It’s nearly impossible to find someone who hasn’t heard of Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s a well-known name in the 21st century that has been mentioned by most people. Despite this, no one is complaining about his popularity. Leo started as a young heartthrob and has now become a cultured icon. His movies have become blockbusters and have made millions at the box office. However, his path to success hasn’t been straightforward. Leo has had many phases that most people are unaware of. These 25 fascinating facts about him will take you on a journey through his life and career, revealing some of the unknown phases he has gone through and is still going through.
Not Getting Any Younger
His taste in women, which is well-known for dating almost exclusively models such as Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Bijou Phillips, Amber Valetta, Eva Herzigova, Bar Rafaeli, Anne Vyalitsyna, Madalina Ghenea, and Erin Heatherton, appears to be consistent and unchanging.
There is no need for anyone to question the attractiveness of a model. However, there is a pattern among all the women he has dated, which is that they have not been older than 25. Perhaps he believes that dating younger partners will make him feel youthful.
Currently, he is recognized as a person who attracts and enjoys the company of women. However, prior to that, he was entirely devoted to his mother. He was primarily brought up by his mother, Irmelin Indenbirken, who was a single immigrant from Germany and worked as a legal secretary.
Leo was fortunate enough to have good genes, but he didn’t have the same financial privileges as other Hollywood celebrities who were either born into wealthy families or pushed into the spotlight because of their physical appearance. Nonetheless, it’s worth mentioning that Leo does have attractive qualities such as his hair and overall appearance.
Oscar Me Not
Although he received a nomination for an academy award in 1994 at the young age of 19 for his performance in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t receive an award until 2016. This nomination also made him the 7th youngest person to have ever received such an honor.
No one can deny that he is one of the most skilled actors globally. However, when it comes to winning an award, Leonardo DiCaprio seemed to have mixed luck. He draws in all the nominations but misses out on winning the gold award, until the year 2016.
Leonardo DiCaprio faced initial struggles in his acting career. While having talent and good looks can provide an advantage, being overly disruptive during filming can hinder progress, particularly when one is still relatively unknown in the industry.
Leo got fired from his first acting gig, where he played a small part in a kids’ show called Romper Room because of a specific reason. However, he managed to get another opportunity despite his negative reputation, probably due to his skill and attractive appearance.
Titanic Without Leo?
Although Titanic was one of his most notable performances, the studios initially considered casting Matthew McConaughey as Jack in the film, but James Cameron pushed for Leonardo DiCaprio. James made the right decision here. Let’s face it, the reason most people watch Titanic repeatedly is due to Leonardo’s portrayal of Jack.
Although the film is truly exceptional, it’s fair to state that a significant number of individuals were drawn to theaters globally because of Leo’s memorable smile.
King of the Script
If you were to ask a woman who lived through the 1990s, she would likely say that choosing the most charming line delivered by Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Titanic is an arduous task. However, among the various contenders, there is one line that he improvised himself which is typically considered the most appealing.
He fully immersed himself into the persona of a young, inexperienced sailor who had no money, and shouted out “I am the ruler of this world!” during filming, which became such an iconic moment that James Cameron chose to include that line in the final script.
Italian in Name, American at Heart
Leo was recommended to change his name to Lenny Williams legally when he entered the business world and obtained his initial acting agent in order to sound “more American”.
Leo was already familiar with a person named Lennie, but he didn’t want to be connected with this particular Lennie who was the central character in John Steinbeck’s renowned novel, Of Mice and Men. It appears that being true to oneself was the best option for Leo, just like it is for all of us.
Locked Down By a Legend
Leo DiCaprio’s journey to success in his acting career was not a straight path. One significant boost came from another famed actor, Robert DeNiro, who selected DiCaprio to play his stepson in This Boy’s Life among hundreds of other boys. This opportunity helped pave the way for DiCaprio’s future success.
Leo’s career was greatly influenced by one of his breakthrough roles, which undoubtedly had a significant impact on his life and led to his incredible success.
In the entertainment industry, encountering the same individuals repeatedly is a common occurrence even if you don’t desire it. While everyone goes through personal development, starting as a youngster in that particular environment can impede the formation of a genuine identity or lead to a negative image that prevails.
