Follow TV Tropes


Creator / Veronica Lake

Go To

Veronica Lake (born Constance Frances Marie Ockleman; November 14, 1922 – July 7, 1973) was an American actress from The '40s who rose to stardom for her blonde peek-a-boo hairstyle and sultry voice. She was also a famous pin-up girl during World War II alongside the likes of Rita Hayworth and Betty Grable.

Her fame during The Golden Age of Hollywood was brief and tragic. She was only nineteen when she starred in 1941’s I Wanted Wings and was immediately in demand on the Paramount lot. She starred in various classics of the era: Preston SturgesSullivan's Travels, Rene Clair’s I Married a Witch, and a number of film noirs alongside Alan Ladd.

Because Lake and her hairstyle were so popular, she was asked to change it to a "safer" version as part of the war effort. Apparently, women factory workers were getting their hair caught in their machinery because of this hairstyle (as demonstrated by Lake herself in this photo for LIFE magazine), so she switched to the more acceptable "victory rolls" hairdo to appease the authorities. Unfortunately, the loss of her trademark was purportedly one of the factors that caused her stardom to fall quickly.

Lake had the reputation of being difficult to work with, and suffered from alcoholism like many stars of her era. After being put in various bad films and going through three unsuccessful marriages, she was rumored to be completely destitute by the early '60s. However, she gained back some popularity after being discovered by a reporter; she released a well-received autobiography and did occasional stage and TV work.

Her last screen appearance was in the 1970 horror B-Movie Flesh Feast, which she partially financed. She died at the age of 50, from acute hepatitis and kidney damage brought on by her binge drinking.

Lake was the inspiration for Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Kim Basinger's character in L.A. Confidential is an in-universe look-alike prostitute.

Partial filmography: