the Snow"
:
Began working off-Broadway and in stock, then settled in England, where she appeared in "Madame Chairman" and "A Streetcar Named Desire"
1970:
Acted in last film (also co-produced), "Flesh Feast"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Miami High School: Miami , Florida -
Bliss Hayden School of Drama: Beverly Hills , California -
Roman Catholic Villa Maria School: -

Notes

"You could put all the talent I had in your left eye and still not suffer from impaired vision." --remark attributed to Veronica Lake, quoted in Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion, 8th ed.

In the early 1940s, US government officials asked Lake to wear her hair up for the duration of WWII: it seems that too many women working in factories were imitating her famous "peek-a-boo bang" and getting their hair caught in assembly-line machinery.

"Possibly no candidate for the pantheon of cinema love goddesses was admitted on such a gimmicky whim as Veronica Lake, whose sulky but beauteous face was characteristically half-obscured by tossed locks of her blonde hair....Her initial cinema popularity was extended by a fortuitous teaming with stone-faced Alan Ladd, he of the sloppy fedora and trenchcoat. They created a new brand of screen lovers: calculating, conscienceless, self-possessed individuals. Their love scenes together were the epitome of restrained ego-feeding, filled with non-sequitur conversation, wisps of cigarette smoke, and bristling icy stares.

The essence of hauteur, she proved the perfect screen bitch: a lithe, provocative figure, topped by luscious blonde hair partially revealing a lean face with slightly sunken cheeks, big cold eyes ... and the surprise of her husky, mature voice." --James Robert Parish ("The Paramount Pretties", 1972)

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
John Detlie. Art director. Born c. 1908; married on September 25, 1940; divorced in December 1943.
husband:
Andre de Toth. Director. Married on December 16, 1944; separated in June 1951; divorced in June 1952.
husband:
Joseph A McCarthy. Music publisher, songwriter. Married on August 28, 1955 in Traverse City, Michigan divorced in 1960.
companion:
Andy Elickson. Merchant seaman. Had four-year romance which ended with his death in September 1965 before they could be married.
husband:
Robert Carelton-Munro. English-born; married in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in June 1972; reportedly in the process of divorce at the time of Lake's death.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Constance Charlotta Ockleman.
father:
Harry Ockleman. Ship's master. Of German-Dutch extraction; killed in accident in February 1932.
step-father:
Anthony Keane. Illustrator. Married Lake's mother in 1933; staff artist with the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE; died on September 10, 1946.
daughter:
Elaine Detlie. Born on August 21, 1941.
son:
William Anthony Detlie. Born prematurely on July 8, 1943 after Lake tripped on a lighting cable while making "The Hour Before the Dawn" (1944); died on July 15, 1943 of uremic poisoning.
son:
Anthony Michael de Toth III. Born on October 26, 1945.
daughter:
Diane De Toth. Born on October 16, 1948.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Veronica" Citadel Press
"Peekaboo" St. Martin's Press

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