At present, he shares a deep friendship with his former co-actor Mark Wahlberg, whom he couldn’t stand during the filming of The Basketball Diaries back in 1995. This instance proves that personalities can transform, even in the entertainment industry.
He Even Has a Sense Of Humor…Sometimes
During the filming of Wolf Of Wall Street, Leo and Jonah Hill developed a close relationship off-camera, as they did in the movie.
Leo recognized Jonah in public a year or two after shooting and thought it was the perfect opportunity for a classic prank. He surprised Jonah from behind and acted like a wild enthusiast holding a camera. However, the two embraced moments later. It appears that Leo’s capability to act effectively extends even to other performers.
It’s All in the Name
Determining the more well-known individual between the two is difficult to determine, however, there is unanimous consensus that Leonardo DiCaprio was not the initial renowned Leonardo. The original renowned Leonardo was none other than Leonardo da Vinci, who crafted the legendary Mona Lisa that is nestled in a small frame at the Louvre and is continuously encompassed by people. He achieved fame first by virtue of his birth, nearly four centuries ago.
While gazing at a painting by Da Vinci, the pregnant mother of little Leo felt her unborn child kick. This prompted his father to believe it was destiny, leading them to name him after the famous artist.
There are actors who are aware of the specific smoothie they require for breakfast before filming while some simply understand that having breakfast with the right colleagues is necessary for them to perform at their best.
In the process of making Inception, the focus was on finding actors who would fit around Leo, who was the one required actor for director Christopher Nolan. To secure his involvement, Nolan allowed Leo to suggest other actors and make the final decision on the casting.
Charming the Charmer
Many people find it difficult to believe the story of Frank Abagnale Jr., which was depicted by DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can. Even Leo himself seems to be one of those people.
In order to convince him, they asked the actual Frank to come to the set while filming was taking place, and this led to a strong friendship between the two. Although it most likely aided in Leo’s portrayal of the character, it appears that Frank’s charisma, which had helped him greatly throughout his life, even had an effect on Leo.
At times, there may be a conflict between your job and your personal values. Leo, a committed vegetarian, was put to the test when his part in The Revenant required him to consume uncooked bison liver.
Leo prioritized his job in this situation and chose to go against his agreement with Mother Nature. This was necessary for him to fully embody his role, and not because he had any personal desire for the meat. In the end, he had to put the success of the show above everything else.
Not Always a Natural
Even though he portrayed a drug-addicted businessman with great conviction in The Wolf Of Wall Street, DiCaprio claims that he has never experimented with illicit substances in his life.
He received training from a specialist regarding the appropriate conduct. However, during his 20s, he had a known habit of going out in the town, primarily in New York City. Nevertheless, this is a typical phenomenon experienced by most of us.
Finger on the Trigger
Leo did not have any experience with weapons when he entered the acting industry as he grew up in Los Angeles, where shooting and hunting are not popular activities in the local culture.
Despite his career taking him towards action movies several times, he required assistance from a weapons trainer. He selected Thell Reed, a talented shooter who specializes in fast draw style, to train him alongside Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Val Kilmer, and Russell Crowe.
A One-Movie Kind of Man
Regarding the production of a fantastic film, DiCaprio is a valuable asset. And, typically, a sequence or continuation comes after an excellent movie. However, no sequel has been made with Leo. Up to this point, he holds the record for being the most profitable actor who has never starred in a sequel. Nevertheless, it doesn’t imply that he’s not open to the idea.
According to sources, he has stated that a few of the most remarkable films ever made have had continued installments, especially The Godfather. However, Leonardo wants the sequel’s storyline to be unique and distinguishable from the rest of the franchise, which has yet to materialize.
No Song and Dance
Although he is a beloved cast member of Baz Luhrmann’s movies, his singing ability is not satisfactory and therefore, he was swiftly overlooked for the casting in Moulin Rouge.
He describes it as “terrible” and acknowledges that certain things cannot be taught. However, people were pleased to see the charming Scottish actor Ewan McGregor take on the role. They haven’t starred in a movie together yet, maybe because their combined attractiveness may be overwhelming.
A Close Call
Leo has experienced a lot of loss, which is already difficult. However, leaving a game when one is close to winning can also be painful. Leo was given an opportunity for a role that ended up winning an Academy Award before he had the chance to try it himself.
