Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

Veronica Lake
From Dr. X's Free Associations Blog:

Often cast as the femme fatale, 4' 11" Veronica Lake was one of America's surest box office bets in the early 1940s. Although popular with the public and, initially, well-regarded as an actress, Lake quickly acquired a reputation for being difficult on the job and was disliked openly and immensely by her fellow actors. She was teamed with 5'5" Alan Ladd in 4 films, even though Ladd was among the actors who disliked Lake.

In 1943, scathing reviews of her performance in The Hour Before Dawn, the premature birth and death of her first child and divorce from her first of several husbands triggered a decline in Lake's career and personal life. Drinking took its toll and other actors refused to work with her. Lake, who had been making $4,500 a week, was released from her studio contract in 1948.

She continued her downward spiral ending up with IRS problems, moving between fleabag hotels and getting arrested repeatedly for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. She did an occasional film and published a well-received autobiography (now considered collectible), but by the late 1960s she had become crippled by paranoia. She died of hepatitis and renal failure in 1970 at the age of 50.

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