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Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd

I recently saw THIS GUN FOR HIRE for the first time and they both just magnetized my attention. They're co-starred with two men who were bigger stars than either of them at the time, Robert Preston and Laird Cregar, both of whom were fin actors. But you can't look at anyone besides Ladd and Lake. They both had terrible later lives after their careers fizzled out in the early 50s. Ladd in particular had a horrible ending, dying of uremic poisoning for alcoholism. Lake worked for a while when her career ended as a cocktail waitress at the Martha Washington Hotel in NYC: she apparently didn't mind it, but when a reporter wrote it up, everyone was horrified and sent her job offers, and she started acting again. (Her former lover Marlon Brando immediately sent her a check for a thousand dollars, and she never cashed it--instead she framed it to show her friends how sweet he was.)

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