It was Quentin Tarantino’s desire to cast DiCaprio as Nazi Colonel Landa in Inglorious Basterds. However, Christoph Waltz ultimately played the role and received an Oscar award for his performance. It remains uncertain how DiCaprio would have performed if he had gotten the part.
Leo’s Fans Have Made Him Fiction
A vast realm of fanfiction exists where fans transform their beloved famous figures into their personal fictional personas. It’s not shocking that there exists a substantial amount of fanfiction centered around Leo.
A well-known tale about him revolves around his construction of tree houses from the beginning in order to evade the paparazzi, whom he famously despises. However, the most remarkable narrative is one where DiCaprio wins an Oscar but tragically expires on the same day. It seems unfair, doesn’t it?
Leonardo DiCaprio was quick to register himself for a trip to outer space that was being arranged by Virgin Galactic, a new division of Virgin Atlantic that deals with space travel and is intended for the general public.
Shortly after, 37-year-old Russian businessman Vasily Klyukin, who currently resides in Monaco, made a purchase of a noteworthy location, valuing at $1.5 billion. However, before forming an opinion about his extravagant spending, it’s essential to note that the purchase was a charitable bid in an auction aimed at raising funds for AIDS research.
Were you aware that Leo has a paternal role? However, it’s not in the typical sense that you might imagine. Leo didn’t quickly enter into a marriage and start a family without you knowing. During his time filming Blood Diamond in South Africa, he visited an orphanage and became deeply attached to a young girl.
Although he didn’t intend to disrupt her current lifestyle and familiar surroundings, he made the decision to solely provide emotional and financial support by adopting her. This entails sending her a monthly allowance and maintaining regular communication through phone calls.
Leo grew up in Los Angeles, a vast and constantly evolving metropolis. Eventually, the house he lived in as a child, located in Los Feliz, was converted into a public school long after he and his mother had already left the area.
Although the planet and the future generations hold a special significance for him, he still cherishes that period in his life. As a tribute to that phase, he generously contributed a computer lab to the new school.
Friends in Unusual Places
Leo has some friends who happen to be former Presidents and Pope Francis, whom he shares interests with. While movie stars enjoy many benefits, they may not necessarily have the opportunity to meet individuals of significant importance.
Leo has engaged himself equally in his passion for both acting and the environment. His participation in environmental activities has given him the opportunity to work with well-known personalities, thereby making his social circle more fascinating than that of an average celebrity.
A Small Birthday Fortune for Mother Earth
Currently, it has become a trend for famous personalities to organize charity gatherings, which Leo also finds pleasure in doing. However, unlike several actors, he transformed his birthday celebration into a benevolent event the previous year, ensuring that all those who admire and admire him also acknowledge and express gratitude to the environment.
By generating $3 million, the occasion contributed a significant amount, which he offered to different organizations conducting environmental studies. This helped them acquire sufficient resources to work towards improving the future.
Veronica Lake, a popular movie star and pin-up girl in the 1940s, faced a rapid decline in her career as a result of various personal tragedies. Her struggles with addiction and mental health instability played a significant role in her downfall. Despite not being widely recognized today, her life serves as an example of Hollywood tragedy. Keep reading to discover the reasons behind this.
A Terrible Loss
During the shooting of the 1944 drama film “The Hour Before the Dawn,” Veronica, who was pregnant at the time, tripped over a cable while on the set, leading to a tragic incident where she lost her baby. This accident caused her to suffer from bleeding, and she was taken to the hospital, where doctors managed to deliver the baby.
However, her child only survived for one week after being born. Veronica was able to be a mother and later gave birth to three more children.
An Alienated Ending
When Lake passed away, she wasn’t in a good place with her friends and family. The actress had alienated herself from her loved ones so much so that her funeral was poorly attended.
Her ashes weren’t even taken proper care of and ended up allegedly being passed around from her ghostwriter Donald Bain in New York to her friend William Roos. He was supposed to scatter her ashes in Miami.
Her Misplaced Ashes
Lake’s ashes weren’t even displayed at her funeral. Instead the urn landed up at William Roos’s home. It is believed that an off-Broadway producer took a liking to Lake’s urn and Roos by accident sent him her ashes, instead of the urn.
