The Sad Tragic Fate Of Veronica Lake | National Enquirer

By DICK SIEGEL, NATIONAL ENQUIRER online editor Jan 22, 2015 @ 5:33AM

Femme fatal film icon VERONICA LAKE fell from Hollywood heights to waiting tables in a sleazy women’s only hotel before succumbing to the ravages of alcoholism and mental illness at only age 50.  

Veronica Lake was born in Brooklyn, New York on November 14, 1922 as Constance Frances Marie Ockleman. Her father worked for an oil company as a ship employee and died in a tragic oil tanker explosion.

Her ethereal beauty, natural charm coupled with a talent for acting prompted her mother and tubercular step-father to move to Beverly Hills, California, where they enrolled her in the Bliss Hayden School of Acting in Hollywood.

Although Connie had been previously diagnosed as a classic schizophrenic her parents saw acting as a form of treatment for her condition. She soon found work as a bit player in several unremarkable pictures but “Sorority House” director John Farrow (Mia Farrow’s father) saw how her long flowing hair always covered her right eye, creating an hint of allure and mystery. While still a teenager, Farrow introduced her to Paramount producer Arthur Hornblow who promptly changed her name to Veronica Lake.

Veronica’s breakthrough film was “I Wanted Wings” in 1941, a major box office hit. 

She then became Paramount’s top female star toplining such classics as “Sullivan’s Travels”, “This Gun for Hire”, The Glass Key”, “So Proudly We Hail” and “I Married A Witch”.

 “She was a very gifted girl, but shedidn’t believe she was gifted,” director Rene Clair recalled.

Often paired with diminutive star Alan Ladd, the couple made seven films together. At first it was out of necessity as Ladd was just 5 feet five while Lake was 4 feet  11 inch but the pair had undeniable on-screen chemistry  

For a short time during the early 1940s, Veronica was at the height of Hollywood stardom.

During World War Two, the rage for her peek-a-boo bangs became a hazard when women in the defense industry would get their hair caught in machinery. Lake was staged in a publicity picture in which she reacted painfully to her hair getting “caught” in a drill press illustrating her hazardous ‘do. Finally, Lake famously cut her hair and, sadly, her popularity diminished.

By the early 1950’s Lake’s career had hit the skids.

Still battling schizophrenia, and in a state of paranoia, she began drinking heavily. As her mental state deteriorated further, with two failed marriages, Veronica became manic-depressive as her self-destructive addiction to booze pushed her over the edge.

Soon, with no film career and little alimony after an IRS forced bankruptcy, Lake drifted between cheap hotels in New York City. She was arrested several times for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

In 1963, a reporter found her working as a barmaid/waitress while living at the seedy all-women’s $7-a-night Martha Washington Hotel in Manhattan. In the hotel bar, Lake was working under an alias — Connie De Toth (“House of Wax” director Andre DeToth had been her second hubby).

Lake had never revealed her true name to her co-workers nor customers although her boss Joe Rauji at the Colonnade Bar knew who she was.  “She’s a good girl but she’s had a hard time,” he told a reporter.

Lake later toiled at other bars including Greenwich Village’s famed One Fifth getting a steady paycheck and a never ending stream of booze.

The widely circulated news reports of her plight led to some minor TV and film work  but Lake soon made a financial comeback by penning her memoirs.

 With the profits from her best selling tell-all, Lake co-produced and starred in her last film, “Flesh Feast” (1970), a micro-budget horror movie with a Nazi-myth storyline. It bombed.

After another failed marriage and brief sojourn in England, Lake returned home.

She was already “pretty far along” when she was admitted to the Fletcher Allen Hospital in Vermont, doctors said.

Finally, in the early morning hours of July 7, 1973, Veronica Lake died from hepatitis and acute renal failure — seemingly alone and forgotten at the age of 50.

That is, until the news broke, when suddenly EVERYONE remembered. 

March Madness & Movie Mayhem, Day 27 (or, How Ed Wood Isn’t the World’s Worst Director)

 

via Ed Wood: Not Actually The Worst Director in History | Den of Geek

How did Ed Wood get the title of “World’s Worst Director?”  (Then again, we’d also have to ask how William “One Shot” Beaudine was at least the runner-up, even though he was once a highly regarded director.) Of course, we can put most of the blame on the doorstep of the Medveds, who deemed Ed “the worst” with their Golden Turkey tome. I can only imagine that they hadn’t seen very many movies from the period they were in, because NONE of the Dolomite movies made the cut, but Trouble Man did?! Why not just throw Super Fly and Shaft in there too, since we’re complaining about blaxploitation films with kick-ass soundtracks…

Anyhoo, where was I going with this? Oh, that Ed Wood wasn’t the world’s worst director–far from it. I can name at least THREE worse directors off the top of my head: Bill Rebane/Herschell Gordon Lewis (Monster-A-Go-Go/Terror at Half Day); Larry Buchanan (Zontar: The Thing From Venus); Coleman Francis (all three of his films); Doris Wishman (Double Agent 73, Let Me Die a Woman); Ted V. Mikels (The Girl in Gold Boots, The Doll Squad)…the list is literally endless!

