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.)
|by Anonymous||reply 112||01/15/2014|
Lake was a terrific actress and luminous in "I Married A Witch" and "Sullivan's Travels". Unfortuantely she was a monster to work and Hollywood couldn't kick her to the curb fast enough when her star faded.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||07/13/2012|
She got her break only because of him. He was tiny (5'4" I believe), and she was pretty much the only actress who was shorter than he was -- she must have been barely 5'0".
Sorry to hear her life went so far downhill.
Ladd too -- his son was a producer though, so he must have had some money. The son was the husband of Charlie's replacemnt Angel Cheryl Ladd.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||07/13/2012|
Here's an interesting article. Apparently, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia in her teens.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||07/13/2012|
Alan Ladd's wife was a big Hollywood agent. I vaguely remember hearing a story about how madly in love he was with June Allison. He seems to have suffered from depression and alcoholism.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||07/13/2012|
I love Veronica Lake and Laird Cregar.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||07/13/2012|
You can thank Alan Ladd Jr. for the existence of "Star Wars."
He was one of the most phenomenally successful movie moguls of the 70s & 80s.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||07/13/2012|
Alan was married to Sue Carroll who was NOT a pretty woman. I could never understand what that bond was. Carroll looked like Louella Parsons to me, all jowly and like she probably smelled like baby powder and stale piss!
|by Anonymous||reply 7||07/13/2012|
[quote]She got her break only because of him. He was tiny (5'4" I believe), and she was pretty much the only actress who was shorter than he was -- she must have been barely 5'0".
I'm surprised they even got contracts being so little and all.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||07/13/2012|
Veronica's peek-a-boo hairdo was a sensational fad, copied by young women in the early 1940s, even referenced and parodied in contemporary films like The Major and the Minor and Best Foot Forward.
As most of you probably know, she changed the look when the US government told her that Rosie the Riveters sporting the look were in danger of catching their hair in war-time factory machinery.
I don't think she was so much difficult as just one of those totally untrained girls who hadn't any acting technique and so couldn't always perform. She's mesmerizing onscreen but it's a very passive-aggressive sort of sexuality, like she's sleep-walking through the character.
Another film to catch her in is Paramount's patriotic So Proudly We Hail about navy nurses stationed in the Pacific with co-stars Claudette Colbert and Paulette Goddard.
She was one of Paramount's biggest female wartime stars, along with Goddard, Dorothy Lamour and Betty Hutton.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||07/13/2012|
She was as gorgeous and luminous as Lake, IMO.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||07/13/2012|
Alan ladd had a terrible time finding work because of his height. He was very handsome and had a great body (he trained to be an Olympic athlete), but from an early age he was called "Tony" by everyone and even ran a small hamburger shack in Hollywood in the 30s called "Tiny's Patio." He worked first as a grip on sets and then because he wanted to act became a radio actor--eventually I think Orson Welles recommended him for film work, and since Lake had already made it in Hollywood just before THIS GUN FOR HIRE (though she was just under five feet, her great beauty and screen presence had already allowed her leading roles in films like SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS), they cast him opposite her because they knew their sizes would not seem weird next to each other. They starred in four films together because they liked each other and had great chemistry, but also because they did not look ridiculous standing next to one another (normally his other, taller leading ladies had to stand in trenches or he would have to stand on a box for their close-up scenes).
|by Anonymous||reply 11||07/13/2012|
Goddard and Lake actually were very good friends. They sang a song together with Dorothy Lamour for some star-spangled all-star Paramount tribute to the troops filmed during the war called "A Sweater, a Sarong and a Peekaboo Bang"
|by Anonymous||reply 12||07/13/2012|
Veromnica Lake inspired one of my all-time favorite site gags in film--this is the military boy's school dance from THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR, when the cadets accompany Ginger Rogers (masquerading as a 12 year-old girl) and complain about the epidemic Lake has inspired at the neighboring girls' school, Miss Shackleford's--see 00:57 - 01:16 or so:
|by Anonymous||reply 13||07/13/2012|
R12, I wish I could see that!
|by Anonymous||reply 14||07/13/2012|
She was adorable in [italic]I Married a Witch[/italic].
|by Anonymous||reply 15||07/13/2012|
That number with the trio of Lake, Goddard and Lamour is (or at least once was) on youtube.
