VERONICA LAKE

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Veronica Lake

Autograph on Album Page - c1953

Autograph in pencil on album page. From the collection of another actor of the same period.

Veronica Lake (1922-1973) was an American film actress and pin-up model who enjoyed both popular and critical acclaim, most notably for her femme fatale roles in film noir with Alan Ladd during the 1940s, as well as her peek-a-boo hairstyle.

Her breakthrough film was I Wanted Wings in 1941, a major hit in which she played the second female lead and was said to have stolen scene after scene from the rest of the cast. This success was followed by Hold Back the Dawn later that year. She was soon regarded as a witty, intelligent and trend-setting actress and had starring roles in more popular movies, including Sullivan's Travels, This Gun for Hire, I Married a Witch, The Glass Key, and So Proudly We Hail!. Looking back at her career years later, Lake remarked, "I never did cheesecake; I just used my hair."

For a short time during the early 1940s, Lake was considered one of the most reliable box office draws in Hollywood and was also known for her onscreen pairings with actor Alan Ladd. At first, the couple was teamed together merely out of physical necessity: Ladd was just 5 feet 5 inches tall and the only actress then on the Paramount lot short enough to pair with him was Lake, who stood just 4 feet 11½ inches. They made four films together.

A stray lock of her shoulder-length blonde hair during a publicity photo shoot led to her iconic 'peekaboo' hairstyle, which hid one eye, and was widely imitated. During World War II, she changed her trademark image to encourage women working in war industry factories to adopt more practical, safer hairstyles.

 

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