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Veronica Lake

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Film actress

Veronica Lake


1.5 m

Veronica Lake httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons55

Full Name
Constance Frances Marie Ockelman

November 14, 1922 (
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

Cause of death
Hepatitis and acute renal failure

Other names
Constance KeaneConnie Keane

St. Bernard's SchoolVilla MariaMiami High School

July 7, 1973, Burlington, Vermont, United States

Robert Carleton-Munro (m. 1972–1973)

Elaine Detlie, Andre Michael De Toth III, Diana De Toth, William Detlie

Sullivan's Travels, This Gun for Hire, I Married a Witch, The Blue Dahlia, The Glass Key

Similar People
Alan Ladd, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, Gene Tierney

Years active
1939–1954; 1966; 1970

An asmr biography veronica lake hollywood pin up queen movie star schizophrenic

Veronica Lake (born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman; November 14, 1922 – July 7, 1973) was an American film, stage, and television actress. Lake won both popular and critical acclaim for her role in Sullivan's Travels and for femme fatale roles in film noirs with Alan Ladd, during the 1940s. She was also well known for her peek-a-boo hairstyle. Lake's career had begun to decline by the late 1940s, in part due to her alcoholism. She made only one film in the 1950s but appeared in several guest-starring roles on television. She returned to the screen in 1966 with a role in the film Footsteps In the Snow, but the role failed to revitalize her career.



Lake released her memoirs, Veronica: The Autobiography of Veronica Lake, in 1970. She used the money she made from the book to finance a low-budget horror film Flesh Feast. It was her final onscreen role. Lake died in July 1973 from hepatitis and acute kidney injury at the age of 50.

Veronica Lake Veronica LakeAnnex

Veronica lake interview 1952 eloise salutes the stars


Veronica Lake Veronica Lake Muses Cinematic Women The Red List

Lake was born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Her father, Harry Eugene Ockelman, was of German and Irish descent, and worked for an oil company aboard a ship. He died in an industrial explosion in Philadelphia in 1932. Lake's mother, Constance Frances Charlotta (née Trimble; 1902–1992), of Irish descent, married Anthony Keane, a newspaper staff artist, also of Irish descent, in 1933, and Lake began using his surname. The Keanes lived in Saranac Lake, New York, where young Lake attended St. Bernard's School for a time, then was sent to Villa Maria, an all-girls Catholic boarding school in Montreal, Canada, from which she was expelled. Lake later claimed she attended McGill University and took a premed course for a year, intending to become a surgeon. With this being included in many press biographies (although she later declared her claim was a fabrication), Lake felt guilty and subsequently apologized to the president of McGill who was simply amused when she explained her habit of self-dramatizing. But when her stepfather fell ill during her second year, the Keane family later moved to Miami, Florida. Lake attended Miami High School, where she was known for her beauty. She had a troubled childhood and was diagnosed with schizophrenia, according to her mother.

Constance Keane

Veronica Lake Veronica Lake Physical Beauty Photo 37709214 Fanpop

In 1938, the Keanes moved to Beverly Hills, where Lake enrolled in the Bliss-Hayden School of Acting (now the Beverly Hills Playhouse). She made friends with a girl named Gwen Horn and accompanied her when Horn went to audition at RKO. She was briefly contracted to MGM and studied at that studio's acting farm, the Bliss Hayden theatre. She appeared in the play Thought for Food in January 1939. In She Made Her Bed, the theatre critic from the Los Angeles Times called her "a fetching little trick".

Veronica Lake Old Hollywood Book Reviews Peekaboo The Story of

She also appeared as an extra in a number of movies. Keane's first appearance on screen was for RKO, playing a small role among several coeds in the film Sorority House (1939). The part wound up being cut out of the film but she was encouraged to continue. Similar roles followed, including All Women Have Secrets, Young as Your Feel, Forty Little Mothers and Dancing Co-Ed. Forty Little Mothers was the first time she let her hair down on screen.

She attracted the interest of Fred Wilcox, an assistant director, who shot a test scene of Lake performing from a play and showed it to an agent. The agent, in turn, showed it to producer Arthur Hornblow Jr. who was looking for a new girl to play the part of a nightclub singer in a military drama, I Wanted Wings (1940). Still, in her teens, the role would make her a star. It was Hornblow who changed her name to Veronica Lake. According to him, her eyes, "calm and clear like a blue lake", were the deciding factor in her new name.


It was during the filming of I Wanted Wings that Lake developed her signature look. Lake's long blonde hair accidentally fell over her right eye during a take and created a "peek-a-boo" effect. "I was playing a sympathetic drunk, I had my arm on a table... it slipped... and my hair- it was always baby fine and had this natural break- fell over my face... It became my trademark and purely by accident", she recalled.