Look for it under the film's name Star Spangled Rhythym starring Betty Hutton. It's Paramount's WWII all-star propaganda extravaganza with most of the studio's stars onboard playing themselves.
It's very cute!
|by Anonymous||reply 16||07/13/2012|
Considering she was a WWII sex symbol, she never took a pin-up cheesecake photo. Or, at least, I can't remember ever seeing one.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||07/13/2012|
I'm usually not attracted to short guys, but I find the young Alan Ladd to be very hot.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||07/13/2012|
Was Alan Ladd too short to be drafted?
|by Anonymous||reply 20||07/13/2012|
I must have watched too much 'Top Model' because in looking at that photo I can't help but think that it would be better if she had pointed her right foot
|by Anonymous||reply 21||07/13/2012|
"Life's too short for two films with Veronica Lake." Joel McCRea
She was known as "The Bitch" and she deserved the title." Eddie Bracken
"Moronica Lake" Raymond Chandler
"So I guess I didn't have the worst rep on the Paramount lot." Betty Hutton
|by Anonymous||reply 22||07/13/2012|
Paulette Goddard, Dorothy Lamour, and Veronica Lake perform "A Sweater, a Sarong, and a Peekaboo Bang"
|by Anonymous||reply 23||07/13/2012|
I didn't know she was such a bitch.
I guess she was like the 40s equivalent of Val Kilmer - people will tolerate your bad behavior only as long as you are "hot" career-wise. Then they'll kick you to the curb as soon as your career starts to slip.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||07/14/2012|
And yet, my beauty and talent will allow me to escape the fate of such terribly behaved stars before me such as Veronica Lake, Val Kilmer, Sean Young, Winona Ryder, Deborah Winger, Maxwell Caulfield, Lawrence Tierney, etc., who got kicked to the curb once people heard how difficult they were and how horrible they were to everyone else on the set.
... and why will I escape their fate? Because I'm [bold]me!!![/bold]
|by Anonymous||reply 25||07/14/2012|
Wikipedia, FWIW, says Veronica had a long history of mental illness and instability even before she came to Hollywood and became a star so it seems the decks were stacked against her from birth.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||07/14/2012|
Thanks for the Major and The Minor link, R13. My favorite wisecrack: "We use 'em for women!"
|by Anonymous||reply 27||07/14/2012|
She wasn't particularly talented, but she had that whole movie star charisma thing in spades. At the link, completely charming as a singing (presumably dubbed) magician (huh?) in "This Gun For Hire."
|by Anonymous||reply 28||07/14/2012|
Edith Head said this about Lake:
"Her figure problems seemed insurmountable. She was short, like me, and very tiny, possibly the smallest normal adult I had ever seen. Her waist was the smallest in Hollywood: 20 3/4. That ws 5 1/2 smaller than the average waist. Far from a designer's dream like Dietrich or Lombard. Yet everyone was telling me to make sex symbol out of her. She had a good bust but I couldn't show it because of the Hays Office's anti-cleavage rules. I was forced to be extremely careful in every costume she wore. The fabrics I used in Veronica's clothes always had some type of vertical interest; horizontal lines would shorten her. I devised necklines that called attetion to her bust without actually exposing it. I always played up the fact that she had big breasts, which made her seem like a larger woman."
|by Anonymous||reply 29||07/14/2012|
Though Veronica was tiny, at least everything was in proportion. Compared to Garbo, Crawford and Shearer's physical deformities, she was a breeze.
Edith just constantly complained about everyone. It made her work and purported achievements seem so much more important.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||07/14/2012|
Head didn't complain. She merely pointed out flaws on an actress' figure.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||07/14/2012|
Every woman should be as physically "deformed" as Garbo, you nut.
Lake may have been a nightmare, but she was a dream in Sullivan's Travels.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||07/14/2012|
He was so terrific in Shane. Loved his voice too.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||07/14/2012|
Agree, her little musical magic act was cute.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||07/14/2012|
r31 can't you see that kind of talk was all part of Head's publicity machine? That way she could come off as some kind of a great artist/magician.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||07/14/2012|
What were Garbo, Shearer, and Crawford's so-called deformities?!
|by Anonymous||reply 36||07/15/2012|
Garbo had a thick waist, heavy legs and big feet.
Crawford had mannish shoulders, impossible hair and a short neck.
Shearer had short stubby legs, she was pigeon-toed and she had a lazy left eye.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||07/15/2012|
"Garbo had a thick waist, heavy legs and big feet."
No, she didn't. She wore a 7AA shoe, according to a guy who made shoes for her. The big feet rumor started because people wanted to believe Garbo had SOME kind of flaw and all they could come up with was big feet. Her waist wasn't thick and her legs weren't heavy. She had didn't have a large bust, which maybe some people consider a figure flaw, but a picture in Hollywood Babylon II of Garbo topless showed she had very nice, if not very big, breasts.
"Crawford had mannish shoulders, impossible hair and a short neck."
The "mannish shoulders" were heavy shoulder pads. Crawford was petite like a lot of movie stars were back then, but she actually had a pretty good body. Her major flaws were her teeth and her freckles. Her teeth, which were dark and unaligned, were fixed with extensive dental work. Her freckles were covered up with the spackle they used on movies stars back then, a very heavy make-up base.
"Shearer had short stubby legs, she was pigeon-toed and she had a lazy left eye."
Of course Shearer's major problem was her eye which had a "cast" in it; in other words, a wandering eye. According to her sympathetic biographer Gavin Lambert, she inherited the "male Shearer build; heavy-set, shoulders too broad, legs too sturdy, hands too blunt." Adrian, however, admired her "superb" head and shoulders. But in profile, her face looked "flawless--"patrician" became the favorite world of Hollywood columnists to describe the Shearer profile."
|by Anonymous||reply 38||07/15/2012|
[quote] Ladd too -- his son was a producer though, so he must have had some money. The son was the husband of Charlie's replacemnt Angel Cheryl Ladd.
That was David Ladd who was married to Cheryl. Alan Ladd, Jr. was the son who was the producer.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||07/15/2012|
In the 1930s, a size 7 shoe was considered large. 5 was average. If Garbo wore a 7AA (extremely narrow), then she looked like a capital L in profile.
Of course, today, a size 7 shoe is considered quite petite and below average.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||07/15/2012|
Veronica could deliver a good bitch slap as she does in So Proudly We Hail. Her autobiography, though long out of print, is well worth a read. She had no illusions about why she became a big star as she described herself as a sex zombie promoted due to her hair and tits. But she was good in comedy and had a terse magnetic presence perfect for film noir.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||07/15/2012|
Threads like THIS are why I come to DL.
I love you guys and gals.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||07/15/2012|
If you like this thread, go to the 'Who saw Garbo in person ?' thread. Lots of Garbo / Shearer bits. I love this stuff too. Don't think 50 years from now, people will be talking about Witherspoon, Aniston, and Lohan this way. Well, maybe comparisons to Lake & Lohan's mental illnesses.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||07/15/2012|
[quote]Don't think 50 years from now, people will be talking about Witherspoon, Aniston, and Lohan this way.
To be fair: It's not like we're talking about Jinx Falkenburg, June Haver, or Jane Powell this way either. The 40s had their share of forgettable starlets, too.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||07/15/2012|
R38, Crawford did have wide, manly shoulders. That's why they put her in shoulder pads. They couldn't hide the flaw so they emphasized it.
According to her when director Michael Curtiz first saw her on the set of MILDRED PIERCE he screamed, "I told you, no shoulder pads!" Whereupon he tore her blouse at the shoulder only to reveal that she was wearing no shoulder pads. She fled the set in tears and ever after she owned his apologetic ass.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||07/15/2012|
Also: I would bet you good money that in the 1940s that era's gay men of a certain age were waxing rhapsodically about Mrs. Howard Carter and Maud Adams and Anna Held, and saying, "Somehow I don't think 60 years from now people will be going on about Veronica Lake and Rita Hayworth this way!"
|by Anonymous||reply 46||07/15/2012|
Greta Garbo came along when the female ideal was petite and very small-boned, with narrow shoulders and tiny feet. Garbo was a big strong gal, with broad hips and shoulders, and no, she didn't have a tiny waist. Compared to her dainty peers, she looked like a sturdy peasant woman from the neck down, even after she lost a lot of weight.
