Do you find that certain Old Hollywood stars pull at your heartstrings more than others? Sure, you have your favorites (we all do!), but there are certain actors and actresses who simply move you emotionally when you see their face or read their name. Veronica Lake is one of my own most emotionally-charged stars. She has long been one of my favorite actresses because of her adorable screen presence and glamorous persona.
When I first became obsessed with the Golden Age of Hollywood, I always thought of her as a little china doll. She seemed so beautiful, small, and fragile. I never realized how fragile until I began to read more about her. Like many, many people, Veronica suffered from a mental illness that (at that time) had very little hope of being treated. The suffering she must have endured within herself must have been unbearable.
“I will have one of the cleanest obits of any actress. I never did cheesecake like Ann Sheridan or Betty Grable. I just used my hair.” – Veronica Lake
As I’ve often written on Hollywood Yesterday, many of our favorite actors and actresses battled these emotional and mental demons and, at that time, the only relief they found were in bottles of some sort. It’s beyond heart-breaking when you think of someone being in so much pain that anything that takes their mind off of the pain is attractive. Even if and when it’s completely self-destructive… which it always is.
Veronica Lake was only 50 when she died and never was able to achieve all she could have without demons breathing down her neck.
Constance Frances Marie Ockleman was born into the world on November 14, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York. She would be remembered (to this day) for her glamour and beauty as Veronica Lake.
“There’s no doubt I was a bit of a misfit in the Hollywood of the forties. The race for glamour left me far behind. I didn’t really want to keep up. I wanted my stardom without the usual trimmings. Because of this, I was branded a rebel at the very least. But I don’t regret that for a minute. My appetite was my own and I simply wouldn’t have it any other way.” – Veronica Lake
Veronica Lake Trivia Below….
Veronica (at 4′ 11″) made it difficult to find leading men who didn’t tower over her. She actually got her big break when she was teamed with the only actor in Hollywood relatively near to her in height, Alan Ladd. He was 5′ 6″.
- In her biography “Peekaboo” Veronica Lake’s mother says that her daughter was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia. She claims that the disease was responsible for her alcoholism, numerous infidelities, and mood swings.
During World War II, the incredible popularity of her peek-a-boo hairstyle became a safety hazard when women in the defense industry would get their bangs caught in machinery. Veronica had to take a publicity picture in which she reacted painfully to her own hair getting caught in a machine in order to make the public aware of the danger.
Veronica Lake, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Jayne Mansfield and Gene Tierney were the five gorgeous inspirations for the character of Jessica Rabbit. You could say that Jessica Rabbit couldn’t miss!
- She and Marlon Brando had a brief romance while working in Hollywood. Years later, when he read that a newspaper reporter had found Veronica working as a cocktail waitress in a Manhattan bar, he sent her a check for a thousand dollars. Out of pride, she never cashed it, but kept it framed in her Miami living room to show her friends.
Veronica died (at 50 years young) five days after Betty Grable.
(About Marlon Brando) “Our romance was short but sweet. He was on the dawn of a brilliant film career, and I was in the twilight of one. Of course, my career could never compare with his.” – Veronica Lake