The life story of Veronica Lake is proof that it is possible to become a legend for all time, although she did not leave too much of a mark in the film industry. She practiced acting for several years, and became one of the most famous and beautiful Hollywood actresses of her time.
Her film career ended quickly, because she suffered from mental illness and alcoholism and was shaken by family tragedies. She was born in a working class family under the name Constance Francis Marie Ockelman on November 14, 1922. Her father died in an accident when she was only 10 years old, after which she became problematic and was soon diagnosed with schizophrenia. The mother remarried, so Veronica got her stepfather’s last name. Although they moved a lot, they still managed to settle in Florida, where, then as a teenager, she started modeling and winning beauty contests.
Because of Veronica’s success in modeling waters, the family decided to move to Beverly Hills where she enrolled in acting school. She soon appeared on the movie screen, and after several roles, set designer John Detley fell in love with her. That same year, the couple married and had a daughter, Elaine.
The government wanted to ban her hairstyle
At the time, she had not yet taken a stage name, but after a role in “I Wanted Wings,” her career took an upward trajectory. She signed a contract with “Paramount”, and they suggested that she take the name Veronica because of her exceptional beauty, and the surname Lake, because her eyes were blue like a lake.
She appeared in “Sullivan’s Travels”, and after that, her name resonated in Hollywood. She became synonymous with beauty and became a sex symbol of that time. Engagements just kept coming, so she starred in several popular films at the time, in which she played the character of fatal women and was known as one of the first “pin up” girls.
Her hairstyle has become planetary popular. This style was copied by women around the world, and they still do today. The members of the fairer sex are so “crazy” about the so-called “peek-a-boo bang” hairstyle that covered one eye that the American government planned to ban it, because it was afraid that the workers’ hair would get tangled in the machines.
When nothing seemed to be able to stop her, Veronica experienced another trauma. Namely, when she was pregnant, she fell on the set and lost a child. The broken actress and her husband could not bear the tragedy, and that situation led them to divorce. In addition, the film in which she played a Nazi spy received bad reviews in the meantime, and her career began to collapse.
She was arrested for alcohol
She started getting smaller roles or starring in bad movies. She starred in several noir crime novels, and the stories circulating about her were fateful for her career. Namely, Veronica gained a reputation as an actress who is difficult to work with, and because of the whole situation, she started drinking a lot. Her partner from the movie “Sullivan’s Travels” stated that she was called a “bitch” in her circles and that she deserved that name. She married director Andrea De Toto, but he also failed to help her.
Married to Toto, she had a son Andrea Michael and a daughter Diana, but the children did not manage to make her happy either. Her career was dead, and the problem with alcoholism was getting worse. Her husband was forced to seek medical help for her, so she was kicked out of “Paramount”. And that marriage failed, and she declared bankruptcy.
In the meantime, she married the poet Joseph McCarthy. She explained that she was tired of being a sex symbol and that she would like to act in the theater. Then she even starred in a musical with Lisa Minnelli, so it seemed like things were coming back into place. But Veronica broke her wrist and was forced to say goodbye to her acting career forever. The marriage fell apart after four years, and the unhappy Veronica found solace in alcohol again. She got so stuck that she was even arrested for drunkenness and riots.
Only her son came to the commemoration
Veronica decided to disappear from public life, but in the sixties, a reporter managed to find her. Namely, he noticed her when she was working in a cheap New York hotel as a waitress. She returned to the stage and appeared on television several times. She published an autobiography “Veronica” in which she described her struggle with alcohol and mental problems. There, she explained that she never saw herself as a sex symbol, but gave herself the name “zombie sex”.
She thought she would regain her fame that way, but that only resulted in a role in a low-budget horror film. She moved to England where she wanted to start a new life, so she married for the fourth time. The marriage lasted two years, and Veronica decided to return to America. Her physical health deteriorated, and she also suffered from paranoia.
That same year, she ended up in the hospital due to abdominal pain. Her condition did not improve – she was suffering from hepatitis and her kidneys were failing. She passed away on July 7, 1973, when she was 50 years old. Her ashes were spilled on the shore, and only her son Michael and a few foreigners came to the commemoration.
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