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 Movie Madness & Mayhem, Day 13 (Enquiring Minds Want to Know, So…)

via The Sad Tragic Fate Of Veronica Lake | National Enquirer

As you all know (all 10 of you), Flesh Feast will be the eventual first film of my b-movie blogging career…only about 2 years after I mentioned it the first time. Anywho, who better than that scandal sheet extraordinaire, the National Enquirer, to fill in the blanks about who Miss Lake was. (But for a better version, read her autobiography, Veronica. She’s surprisingly candid, especially for the early 1970s!)

March Movie Madness & Mayhem! (Day 2)

via Flesh Feast (1970) | BLEEDING SKULL!

Ah, now THIS site gets it super duper right! Short, to the point articles about the worst movies in the history of ever? Check! Movies you’ve never even heard of? Check! Movies that you not only never heard of, but you can’t believe people would actually even MAKE said movies? Check and double check!

I usually hate shorter review sites because come on, who doesn’t want to read a yuge treatise on why Jungle Hell is quite literally HELL? But Bleeding Skull works. Multiple authors and multiple viewpoints combine to make one hell of a good stew. Of course, the Flesh Feast review rocks! Enjoy!

Featured Image -- 2931

If it’s the LAST thing I do!

Blazing Stewardesses one sheet

Greetings, fellow degenerates, and welcome to something I hope will be worth reading, a little thing called “If It’s The Last Thing I Do!” which will focus on the last films of…well, a bunch of people, actually. I mean, who can forget Veronica Lake’s last turn as a Hitler-hating doctor in “Flesh Feast”? Or Laurel and Hardy’s final film, “Atoll K?”

For the most part, I’ll be sticking to the 1970s. Why? Look, if you’ve seen the 70s, you know why. No, seriously. Have you seen the 70s?! The movies, the music, the fashions, the recipes! The 1970s were a glorious disaster, which is fitting, since there were soooo many disaster movies filmed in the decade.

With that smooth transition, I bring you to the last film of our first (and second!) subject: “Blazing Stewardesses.”  This film was the swan song of two popular comedy teams, although you’re probably more familiar with the first: the Three Stooges. You see, Blazing Stewardesses  (then titled The Jet Set) was to star America’s favorite comedy trio…and their replacement was…sort of…well, they were a trio, and they weren’t exactly America’s favorite comedy trio, but trust me, you’ve probably heard of these guys:

Here’s Part 2:

Yep, it’s a trio of two!

Fans (and YouTube commenters) seem to think that the material…well, stinks.  It’s hard to imagine if the Stooges would’ve been doing a similar routine, since Moe wanted to ad-lib most of the material. However, if this is what the Stooges were going to do, well, let’s just say I’m glad Kook’s Tour was their swan song.