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Veronica Lake

Veronica Lake
Veronica Lake Paramount.jpg
Veronica Lake, ca. 1940s
Born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman
(1922-11-14)November 14, 1922
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died July 7, 1973(1973-07-07) (aged 50)
Burlington, Vermont, U.S.
Cause of death Hepatitis and acute renal failure
Nationality American
Other names Constance Keane
Connie Keane
Education St. Bernard's School (Saranac Lake, NY)
Villa Maria
Miami High School
Occupation Actress
Years active 1939–1954; 1966; 1970
Spouse(s) John S. Detlie (m. 1940; div. 1943)
Andre DeToth (m. 1944; div. 1952)
Joseph A. McCarthy (m. 1955; div. 1959)
Robert Carleton-Munro (m. 1972; div. 1973)
Children Elaine Detlie (b. 1941)
Anthony Detlie (b. 1943-1943)
Andre Michael De Toth III (b. 1945)
Diana De Toth (b. 1948)

Veronica Lake (born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman; November 14, 1922 – July 7, 1973) was an American film, stage, and television actress. Lake won both popular and critical acclaim, most notably for her role in Sullivan's Travels and for her femme fatale roles in film noirs with Alan Ladd, during the 1940s. She was also well known for her peek-a-boo hairstyle. Lake's career had begun to decline by the late 1940s, in part due to her alcoholism. She made only one film in the 1950s but appeared in several guest-starring roles on television. She returned to the screen in 1966 with a role in the film Footsteps In the Snow, but the role failed to revitalize her career.

Lake released her memoirs, Veronica: The Autobiography of Veronica Lake, in 1970. She used the money she made from the book to finance a low-budget horror film Flesh Feast. It was her final onscreen role. Lake died in July 1973 from hepatitis and acute kidney injury at the age of 50.

Lake was born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Her father, Harry Eugene Ockelman, was of German and Irish descent, and worked for an oil company aboard a ship. He died in an industrial explosion in Philadelphia in 1932. Lake's mother, Constance Frances Charlotta (née Trimble; 1902–1992), of Irish descent, married Anthony Keane, a newspaper staff artist, also of Irish descent, in 1933, and Lake began using his surname. The Keanes lived in Saranac Lake, New York, where young Lake attended St. Bernard's School for a time, then was sent to Villa Maria, an all-girls Catholic boarding school in Montreal, Canada, from which she was expelled. Lake later claimed she attended McGill University and did a premed course for a year, intending to become a surgeon. But when her father fell ill during her second year, the Keane family later moved to Miami, Florida. Lake attended Miami High School, where she was known for her beauty. She had a troubled childhood and was diagnosed with schizophrenia, according to her mother.

