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Constance Frances Marie Ockleman
14th November 1922,
Brooklyn, New York, USA
7th July 1973,
Burlington, Vermont, USA. (hepatitis)
Height 5' 11/2"

Husband: John Detlie, art director; married September 25, 1940; divorced December 1943
Husband: Andre de Toth, director; married December 16, 1944; divorced June 1952
Husband: Joseph A. McCarthy, music publisher, songwriter; married August 28, 1955, in Traverse City, MI; divorced 1960
Husband: Robert Carelton-Munro; married in Fort Lauderdale, FL, in June 1972

Daughter: Elaine Detlie; born August 21, 1941
Son: Anthony Michael de Toth III (aka Michael de Toth); born October 26, 1945
Daughter: Diane de Toth; born October 16, 1948

    Veronica Lake began her life in Broolyn, N.Y., as Constance Frances Marie Ockleman. Her father Harry, was a ship's master for an oil company and died in a ship explosion in 1932.

A year later, her mother, Constance married Anthony Keane, an artist for the New York Herald, and moved to Montreal, Canada where "Veronica" attended Villa Maria, a Roman Catholic boarding school until being expelled in 1937 for bad behavior.

The family moved to Miami, Florida in 1937, where "Veronica" entered the "Miss Miami" sponsered by her high school and won third place.

As a finalist, she was competed for the "Miss Florida" title and won, but had her titled revoked when it was discovered she was too young to participate in the contest. Vaudeville star Harry Richman had been one of the judges and suggested to "Veronica" and her mother that she should consider going to Hollywood.

In 1938, the family moved to Hollywood, and "Veronica" enrolled in the Bliss Hayden School of acting in Beverly Hills, CA, and started performing as an extra on movie sets around town using the name Connie Keane. Her first screen test was unsuccessful.

To become more marketable, and to have more independence, "Veronica" and her mother decided to raise her age by three years, and to indicate that she had graduated high school before coming to Hollywood (which is why some bios refer to her birth-year as 1919).

Her first movie was as one of the many coeds in the RKO film, SORORITY HOUSE in 1939. Two other small parts followed: ALL WOMEN HAVE SECRETS and DANCING CO-ED, both in 1939.

In 1940 she met and married MGM art director John Detlie.

It was in MGM's Forty Little Mothers(1940), that the "peek a boo" look accidentally occured during filming, and was promoted as a hair style. It was during this time she was given the name by a studio head of Veronica Lake. (Veronica, because of her classic features, and Lake because of her blue eyes)

    Signed by Paramount in 1941, Lake was often teamed with actor Alan Ladd thereby launching one of Paramount's most successful screen duos.

During the mid-forties, upon hearing that working woman occassionally got their "Peek a boo" bangs caught in sewing machines, her publicist came up with a promotional ploy that the government had requested Veronica to change her hair style, which she did pulling it back in braids for several mid-forties movies.

Her next husband was director Andre De Toth. Lake flourished professionally until 1948, after she was dropped by Paramount, she was sued for support payments by her mother, who after the death of her husband in 1946 had no means of support and was livig off friends. As she later revealed to a writer, loans were made to "Veronica" to inially help her in the beginning or her carrer pursuits, with the agreement that she would pay them back in installments as she became successful, however the payments stopped coming.

Her final movie of the 40s was the 20th Century-Fox film Slattery's Hurricane(1949). She left Hollywood bitter for NEW YORK in the early 1950s, making a living with stage appearances. and by 1959 she was working as a Manhattan barmaid. The Washington Post caught up with her and did a "whatever happenned to..." story in the early-sixites. Fans from many countries sent checks to her, which sshe returned due to pride.

Lake staged a comeback as a Baltimore TV host in the early 1960s. and had her autobiography written in 1969. After seeking stage work in England, Lake returned to the U.S. in 1971; two years later, after more personal problems and failed comeback attempts, she died of hepatitis while visiting friends in Burlington, Vermont. Lakeīs son, Mike, flew in from Hawaii to arrange his motherīs funeral. Only 30 mourners went to her funeral.
She was cremated, and scattered at sea.

Veronica Lake Movies

Nostalgia World War II, Vol. 2 VHS
An interesting compilation of vintage wartime newsreels and U.S. Government films made for the folks on the home front. Includes scenes of jungle warfare in New Guinea, bombing raids over Germany, the rigors of army laundry detail(!) and a message for female factory workers by Veronica Lake on the dangers of long hair on the assembly line. 51 min.

