Veronica Lake, whose over-the-eye blonde tresses and fragile-tough girl looks made her a major box office attraction and pinup girl of World War II years, died Saturday in a Vermont hospital. She was Brown, also a favorite of s audiences. A spokesman at the Medical Center of Vermont in Burlington said death was caused by acute hepatitis. Her former publicity agent and long-time friend, William Roos in New York City, told The Times Saturday that Miss Lake was in good spirits and looking forward to a new movie role in a film which was to have begun production late this summer. He did not name the film. She had been in the Virgin Islands, Roos said, awaiting a divorce from her fourth husband Robert Carelton-Munro, a retired English naval officer. The divorce would have been made final Friday if she had been able to appear in court, he said. A third place title in a Florida beauty contest was the catalyst that sent her to Hollywood.
From Miami beauty contest to Hollywood fame
2. Little Ockelman
A faded star, her glamour days long past, is watching her old movies on the late show in a West Palm Beach hotel in In "Sunset Boulevard," actress Norma Desmond, played by Gloria Swanson, screens her silent films and famously declares, "We didn't need dialogue. We had faces! By then, Lake was three decades past her glory years of the s, when her famous "peekaboo" hairstyle of cascading blonde curls made her a memorable star of films such as "Sullivan's Travels," "I Married A Witch" and a string of thrillers with Alan Ladd. Her hair was shorter now, the peekaboo long gone. Years of alcohol abuse and hard times -- an overbearing mother, failed marriages, menial jobs, the death of a child -- were obvious on her face.
From Palm Beach stage to bad B-movie
Other pinups of her day may have been more racy Bettie Page , more leggy Bettie Grable , or more busty Jane Russell , but in my book none of them can touch her stunning beauty, poise and indelible mystique. I never did cheesecake like Ann Sheridan or Betty Grable. I just used my hair. Sadly, Her story was a tragic one. Beset by a troubled childhood, broken marriages, schizophrenia, and drinking woes most likely in an attempt to self-medicate —Veronica Lake was washed-up in Hollywood too early, and with little to live on besides her fading looks. But when you think about it, I got pretty far without changing attitudes.
Lake was best known for her femme fatale roles in film noirs with Alan Ladd during the s and her peek-a-boo hairstyle. By the late s, Lake's career began to decline, due in part to her alcoholism. She made only one film in the s, but made several guest appearances on television. She returned to the big screen in in the film Footsteps in the Snow , but the role failed to revitalize her career. Her final screen role was in a low-budget horror film, Flesh Feast