I Wanted Wings was a big hit, The hairstyle became Lake's trademark and was widely copied by women.

Even before the film came out, Lake was dubbed "the find of 1941". However Lake did not think this meant she would have a long career and maintained her goal was to be a surgeon. "Only the older actors keep on a long time ... I don't want to hang on after I've reached a peak. I'll go back to medical school", she said. Paramount announced two follow up movies, China Pass and Blonde Venus. Instead, Lake was cast in Sullivan's Travels for Preston Sturges with Joel McCrea. She had been six months pregnant when filming began.

Paramount put her in a thriller, This Gun for Hire (1942); her love interest was Robert Preston but she shared more scenes with Alan Ladd and the two of them would be so popular together they would be reteamed in lead roles for three more films. Both had cameos in Star Spangled Rhythm (1942), an all-star Paramount movie.

She was meant to be reunited with McCrea in another comedy, I Married a Witch, (also 1942) produced by Sturges, and directed by René Clair, but McCrea refused to act with her again, reportedly saying "Life's too short for two films with Veronica Lake". Production was delayed, enabling Lake to be reunited with Ladd in The Glass Key (again 1942), replacing Patricia Morison. The male lead in I Married a Witch was eventually played by Fredric March and the resulting movie, like The Glass Key, was successful at the box-office. René Clair, the director of I Married a Witch, said of Lake "She was a very gifted girl, but she didn't believe she was gifted."

Lake was meant to co-star with Charles Boyer in Hong Kong for Arthur Hornblow, but it was not made. She received acclaim for her part as a suicidal nurse in So Proudly We Hail! (1943). At the peak of her popularity, she earned $4,500 a week.

Although popular with the public, Lake had a complex personality and acquired a reputation for being difficult to work with. Eddie Bracken, her co-star in Star Spangled Rhythm, in which Lake appeared in a musical number, was quoted as saying, "She was known as 'The Bitch' and she deserved the title." (However, Lake and McCrea did make another film together, the 1947 production Ramrod.) During filming of The Blue Dahlia (1946), screenwriter Raymond Chandler referred to her as "Moronica Lake".

During World War II, Lake changed her trademark peek-a-boo hairstyle at the urging of the government to encourage women working in war industry factories to adopt more practical, safer hairstyles. Although the change helped to decrease accidents involving women getting their hair caught in machinery, doing so may have damaged Lake's career. She also became a popular pin-up girl for soldiers during World War II and traveled throughout the United States to raise money for war bonds.

Later career

In June 1944, Lake appeared at a war bond drive in Boston, where her services as a dishwasher were auctioned off. She also performed in a revue, with papers saying her "talk was on the grim side". Hedda Hopper later claimed this appearance was responsible for Paramount giving her the third lead in Out of this World, supporting Diana Lynn, saying "Lake clipped her own wings in her Boston bond appearance... It's lucky for Lake, after Boston, that she isn't out of pictures".

Lake's career faltered with her unsympathetic role as Nazi spy Dora Bruckman in The Hour Before the Dawn (1944). Scathing reviews of The Hour Before the Dawn included criticism of her unconvincing German accent. She had begun drinking more heavily during this period, and a growing number of people refused to work with her. Lake had a number of months off work, during which time she lost a child and was divorced. She was brought back in Bring on the Girls (1945), Lake's first proper musical (although she had sung in This Gun for Hire and Star Spangled Rhythm). There were two more movies with Bracken, Out of This World and Hold That Blonde (both also 1945).

Lake then made two films produced by John Houseman, Miss Susie Slagle's and The Blue Dahlia (both 1946). While waiting for the films to be released in 1945, she took stock of her career claiming, "I had to learn about acting. I've played all sorts of parts, taken just what came along regardless of high merit. In fact, I've been a sort of general utility person. I haven't liked all the roles. One or two were pretty bad".

One role Lake really liked was Hold That Blonde (1945), supporting Eddie Bracken (in a part turned down by Bob Hope). "It's a comedy, rather like what Carole Lombard used to do ... It represents a real change of pace". She thought she had a good part in The Blue Dahlia.

Lake expressed interest in renegotiating her deal with Paramount:

The studio feels that way about it too. They have indicated they are going to fuss more about the pictures in which I appear. I think I'll enjoy being fussed about... I want this to be the turning point and I think that it will. I am free and clear of unpleasant characters, unless they are strongly justified. I've had a varied experience playing them and also appearing as heroines. The roles themselves haven't been noteworthy and sometimes not even especially spotlighted, but I think they've all been beneficial in one way or another. From here on there should be a certain pattern of development, and that is what I am going to fight for if necessary, though I don't believe it will be because they are so understanding here at Paramount.

