Friday, March 19, 2010

"Va Va Voom" Star of the Day

June Lang
Hollywood in the 30’s brought this vivacious blonde to B-level stardom. Unfortunately her star burned out quickly: after appearing in over 30 films, her personal life was rocked with scandal, and the offers stopped coming.

Winifred June Vlasek was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 5, 1917. She was thrust in to show business almost immediately, dancing from age five. To encourage her talent, her family moved to Hollywood when she was around seven. She performed in a variety of vaudville shows. She matured quickly, especially when she worked in various chorus lines. At thirteen years of age, she was even cast in the show "Temptations of 1930" after lying to the dance director that she was 18.

June worked as an extra through 1930-1932. Fox Studios took an interest in her after a director saw her perform a swimming routine. Her first speaking role was in the 1932 film Chandu the Magician. The roles came slowly, and through 1933 to 1939 she had a steady stream of jobs. Even though she was effervescent and photogenic, June never received primary roles in the "B" films in which she was cast.

In 1938, Fox sent June to England to film So This is London but due to the threat of war, she abandoned the set and fled home. Fox punished her by canceling her contract. To compound her downfall, her 1939 marriage to Chicago mobster Johnny Roselli stained her Hollywood reputation permanently.

Although June denied knowledge of her husband's mob-related activities and the couple did eventually divorce, her career never recovered from the bad press. The film roles diminished, and she tried some television appearances in the 1950s and early 1960s, but never fully reached the A list of celebrity. June died in 2005 and was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetary in Los Angeles, almost an unknown to this generation.


pixie said...

Was everyone more beautiful in those days, or was it just the movie stars? Classy, classy lady.

Sweepea said...

I think the beauty comes from the classic look and style of the era, and the black and white photographs don't hurt, either!