VERONICA LAKE BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Veronica Lake was born November 14th, 1922 in Brooklyn, New York with the birth name Constance Frances Marie Ockelman. Her father was employed with an oil company on a ship. When Lake was only ten years old, her father was killed in an industrial explosion in Philadelphia in 1932. Her mother, Constance Charlotta Trimplbe married a family friend a year later, Anthony Keane a newspaper staff artist and a year later, Veronica took on his last name.
Lake attended school at an all girls Catholic boarding school in Montreal, Canada called Villa Maria, however, later she was expelled from school. Upon her return home, her family relocated to Miami, Florida and she attended Miami Senior High School.
After graduating from high school, her family moved again, this time to Beverly Hills, California where Lake was enrolled in Bliss-Hayden School of Acting in 1938. She first appeared on screen with RKO productions in a small role in, "Sorority House" (1939) followed by a role on, "All Woman Have Secrets" and "Dancing Co-Ed" (both 1939).
Soon she was introduced to a Paramount producer, Arthur Hornblow, Jr. who officially made her stage name Veronica Lake. She had such a mystery to her beauty and she was slowly becoming high in demand in the entertainment industry.
Her contract soon ended with RKO and shortly after in 1940, she married an art director, John S. Detlie. He was fourteen years older then Lake. In 1941, Lake took a role in, "Forty Little Mothers" starring Eddie Cantor, Judith Anderson, Ralph Morgan and Bonita Granville, which brought her a large amount of attention from the public and Paramount Pictures decided to sign Lake to a long term contract. This same year, she also had a child, daughter, Elaine Detlie.
Her breakthrough film was, "I Wanted Wings" (1941) starring alongside William Holden, Wayne Morris, Brian Donlevy and Constance Moore, which was a major hit and successful roles followed in, "Sullivan's Travels" (1941) starring with Joel McCrea, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn, Porter Hall, Byron Foulger and Robert Warwick, "This Gun for Hire" (1942) starring with Alan Ladd, Laird Cregar, Robert Preston, Tully Marshall and Frank Ferguson, "I Married a Witch", (1942) also starring Fredric March, Robert Benchley, Susan Hayward, Robert Warwick and Cecil Kellaway, "The Glass Key" (1942) starring with Brian Donlevy, Alan Ladd, Richard Denning, Bonita Granville, William Bendix and Moroni Olsen and "So Proudly We Hail!" (1943) co-starring Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard, George Reeves, Walter Abel, Barbara Britton and John Litel. Lake was considered to be one of the most reliable box office draws in Hollywood.
Lake was highly successful in the entertainment industry, but her personal life was less so. She was struggling with mental illness and alcoholism and was also known to be very difficult to work with on set.
Her career began to downfall when she took on a role as a Nazi spy in, "The Hour Before the Dawn" (1944) co-starring Franchot Tone, John Sutton, Binnie Barnes and Henry Stephenson. During filming, she fell and caused herself to hemorage while being pregnant. The baby was born ok, but he was premature and only one week later passed away due to uremic poisoning. Her marriage had also ended in divorce.
Lake did remarry again to a film director, Andre De Toth in 1944 and together they had a son, Andre Anthony Michael De Toth and a daughter, Diana De Toth.
Paramount kept her on contract but most of the films that followed were no where near as successful as her past work and her alcoholism problem was excalating. By 1948, Paramount decided not to renew their contract with Lake.
20th Century Fox Studio's did use Lake for one film, "Slattery's Hurricane" (1949) with Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Gary Merrill, Joe De Santis, Morris Ankrum and John Russell, and right afterwards her film career came to an abrupt end. She had one more chance in the film industry, "Stronghold" (1951) however it flopped also and she ended up having to file for bankruptsy and also ended her marriage in another divorce.
Veronica appeared in a few television shows during the early 50's such as "Lights Out", "Your Show of Shows", "Tales of Tomorrow" and "Lux Video Theatre".
Lake knew nothing but acting and therefore in the mid 50's she tried her chance at working on television. She also married again for her third time to a song writer, Joseph A. McCarthy in 1955, however, her television career was quite unsuccessful and again so was her marriage ending in divorce.
Lake relocated back to New York and lived in various hotels and was at an all time low in her personal life. Her Physical and mental health were on a steady decline. Somehow, Lake manged to get back involved in the industry with a chance to co-produce and star in, "Flesh Feast" (1970) a low budget horror movie. After the film released, she moved again, this time to the United Kingdom and again got married to a English Sea Captain, Robert Carelton-Munro, but not to anyone's surprise, this mariage too ended with another divorce.
Lake died on July 7, 1973 of hepatitis and acute renal failure which was due to complications of her alcoholism in Burlington, Vermont. Her ashes were scattered off the coast of the Virgin Islands as she had requested.
Although her personal life was a disaster, her acting career was not and for her contribution to the motion picture industry, Veronica Lake was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6918 Hollywood Boulevard.
1939 Sorority House
1939 The Wrong Room
1939 Dancing Co-Ed
1939 All Women Have Secrets
1940 Young As You Feel
1940 Forty Little Mothers
1941 I Wanted Wings
1941 Hold Back the Dawn
1941 Sullivan's Travels
1942 This Gun for Hire
1942 The Glass Key
1942 I Married a Witch
1942 Star Spangled Rhythm
1943 So Proudly We Hail!
1944 The Hour Before the Dawn
1945 Bring on the Girls
1945 Out of This World
1945 Duffy's Tavern
1945 Hold That Blonde
1946 Miss Susie Slagle's
1946 The Blue Dahlia
1947 Variety Girl
1948 The Sainted Sisters
1948 Isn't It Romantic?
1949 Slattery's Hurricane
1950 Your Show of Shows
1950 Lights Out
1950–1953 Lux Video Theatre
1951 Somerset Maugham TV Theatre
1952 Celanese Theatre
1952 Tales of Tomorrow
1952 Goodyear Television Playhouse
1954 Broadway Television Theatre
1966 Footsteps in the Snow
1970 Flesh Feast