Nature meant Joan Crawford to be short and chunky. If you ever watch her stand next to a dainty woman of the same height, her head, shoulders, and back look huge. She ruthlessly kept her weight down her whole life, and dressed to make her legs look long (as if) and disguised her naturally broad shoulders under puffs of fabric.
Since we're on the subject, Barbara Stanwyck was the one with the "REAL figure problem", according to her old designers. She had an extremely long waist and ridiculously short legs, and everything she wore was dsigned to correct her porportions. I don't know if they needed to, Stanwyck didn't need to be beautiful.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||07/15/2012|
Joan Crawford's teeth were jacked when she first came to Hollywood. They were all unaligned she had major dental work including caps to make them look good. This was in the 1920s when dentistry was still pretty medieval so I can only imagine how painful it must have been to get all that work done back in those days. It must have been excruciating to go through.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||07/15/2012|
Duly noted (and in my thread watcher).
|by Anonymous||reply 49||07/15/2012|
I can't seem to find the "Garbo In Person" thread. Would one of you be kind enough to link it here?
|by Anonymous||reply 50||07/16/2012|
I love "The Blue Dahlia". She was breathtaking.
I read her biography and she seemed troubled and turned her back on Hollywood. She went her own way, even if her later life wasn't so glamorous.
Alan and Veronica starred in "Saigon", a film I've never been able to find. Has anyone seen it?
|by Anonymous||reply 51||07/16/2012|
This has been a fascinating thread.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||07/17/2012|
Didn't Ladd drnk himself to death ? I seem to remember there being some suspicion around his death, in his Palm Springs home. Or was it just like William Holden, who was an alcoholic, was drunk, fell -hit his head on a bedside table , and bled to death, cause he was too drunk to call 911 . Anyone know Ladd's story ?
|by Anonymous||reply 55||07/20/2012|
Dick Cavett supposedly did an interview with her in the 1970s. I've tried to find it online, but most of the results are along the lines of "Dick Cavett supposedly did an interview with Veronica Lake and I've never seen it."
Anyone ever see it?
|by Anonymous||reply 56||07/25/2012|
Ladd was bisexual and committed suicide. I'm surprised you DLers don't read Kenneth Anger and Darwin Porter like I do.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||07/25/2012|
According to Anger, he tried first with a rifle and later succeeded with pills.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||07/25/2012|
And according to Darwin Porter, no less tan AUDIE MURPHY had to "sing for his supper" with Alan Ladd.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||07/25/2012|
Wonderful clip, R41.
Tearing as I type. Hard to believe she was also a comedienne.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||07/25/2012|
Audie Murphy always pinged for me, R59.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||07/25/2012|
Whatever you do, don't look up Lake's last movie on youtube. Makes Trog look like a triumph.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||07/25/2012|
OP, watch them together in Dashiell Hammett's The Glass Key.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||07/25/2012|
Veronica Lake in a black tie-front bikini
|by Anonymous||reply 64||12/16/2012|
We won't forget you Veronica!
|by Anonymous||reply 70||12/16/2012|
And I'll never forger 'Shane' with Alan Ladd.
One of the most beautiful movies i have ever seen. The direction was majestic. Such natural beauty! One of the most beautiful locations in a film. Words fail me...
Watch this movie, it will speak to your heart.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||12/16/2012|
Actually Alan Ladd was a repressed homosexual according to many rumors
In other words he was deeply in the closet
|by Anonymous||reply 73||12/16/2012|
A rare photo Veronica Lake
|by Anonymous||reply 74||12/16/2012|
Veronica with a furry friend
|by Anonymous||reply 78||12/16/2012|
Veronica Lake had always something sad on her
|by Anonymous||reply 79||12/16/2012|
Veronica with...don't ask me i don't know her
|by Anonymous||reply 80||12/16/2012|
Looool, i'm laughing my ass off!
|by Anonymous||reply 81||12/16/2012|
The Glass Key and the Blue Dahlia finally available on DVD - together! (see link)
And I love Alan Ladd in "The Carpetbaggers"
|by Anonymous||reply 83||12/16/2012|
There are naked pictures of Joan Crawford out there and she had short legs, long waist and no neck.