Year Title Role Notes
1939 Sorority House Coed Uncredited, alternative title: That Girl from College
1939 Wrong Room, TheThe Wrong Room The Attorney's New Bride Credited as Connie Keane
1939 Dancing Co-Ed One of Couple on Motorcycle Uncredited
Alternative title: Every Other Inch a Lady
1939 All Women Have Secrets Jane Credited as Constance Keane
1940 Young as You Feel Bit part Credited as Constance Keane
1940 Forty Little Mothers Granville girl Uncredited
1941 I Wanted Wings Sally Vaughn First featured role
1941 Hold Back the Dawn Movie Actress Uncredited
1941 Sullivan's Travels The Girl Directed by Preston Sturges
1942 This Gun for Hire Ellen Graham First film with Alan Ladd
1942 Glass Key, TheThe Glass Key Janet Henry With Alan Ladd
1942 I Married a Witch Jennifer Directed by Rene Clair
1942 Star Spangled Rhythm Herself One of a number of Paramount stars making cameos
1943 So Proudly We Hail! Lt. Olivia D'Arcy
1944 Hour Before the Dawn, TheThe Hour Before the Dawn Dora Bruckmann
1945 Bring on the Girls Teddy Collins
1945 Out of This World Dorothy Dodge
1945 Duffy's Tavern Herself One of a number of Paramount stars making cameos
1945 Hold That Blonde Sally Martin
1946 Miss Susie Slagle's Nan Rogers
1946 Blue Dahlia, TheThe Blue Dahlia Joyce Harwood With Alan Ladd
1947 Ramrod Connie Dickason Directed by her then-husband André De Toth; first film made outside Paramount since becoming a star
1947 Variety Girl Herself One of a number of Paramount stars making cameos
1948 Saigon Susan Cleaver Last film with Alan Ladd
1948 Sainted Sisters, TheThe Sainted Sisters Letty Stanton
1948 Isn't It Romantic? Candy Cameron
1949 Slattery's Hurricane Dolores Greaves Directed by André de Toth
1951 Stronghold Mary Stevens
1966 Footsteps In the Snow Therese
1970 Flesh Feast Dr. Elaine Frederick Alternative title: Time is Terror
Year Title Role Notes
1950 Your Show of Shows Herself - Guest Performer Episode #2.11
1950 Lights Out Mercy Device Episode: "Beware This Woman"
1950–1953 Lux Video Theatre Various 3 episodes
1951 Somerset Maugham TV Theatre Valerie Episode: "The Facts of Life"
1952 Celanese Theatre Abby Fane Episode: "Brief Moment"
1952 Tales of Tomorrow Paula Episode: "Flight Overdue"
1952 Goodyear Television Playhouse Judy "Leni" Howard Episode: "Better Than Walking"
1953 Danger Episode: "Inside Straight"
1954 Broadway Television Theatre Nancy Willard Episode: "The Gramercy Ghost"
Date Program Episode/source
March 30, 1943 Lux Radio Theater I Wanted Wings
February 9, 1943 Bob Hope Guest star Paulette Goddard and Veronica Lake
February 16, 1943 Burns and Allen Guest star Veronica Lake
November 1, 1943 Lux Radio Theater So Proudly We Hail
January 8, 1944 Command Performance Guest star Veronica Lake
February 18, 1945 Charlie McCarthy Guest stars Ginny Simms and Veronica Lake
April 2, 1945 The Screen Guild Theater This Gun For Hire
November 18, 1946 Lux Radio Theatre O.S.S.
April 20, 1947 Exploring the Unknown The Dark Curtain
April 21, 1949 The Screen Guild Theater The Blue Dahlia
March 6, 1950 Lux Radio Theater Slattery's Hurricane
December 15, 1950 Duffy's Tavern "Archie Wants Veronica Lake to Help Promote a New Latin Singer"
December 12, 1954 The Jack Benny Program "A Trip to Palm Springs"

  • Thought for Food (Bliss Hayden Theatre, Jan-Feb 1939)
  • She Made Her Bed (Bliss Hayden Theatre, July–August 1939)
  • Private Confusion (Bliss Hayden Theatre, October 1940)
  • Direct Hit (June 1944)
  • The Voice of the Turtle (Atlanta, February 1951)
  • The Curtain Rises (Olney Theatre, Olney, Maryland, 1951)
  • Peter Pan (Road tour, 1951)
  • Gramercy Hill (1952)
  • The Little Hut (Detroit, 1955)
  • Best Foot Forward (1963)
  • Madam Chairman (1969) (English provinces)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (New Theatre, Bromley, Kent, 1969)
  • Bloomfield, Gary L.; Shain, Stacie L.; Davidson, Arlen C. (2004). Duty, Honor, Applause: America's Entertainers in World War II. Globe Pequot. ISBN . 
  • Burroughs Hannsberry, Karen (2009). Femme Noir: Bad Girls of Film. McFarland. ISBN . 
  • Chierichetti, David (2004). Edith Head: The Life and Times of Hollywood's Celebrated Costume. HarperCollins. ISBN . 
  • Donnelley, Paul (2003). Fade To Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Omnibus Press. ISBN . 
  • Hare, William (2008). L.A. Noir: Nine Dark Visions of the City of Angels. McFarland & Company. ISBN . 
  • Hiney, Tom (1999). Raymond Chandler: A Biography. Grove Press. ISBN . 
  • Hischak, Thomas S. (2011). Disney Voice Actors: A Biographical Dictionary. McFarland & Company. ISBN . 
  • Parish, James Robert (2001). The Hollywood Book of Death: The Bizarre, Often Sordid, Passings of More than 125 American Movie and TV Idols. Contemporary Books. ISBN . 
  • Parish, James Robert; Pitts, Michael R. (2003). Hollywood Songsters: Singers Who Act and Actors Who Sing: A Biographical Dictionary. Taylor & Francis. ISBN . 
  • Starr, Kevin (2003). Embattled Dreams: California in War and Peace, 1940-1950. Oxford University Press. ISBN . 
  • Terkel, Studs (1999). The Spectator: Talk About Movies and Plays With Those Who Made Them. The New Press. ISBN . 
  • Lake, Veronica; Bain, Donald (1970). Veronica: The Autobiography of Veronica Lake. Citadel Press.
  • Lenburg, Jeff, Peekaboo: The Story of Veronica Lake. iUniverse, 2001. .
  • Oderman, Stuart, Talking to the Piano Player 2. BearManor Media, 2009. .


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