I have a lot of inexplicable quirks about me that leave me as puzzled as they would anyone else. I admit it. Heck, most of them are so glaring that denying them would only make me look even more crazy.
One such quirk involves the beautiful and talented Veronica Lake. I adore her to distraction. I’ve always thought of her as a fragile little doll… yet I don’t often talk about her, post pictures of her on Twitter (or here on Hollywood Yesterday). Strange, right?
Hang on. It gets stranger.
I find the life of Veronica Lake to be so incredibly sad and senselessly tragic that I (subconsciously) tend to avoid her. When I see her or speak about her, I am reminded that this tiny, beautiful, talented woman had too many personal demons for one person to handle alone… and yet that’s what she pretty much was left to do.
Veronica Lake suffered from mental and emotional problems at a time where “experts” had no idea what to do to help victims. More times than not, simply to get through the day, people would turn to “self-medicating” tactics which only brought more demons into play.
My heart breaks for the stars who were little more than money-makers to studios, family members, and agents. When I read their stories (or simply think about them), I feel a mixture of anger and sadness – anger that no one helped them (or even tried) and sadness that they… while giving the world so much joy… found their own joy to be just out of reach.
As was often the case with these stars (especially, it seems, with the females), other stars and directors turned their backs on them – speaking ill of them, giving them attitudes, and making their unhappy lives even more so.
I tweeted a photo of Veronica Lake and Alan Ladd recently and, while doing so, thought how much I appreciate that (by all indications) Alan Ladd was especially kind to Veronica. It seems to have been a rarity for stars to show decent human kindness to people who were struggling – apparently piling on to their problems seems to have been more en vogue (with Marilyn Monroe as well as Veronica and others).
My inner dialogue went something like this:
You should talk more about Veronica Lake.
It makes me crazy sad!
What if no one talked about her and she was all but forgotten?
It would make me unbearably sad.
Then get over yourself….
This fragile little doll won’t be put on a shelf and forgotten if I have anything to do with it. And if I get out of my own way, I will have something to do with it!
Veronica Lake, This Gun for Hire