But the legs were a nice shape and so was most of the rest of her individually, she just wasn't all in proportion.
I don't know how she went from a cute choris girl type with big eyes to looking like a drag queen even when she was still young - maybe it's the jaw.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||12/27/2012|
R80, that looks like Edith Head with Veronica Lake.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||12/27/2012|
Veronica Lake with her daughters Elaine and Diane.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||12/27/2012|
Of course that's Edith Head with Veronica at r80!
Edith was the Resident Premier Costume Designer at Paramount where Veronica was under contract.
Why, she invented Dorothy Lamour's sarong at the same studio!
|by Anonymous||reply 88||12/27/2012|
Whoa, ok R88!
You are incredible. Ty for informing me.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||12/27/2012|
All I can see when I look at Paulette Goddard is a cock sucking whore.
|by Anonymous||reply 90||12/27/2012|
R90...eh...let's change the subject, hmmm...well...uh...lol
|by Anonymous||reply 91||12/27/2012|
Lana Turner on Paulette Goddard:
“I’d never seen anyone so beautiful and elegant, except at a distance. Although she had a delicious sense of humor, she still occupied a pedestal, and I was quite in awe of her. Someday, I told myself, I would be like her.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||12/27/2012|
Isn't that Ann Rutherford with the Misses Turner and Goddard?
Or is it Evelyn Keyes? I always mix those two up.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||12/27/2012|
Alan Ladd was lucky to be the lead in this superb film (Shane)
|by Anonymous||reply 95||01/09/2013|
Alan Ladd/son David at Home in Palm Springs Photo
|by Anonymous||reply 96||02/18/2013|
What do you mean R97????????????????
|by Anonymous||reply 98||02/18/2013|
Those dark thoughts of his...
|by Anonymous||reply 99||02/18/2013|
I think Jane Powell is still remembered today by anyone with a basic knowledge of MGM Musicals. Certainly more than Jinx Falkenberg.
|by Anonymous||reply 101||02/18/2013|
Alan Ladd thumbs through a large print edition of The Great Gatsby
|by Anonymous||reply 102||02/20/2013|
Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake, 'Sullivan’s Travels'
|by Anonymous||reply 103||03/13/2013|
Veronika Lake was a heavy drinker.
|by Anonymous||reply 104||03/19/2013|
she slept with many men i bet
|by Anonymous||reply 105||03/19/2013|
Joel McCrea deserves his own thread. He should have been a much bigger star.
I love him in The More the Merrier and Sullivan's Travels. Are there others of his films I should check out?
|by Anonymous||reply 106||03/19/2013|
R106, yes you are right about Joel McCrea. He was a very good actor and he deserves his own thread.
I recommend you to see 'The Palm Beach Story' with him and Claudette Colbert, a very nice movie and of course the beautiful western 'Ride the High Country'.
A bronze of Joel McCrea in Old Town Camarillo in the photo below
|by Anonymous||reply 107||03/20/2013|
I was not just a bimbo, i was a femme fatale.
|by Anonymous||reply 108||10/24/2013|
Alan Ladd & Veronica Lake preparing for a radio program
|by Anonymous||reply 109||01/15/2014|
I think that Veronica Lake was one of the most beautiful creatures in Hollywood history.
|by Anonymous||reply 110||01/15/2014|
Not sure why being short would impair their acting careers. Most actors I've seen in real life are tiny.
|by Anonymous||reply 111||01/15/2014|
From the brilliant Sullivan's Travels:
Policeman at Beverly Hills station: How does the girl fit into the picture?
John L. Sullivan: There's always a girl in the picture. What's the matter, don't you go to the movies?
|by Anonymous||reply 112||01/15/2014|