She made her first film outside Paramount since she became a star, a Western, Ramrod (1947), directed by her then-husband Andre DeToth, which reunited her with Joel McCrea, despite his earlier reservation. Back at her home studio she had a cameo in Variety Girl (1947) then was united with Ladd for the last time in Saigon (1948), in which she returned to her former peek-a-boo hairstyle; the movie was not particularly well received. Neither was a romantic drama, Isn't It Romantic (also 1948) or a comedy The Sainted Sisters (1948). In 1948 Paramount decided not to renew Lake's contract.

Leaving Paramount

Lake moved to 20th Century Fox to make Slattery's Hurricane (1949), directed by DeToth. It was only a support role and there were not many other offers. In 1950 it was announced she and DeToth would make Before I Wake (from a suspense novel by Mel Devrett) and Flanagan Boy. Neither was made. She appeared in Stronghold (1951), which she later described as "a dog", an independent production from Lippert Pictures shot in Mexico. (She later sued for unpaid wages on the film.) Lake and DeToth filed for bankruptcy that same year.

The IRS later seized their home for unpaid taxes. On the verge of a nervous breakdown and bankrupt, Lake ran away, left DeToth, and flew alone to New York.

New York

In the summer of 1951, she was fed up; two marriages had failed, and she was typecast in Hollywood as a sex symbol. As a result of her disillusionment with Hollywood and not liking what it did with people, she walked out on Hollywood, took her three children, and headed to New York to restart her career. Lake wanted to leave her sexy image behind, and New York offered the opportunity to work in theater and the new medium, television.

"They said, 'She'll be back in a couple of months'", recalled Lake. "Well I never returned. Enough was enough already. Did I want to be one of the walking dead or a real person?"

She performed in summer stock and in stage roles in England. In October 1955, she collapsed in Detroit, where she had been appearing on stage in The Little Hut.

Later years

After her third divorce, Lake drifted between cheap hotels in New York City, and was arrested several times for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. In 1962, a New York Post reporter found her living at the all-women's Martha Washington Hotel in Manhattan, working as a waitress downstairs in the cocktail lounge. She was working under the name "Connie de Toth". Lake said she took the job in part because "I like people. I like to talk to them".

The reporter's widely distributed story led to speculation that Lake was destitute. After the story ran, fans of Lake sent her money which she returned as "a matter of pride". Lake vehemently denied that she was destitute and stated, "It's as though people were making me out to be down-and-out. I wasn't. I was paying $190 a month rent then, and that's a long way from being broke". The story did revive some interest in Lake and led to some television and stage appearances, most notably in the 1963 off-Broadway revival of the musical Best Foot Forward.

In 1966, she had a brief stint as a TV hostess in Baltimore, Maryland, along with a largely ignored film role in Footsteps In the Snow. She also continued appearing in stage roles. She went to Freeport in the Bahamas to visit a friend and ended up living there for a few years.

Lake's memoirs, Veronica: The Autobiography of Veronica Lake, which she dictated to the writer Donald Bain, were published in the United Kingdom in 1969, and in the United States the following year. In the book, Lake discusses her career, her failed marriages, her romances with Howard Hughes, Tommy Manville and Aristotle Onassis, her alcoholism, and her guilt over not spending enough time with her children. In the book, Lake stated to Bain that her mother pushed her into a career as an actress. Bain quoted Lake, looking back at her career, as saying, "I never did cheesecake like Ann Sheridan or Betty Grable. I just used my hair". She also laughed off the term "sex symbol" and instead referred to herself as a "sex zombie".

When she went to the UK to promote her book in 1969 she received an offer to appear on stage in Madam Chairman. Also in 1969, Lake essayed the role of Blanche DuBois in a revival of A Streetcar Named Desire on the English stage, for which she won rave reviews for her performance. With the proceeds from her autobiography, after she had divided them with Bain, she co-produced and starred in her final film, Flesh Feast (1970), a low-budget horror movie with a Nazi-myth storyline.

Lake then moved to Ipswich, England, where she met and married Royal Navy captain Robert Carleton-Munro, in June 1972. The marriage lasted just one year and Lake returned to the United States in June 1973. She went to the Virgin Islands to await her divorce decree when she fell ill.

Personal life

After purchasing an airplane for her husband, Andre DeToth, Lake earned her pilot's license in 1946. She later flew solo between Los Angeles and New York when leaving him.

