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Priscilla Lawson

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Occupation  Film actress
Years active  1935-1941

Name  Priscilla Lawson
Role  Actress
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Full Name  Priscilla Shortridge
Born  March 8, 1914 (1914-03-08) Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Died  August 27, 1958, Los Angeles, California, United States
Spouse  Alan Curtis (m. 1937–1940), Gerald Lawson (m. 1932)
Movies  Flash Gordon, Double Wedding, Test Pilot, Rose Bowl
Similar People  Frederick Stephani, Ray Taylor, Alan Curtis, Victor Fleming, Richard Thorpe

Priscilla Lawson (March 8, 1914 – August 27, 1958), born Priscilla Shortridge, was an American actress best known for her role as Princess Aura in the original Flash Gordon serial (1936).


Priscilla Lawson Chatwin Mccown39s blog Priscilla Lawson

Cliffhanger Serial Slide Show Chapter 7: Emperor Ming's Daughter

Early years

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Lawson was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Shortridge of Indianapolis, Indiana. He was a railroad yard foreman.


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Lawson was a professional model by her early twenties and was named Miss Miami Beach in 1935. This gained her a contract with Universal Studios, which used her in a variety of small roles. However, in 1936 she was cast in the serial Flash Gordon as the voluptuous daughter of the villain, Ming the Merciless. Princess Aura's rivalry with Dale Arden for Flash Gordon's affection was one of the centerpieces of the serial and gained Lawson cult figure status.

Roy Kinnard wrote in Science Fiction Serials: A Critical Filmography of the 31 Hard SF Cliffhangers; With an Appendix of the 37 Serials with Slight SF Content, "Lawson's notable physical assets were responsible for incurring the wrath of censors" in the filming of Flash Gordon. Co-star Jean Rogers told him that censors ordered retakes of Chapter 1 of the serial with Lawson "wearing slightly less revealing garb."

Little is known of her post-Hollywood life. Lawson married Hollywood leading man Alan Curtis (1909-1953) in November 1937 and enlisted in the Women's Army Corps during World War II. An unverified rumor claims she lost a leg in an accident while serving in the Army. Another version is that she lost a leg in a 1937 car crash. However, her Flash Gordon co-star Jean Rogers denied that Lawson had lost a leg, and it was also rejected in a biographical review in an Indianapolis journal.

Lawson and her husband divorced in March 1940, and she then managed a stationery shop in Los Angeles, California.


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On August 27, 1958, Lawson died at 44 in Monrovia, California, due to cirrhosis and upper gastrointestinal bleeding caused by a duodenal ulcer. She was interred at Live Oak Memorial Park in Monrovia.

Selected filmography


  • The Great Impersonation (1935)
  • Test Pilot (1938)
  • The Girl of the Golden West (1938)
  • References

    Priscilla Lawson Wikipedia