I think the problem lies with Ed Wood’s films being better than “so bad they’re good.” There’s something about Wood’s films, even the cringetastic Orgy of the Dead and The Revenge of Dr. X that makes them watchable. You’re not yelling at the screen at the stupidity of the writing. (The CLUNKINESS, maybe, but not the stupidity!)

Anyhoo, take a look around the site and enjoy the Den of Geek!

 

 

March Madness & Movie Mayhem, Day 26! Mr. No Legs – 1979 – Review

via Mr. No Legs – 1979 – Review

If you have lots of free time on your hands, take a look at the wonderful time-wasting site The Worst Movies Ever Made. Now, “worst” is in the eye of the beholder, but holy gee whiz…this one’s bad. Not even the ever-present John Agar or Richard Jaeckel can help this turkey. And when you finally get to see the title character, look out!

 

 

March Madness & Movie Mayhem (Day 20!)–Octaman

Octaman Postervia » Octaman (1971)»Monster Shack Movie Reviews

Hoo, boy! Is this a stinker, or is this a stinker? In fact, it stinks so badly, the star of the film didn’t live long enough to see it completed! Pier Angeli committed suicide before filming was completed. Now, I can’t say whether or not this terrible film assisted her decision in any way. In fact, it’s impossible to say–however, if I were already pre-disposed to depression, and I was working on a film like this, or working ANY job that is just gut-bustingly horrible, I might be more inclined to take a few more Nembutals with my champagne dinner.

Now that I’ve gotten you thoroughly depressed, cheer yourself up with a visit to the good folks at the Monster Shack Reviews site. Not only do they have oldy-moldy-goldies like Octaman, they’ve also got modern movies, from the 2010s!

March Madness & Movie Mayhem (Day 12!)

Double Agent 73

via Doris Wishman • Great Director profile • Senses of Cinema

I guess this is Day 12–did I post anything for yesterday (or Saturday? Better check that out…)

Anyhoo, here’s a look at the main reason why I’m even DOING this type of thing, one Doris Wishman. Her movies aren’t just movies…they’re experiences. Take a good look at Deadly Weapons or Double Agent 73, her double feature starring actress Chesty Morgan. They have to be seen to be believed, and you WILL NOT get the soundtracks out of your head. Seriously, I can run through the soundtracks of both films in my head, beat for beat!

How does this relate to Six Degrees of Stoogeration? Come on–there’s got to be a link somewhere! Anyhoo redux, take a look around the site, it’s got plenty of great info, not just about Ms. Wishman, but much, much more!

 

March Movie Madness & Mayhem (Day 11!)

via RON ORMOND’S CHRISTIAN SCARE FILM: IF FOOTMEN TIRE YOU, WHAT WILL HORSES DO? (1971) | 366 Weird Movies

Who DOESN’T like Godsploitation, 1970’s style? NO ONE, THAT’S WHO. And nothing brings the 70s Godsploitation like the double team of Ron Ormond and Estus Pirkle. You can’t ask for anything better. You’ve got Nazis…kinda (they’re dressed up as dirty Commies enticing kids to worship Castro for candy!), beheadings, and more fire and brimstone than you can shake a stick at! So read up and enjoy what the good folks at 366 Weird Movies have to offer!

March Madness & Movie Mayhem (Day…8?!)

If you call yourself a enjoyer, a “common sewer” if you will, of bad movies and the illogic thereof, you won’t find a better spot than And You Call Yourself a Scientist! Enjoy the proper skewering (but with love, and SCIENCE!) of Sting of Death, a bit of Floridasploitation from 1966!

SEE! The “monster” made up of garbage bags!

SEE! Terrible “day for night!”

SEE! The stupidest “teenagers” that ever stupided!

via AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A SCIENTIST! – Sting Of Death (1966)

 

March Madness & Movie Mayhem (Day 7!)

via Florida Memory – Movies and TV in Florida

Ever wonder WHY Florida didn’t become “Hollywood East?” Find out here, AND enjoy some wonderful photos that are for sale!

Greetings From Sunny Florida!

As you can see, this is not a review of the classic film Flesh Feast (aka Time is a Terror). I could give you an excuse, but I’m too lazy to even do that! What I have been doing is my usual procrastination, reading other (better) film review sites, and watching what will be (eventually!) the subject of the review.

However (and there’s always a however in life) I’ve been reading/researching the history of Floridasploitation. (It wasn’t ALWAYS America’s wang!) Why didn’t FL become Hollywood? It was closer to the actual film capital at the time (New York) and had the same positives as CA. Join me in my quest to find out why!

Acidemic – Film: THE BIG CUBE (1969) – Lana Turner and the Unscrupulous Doser

Cleansing the doors of cinematic perception for a better yesterday.

Source: Acidemic – Film: THE BIG CUBE (1969) – Lana Turner and the Unscrupulous Doser

Yet another great review site that is the reason why my epic review of Flesh Feast hasn’t been seen here. I’m still doing buttloads of research into getting it just right! Don’t worry, it’ll be here by 31 December…I didn’t say what year! Go read Acidemic!