Marriages and children

Lake's first marriage was to art director John S. Detlie, in 1940. They had a daughter, Elaine (born in 1941), and a son, Anthony (born July 8, 1943). According to news from the time, Lake's son was born prematurely after she tripped on a lighting cable while filming a movie. Anthony died on July 15, 1943. Lake and Detlie separated in August 1943 and divorced in December 1943. In 1944, Lake married film director Andre DeToth with whom she had a son, Andre Anthony Michael III (known as Michael DeToth), and a daughter, Diana (born October 1948). Days before Diana's birth, Lake's mother sued her for support payments. Lake and DeToth divorced in 1952.

In September 1955, she married songwriter Joseph Allan McCarthy. They were divorced in 1959. Lake's fourth and final marriage was to Royal Navy captain Robert Carleton-Munro in June 1972. They divorced after one year. In 1969, she revealed that she rarely saw her children.


In June 1973, Lake returned to the United States and while traveling in Vermont, visited a local doctor, complaining of stomach pains. She was discovered to have cirrhosis of the liver as a result of her years of drinking, and on June 26, she checked into the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

She died there on July 7, 1973, of acute hepatitis and acute kidney injury. Her son Michael claimed her body. Lake's memorial service was held at the Universal Chapel in New York City on July 11.

She was cremated and, according to her wishes, her ashes were scattered off the coast of the Virgin Islands. In 2004, some of Lake's ashes were reportedly found in a New York antique store.

Hollywood Boulevard

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Lake has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6918 Hollywood Boulevard.

Selected stage credits

  • Thought for Food (Bliss Hayden Theatre, Jan-Feb 1939)
  • She Made Her Bed (Bliss Hayden Theatre, July–August 1939)
  • Private Confusion (Bliss Hayden Theatre, October 1940)
  • Direct Hit (June 1944)
  • The Voice of the Turtle (Atlanta, February 1951)
  • The Curtain Rises (Olney Theatre, Olney, Maryland, 1951)
  • Peter Pan (Road tour, 1951)
  • Gramercy Hill (1952)
  • The Little Hut (Detroit, 1955)
  • Best Foot Forward (1963)
  • Madam Chairman (1969) (English provinces)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (New Theatre, Bromley, Kent, 1969)
  • Clips from her role in The Glass Key (1942) were integrated into the film Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) as character Monica Stillpond.

    Lake was one of the models for the animated character Jessica Rabbit in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988), especially for her hairstyle.

    In the 1997 film L.A. Confidential Kim Basinger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a prostitute who is a Veronica Lake look-alike.

    A geographical feature called "Lake Veronica" was a recurring joke in the Rocky and Bullwinkle series and film.

    In Moose: Chapters from My Life (the 2013, posthumously released autobiography by Robert B. Sherman) writes about his teenage friendship with Lake.

    Veronica Lake's image was used as a sight gag in the movie The Major and the Minor (1942) with Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland.