Laurel & Hardy & Friends, Vol. 9 VHS
The fellas are spotlighted in early solo turns, with Stan starring in "Short Kilts" (1924) and Ollie in "Bromo and Juliet" (1926). Next, Leon Errol plays opposite a young Veronica Lake in "The Wrong Room" (1939); Our Gang stars in "Good Cheer" (1926); and Edgar Kennedy learns to "Act Your Age" (1939). 102 min. total.

Sullivan's Travels(1941) VHS
Preston Sturges' gem of Hollywood self-satire stars Joel McCrea as a filmmaker who tires of comedies and light entertainment and wants to make "meaningful" tales of human suffering. To this end, he disguises himself as a bum and sets out across America to experience suffering first-hand. Veronica Lake co-stars. 91 min.

Sullivan's Travels [DVD](1941) DVD
Preston Sturges' gem of Hollywood self-satire stars Joel McCrea as a filmmaker who tires of comedies and light entertainment and wants to make "meaningful" tales of human suffering. To this end, he disguises himself as a bum and sets out across America to experience suffering first-hand. Veronica Lake co-stars. 90 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English mono; audio commentary by Christopher Guest and Michael McKean; documentary on Sturges; interviews; publicity materials; theatrical trailer; audio recording of Sturges; scene access.

This Gun For Hire(1942) VHS
The movie that made Alan Ladd a star. He's a cold-blooded killer out to get back at a double-crossing nightclub owner. Secret formulas, Nazis and vicious chauffeurs pop up in this "film noir" classic based on Graham Greene's thriller. Veronica Lake is the beautiful femme fatale; with Laird Cregar, Robert Preston. 81 min.

The Glass Key(1942) VHS
Dashiell Hammett's tale of political corruption, blackmail and murder stars Alan Ladd as an aide to political boss Brian Donlevy who must clear his boss' name when he's accused of killing a candidate's son. Veronica Lake supplies the love interest, William Bendix plays a mob muscleman; look for one fight scene where Bendix actually knocked out Ladd! 85 min.

Star Spangled Rhythm(1942) VHS
A parade of Hollywood's biggest stars were enlisted for this tuneful comedy starring Eddie Bracken as a sailor who brings his pals to Paramount Studios to meet his father, a guard and one-time cowboy star now posing as a movie honcho. Bing Crosby, Betty Hutton, Bob Hope, Alan Ladd, Mary Martin, Dick Powell and Victor Moore lead the cast; songs include "Hit the Road to Dreamland." 100 min.

I Married A Witch(1942) VHS
A 300-year-old witch returns to Earth to place a curse on the descendant of the man who condemned her, but winds up falling in love with him. Spry, witty comedy stars Veronica Lake, Fredric March, Susan Hayward and Robert Benchley; directed by Rene Clair. 77 min.

So Proudly We Hail!(1943) VHS
A trio of Army nurses (Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard, Veronica Lake) are followed from Pearl Harbor to Bataan and the Pacific Front in this unusual, moving WWII flagwaver that mixes action and pathos with comedy and romance. George Reeves, Walter Abel and Sonny Tufts (in his film debut) also star. 126 min.

The Blue Dahlia(1946) VHS
Written by Raymond Chandler, this crackerjack film noir features Alan Ladd as a sailor returning home to Los Angeles who discovers that his wife is involved with another man. When she's found murdered, Ladd becomes the prime suspect, forcing him to launch his own investigation with Veronica Lake, the estranged spouse of his wife's lover. With William Bendix. 100 min.

Variety Girl(1947) VHS
Practically the entire talent roster of Paramount Pictures lent their services to this all-star musical, made to benefit the Variety Club children's charity. Two young women with dreams of stardom come to Hollywood and work their way onto the studio's lot, running into such stars as Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Ray Milland, Alan Ladd, Barbara Stanwyck, Paulette Godard, Dorothy Lamour, Burt Lancaster, William Holden, Pearl Bailey, Sunny Tufts (Sonny Tufts?) and even Cecil B. DeMille. 93 min.

Ramrod(1947) VHS
Explosive, superbly photographed drama starring Joel McCrea as an upright ranch hand who comes between a scornful shepherdess (Veronica Lake) and her cattleman pa (Charles Ruggles) in a bloody range war. Co-stars Don DeFore and Donald Crisp. 94 min.