Veronica Lake

  1. Ellen Drew, Night Plane From Chunking, 1942.     For Lake read Drew and for Albert Dekker read Steven Geray in Robert Preston’s last film before going to a real war. (He was back in The Macomber Affair, 1946). Yes, Harry Hervey’s story wasn’t new. In 1931, it formed the basis of Marlene’s Shanghai Express.
  2. Lauren Bacall, To Have And Have Not, 1944.    Paramount would not release their hot property so director HowardHawks, who started shooting without a leading lady,created his own.And Bogie and Bacall are remembered longer than Parmount’s Alan Ladd and Lake, even though Hawks said: “Bacall just happened by accident.”
  3. Gail Russell, The Univited, 1943.     Lake and Helen Walker  tested for the (very) fetching phantom in Hollywood’s first serious ghost story.  Much more than a haunted house number.
  4. Carol Thurston, The Story of Dr Wassell, 1943.   Almost an eighth Alan Ladd-Veronica Lake movie. Miss Peek-a-boo, tested with Yvonne De Carlo, Simone Simon and Elena Verdugo for CB De Mille’s true WWII drama as the courageous Java nurse Tremartini – inevitably nicknamed Three Martini.
  5. Loretta Young, And Now Tomorrow, 1944.    Naturally Lake was expected to co-star as per usual  with Alan Ladd, back home from WWII. (For an overall  total eight films together). Except this was no way for Paramount to welcome him back. For, as New York Times critic Bosley Crowther put it,  “Thisis a very stupid film.”
  6. Joan Blondell, The Corpse Came COD, 1946.      Murder in Hollywood… finding room for the dreadful gossip-hens Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons!  Blondell was easier on the eye as the girl of reporter George Brent. German director Fritz Lang wanted to make the film. Henry Levin did. Not the same thing. Not at all.
  7. Peggy Cummins, Gun Crazy (aka Deadly Is the Female), 1949.    Director Joseph H Lewis lost Lake and won the Welsh-born Cummins opposite John Dall. The Lewis   film  – based on Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow – could be called the progenitor  the US independent cinema. A little film   that grew… into a gem. 
  8. Mona Freeman, Shadow of Fear, 1955.    Finished in Hollywood after herroaring40s,Lakeand director husband André de Toth announced this Britishthriller in 1950under the original title: Before I Wake. Said Lake about her career: “I wasn’t a sex symbol, I was a sex zombie.”
  9. Vivien Leigh, A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951.   Numerous actresses came by Marlon Brando’s Broadway dressingroomto er, auditon for the movie.He’d get through three a night (and then some guys!). Only the 40s pin-up truly wanted to be Blanche DuBois. The play’s producer, Irene Mayer Selznick, agreed. Before turning to Bette Davis, Miriam Hopkins…until finishing with Viv, justlike her ex-husband, producer David Selznick, did for Gone With The Wind.


 Birth year: 1919Death year: 1973Other name: Casting Calls:  9