    Flesh Feast as
    Dr. Elaine Frederick
    Footsteps in the Snow as
    Henrietta's Aunt
    Broadway Television Theatre (TV Series) as
    Nancy Willard
    - The Gramercy Ghost (1954) - Nancy Willard
    Danger (TV Series)
    - Inside Straight (1953)
    Lux Video Theatre (TV Series) as
    Beverly / Lou / Stormy Denton
    - Thanks for a Lovely Evening (1953) - Beverly
    - The Blues Street (1951) - Lou
    - Shadow on the Heart (1950) - Stormy Denton
    Goodyear Playhouse (TV Series) as
    Judy 'Leni' Howard
    - Better Than Walking (1952) - Judy 'Leni' Howard
    Tales of Tomorrow (TV Series) as
    Paula Martin Bennett
    - Flight Overdue (1952) - Paula Martin Bennett
    Betty Crocker Star Matinee (TV Series)
    - Mr. Bell's Creation (1952)
    Celanese Theatre (TV Series) as
    Abby Fane
    - Brief Moment (1952) - Abby Fane
    Stronghold as
    Maria Stevens
    Somerset Maugham TV Theatre (TV Series) as
    - The Facts of Life (1951) - Valerie
    Lights Out (TV Series) as
    Mercy Device
    - Beware This Woman (1950) - Mercy Device
    Slattery's Hurricane as
    Dolores Grieves
    Isn't It Romantic as
    Candy Cameron
    The Sainted Sisters as
    Letty Stanton
    Saigon as
    Susan Cleaver
    Variety Girl as
    Veronica Lake
    Ramrod as
    Connie Dickason
    The Blue Dahlia as
    Joyce Harwood
    Miss Susie Slagle's as
    Nan Rogers
    Hold That Blonde! as
    Sally Martin
    Duffy's Tavern as
    Veronica Lake
    Out of This World as
    Dorothy Dodge
    Bring on the Girls as
    Teddy Collins
    The Hour Before the Dawn as
    Dora Bruckmann
    So Proudly We Hail! as
    Lt. Olivia D'Arcy
    Star Spangled Rhythm as
    Veronica Lake- 'Sweater, Sarong & Peekaboo Bang' Number
    I Married a Witch as
    The Glass Key as
    Janet Henry
    This Gun for Hire as
    Ellen Graham
    Sullivan's Travels as
    The Girl
    Hold Back the Dawn as
    Movie Actress in 'I Wanted Wings' (uncredited)
    I Wanted Wings as
    Sally Vaughn
    Forty Little Mothers as
    Granville Girl (uncredited)
    Young as You Feel as
    Bit part (as Constance Keane)
    All Women Have Secrets as
    Jane (as Constance Keane)
    Dancing Co-Ed as
    Woman on Motorcycle (uncredited)
    The Wrong Room (Short) as
    The Attorney's New Bride (as Connie Keane)
    Sorority House as
    Coed (uncredited)
    Flesh Feast (executive producer)
    Isn't It Romantic (performer: "Miss Julie July", "Indiana Dinner", "At the Nickelodeon" - uncredited)
    Star Spangled Rhythm (performer: "A Sweater, a Sarong and a Peek-a-Boo Bang")
    This Gun for Hire (performer: "Now You See It, Now You Don't" (1942), "I've Got You" (1942) - uncredited)
    I Wanted Wings (performer: "Born to Love")
    S1m0ne (Simone wishes to thank the following for their contribution to the making of Simone)
    Donahue (TV Series) as
    - Veronica Lake (1972) - Self
    Today (TV Series) as
    - Episode dated 24 March 1971 (1971) - Self
    The Dick Cavett Show (TV Series) as
    - Episode #5.120 (1971) - Self
    Star Close-up (TV Mini Series documentary) as
    - Veronica Lake (1970) - Self
    The Eamonn Andrews Show (TV Series) as
    - Episode #5.18 (1969) - Self
    Your First Impression (TV Series) as
    Self -- Guest
    - Episode dated 26 August 1963 (1963) - Self -- Guest
    The Mike Douglas Show (TV Series) as
    Self - Actress
    - Episode #1.178 (1962) - Self - Actress
    Stump the Stars (TV Series) as
    - Episode dated 12 August 1955 (1955) - Self
    The Paul Winchell Show (TV Series) as
    Self -- Guest
    - Episode #3.12 (1952) - Self -- Guest
    - Episode #3.6 (1952) - Self -- Guest
    The Milton Berle Show (TV Series) as
    Self - Guest / Self -- Guest
    - Episode #5.6 (1952) - Self - Guest
    - Episode #5.4 (1952) - Self -- Guest
    I've Got a Secret (TV Series) as
    Self - Guest
    - Veronica Lake (1952) - Self - Guest
    Hollywood Screen Test (TV Series) as
    Self - - Guest
    - Veronica Lake (1952) - Self - - Guest
    - Episode dated 14 April 1952 (1952) - Self - - Guest
    The Ken Murray Show (TV Series) as
    Self / Self (guest)
    - The Perfect Formula/Veronica Lake/James Melton (1952) - Self
    - Veronica Lake (1951) - Self (guest)
    What's My Line? (TV Series) as
    Self - Mystery Guest
    - Veronica Lake (1951) - Self - Mystery Guest
    Showtime, U.S.A. (TV Series) as
    Self - Hostess
    - Episode #1.10 (1950) - Self - Hostess
    Your Show of Shows (TV Series) as
    Self - Guest Performer
    - Episode #2.11 (1950) - Self - Guest Performer
    This Is Show Business (TV Series) as
    Self - Guest / Self - Panelist
    - Episode dated 5 November 1950 (1950) - Self - Guest
    - Episode #3.9 (1950) - Self - Panelist
    The Bert Parks Show (TV Series) as
    Self - Actress
    - Episode #1.1 (1950) - Self - Actress
    The Eyes Have It (Short documentary) as
    Archive Footage
    20 to 1 (TV Series documentary) as
    - Sexiest Movie Moments (2007) - Self (uncredited)
    Les vamps fantastiques (TV Movie documentary)
    E! Mysteries & Scandals (TV Series documentary) as
    - Veronica Lake (1999) - Self
    L.A. Confidential as
    Self (uncredited)
    Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid as
    Monica Stillpond
    Sixty Years of Seduction (TV Movie documentary) as
    Hollywood and the Stars (TV Series documentary) as
    - Hollywood Goes to War (1964) - Self


    Veronica Lake Wikipedia

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