Many question Will’s motives here but it is possible that he mistakenly mailed the wrong packages. Lake’s ashes somehow found their way to being on display in an antique store in the Catskills.
A Difficult Diagnosis
Since her childhood, Veronica’s mental health was of great concern and it wasn’t long until she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Her illness became a fundamental struggle in her life which impacted her both professionally and personally.
Her common symptoms included paranoia, muddled thinking, auditory hallucinations and dysfunctional relationships with most people – including her friends and family. It’s safe to say that the beautiful actress’s life was far from glamorous.
Due to Lake’s illness, she struggled with interpersonal relationships and gained a bad reputation for being difficult to work with. Her volatile on-set behavior started to affect her ability to land roles as directors were hesitant to cast her.
Veronica’s co-star Joel McCrae from the film Sullivan’s Travels (as seen above) was offered an opportunity to work alongside her in I Married A Witch. The actor turned down the role and reportedly responded, “Life’s too short for two films with Veronica Lake.”
Her Final Days
Lake suffered from her illness until her last breath. As she grew older, she became more and more paranoid which led her to live a reclusive lifestyle. She moved around from Hollywood to Florida and later New York because she believed the FBI were tapping her phone.
Veronica was then hospitalized in Vermont due to acute hepatitis from her excessive drinking. She spent her last days signing autographs for nurses in the hospital. It’s unclear whether or not her children were present at this time.
In the end, Veronica passed away due to kidney failure on July 7th in 1973. Her alcoholism from over the years had destroyed her insides. When asked about why the successful star turned to drinking in the first place – it is believed that she used booze to self-medicate from her illness and deal with fame.
Back in 1960, Sue Cameron, a TV columnist for The Hollywood Reporter recalled meeting Lake and thinking the actress was in her 70s even though she was just 47 at the time.
Her Iconic Hairstyle
Lake was famous for her thick locks that were brushed over her right eye. In fact, her hairstyle became so popular that Government officials asked her to change her look during WW11 – they saw it as a safety concern as assembly line workers who copied Lake had impaired vision.
Surprisingly enough, her unique hairstyle was an accident. During one of her first films, her hair came undone and fell across her face. Both Veronica and the directors liked the look and very quickly so did the entire country.
Her Empty Funeral
Funerals are known to be incredibly sad as is, but Lake’s was particularly unfortunate due to the lack of attendants. None of her four ex-husbands were seen there and while her second husband, Andre de Toth, did show, he was particularly bitter.
So much so that when her son Michael requested help from de Toth to pay for her cremation, he aggressively refused. In the end her son had to take out a loan to go to Vermont and claim her body.
Her Life-Changing Role
When an actor or actress lands a role that leads to a bunch more in successful films, this is known as a breakthrough role in Hollywood. That moment came for Lake in her 1941 drama I Wanted Wings which was about romances between Air Corps soldiers.
Something about Lake’s look caught the attention of director Preston Sturges and this snowballed her career opportunities. After starring in a series of acclaimed films, she changed her name from Constance Frances Marie Ockelman to Veronica Lake.
Hollywood’s New It Girl
It’s not often Hollywood breeds overnight successes but Lake was one of the exceptions. When she starred as a femme fatale opposite actor Alan Ladd in the classic nor film This Gun for Hire, she became the talk of the town.
Audiences were starstruck by her unique beauty and style. The 1942 film catapulted Lake’s fame and made her into a Hollywood It Girl for a brief period in her life.
Her Honest Truth
Even though Veronica Lake is known as a famous American film, stage, and TV actress, she knew her acting abilities were limited. Instead of focusing on technical talent, she was more of an on-screen personality and both directors and audience members seemed to appreciate that about her.
When asked about her acting craft she even said, “You could put all the talent I had into your left eye and still not suffer from impaired vision.”
Her Up-and-Down Career
In 1944, Lake portrayed a Nazi spy in the movie The Hour Before the Dawn. This role is considered to be the beginning of Veronica’s decline as she received poor reviews for her bad German accent and overall performance.
Though she got a role in the acclaimed 1946 film The Blue Dahlia, her acting reputation was no longer credible and she struggled to get subsequent roles. By 1948, Paramount Pictures had canceled her contract.
Lake’s childhood resembled her later life – full of instability. Her father was never home because he worked at an oil rig and when Veronica was just 10 years old, he died in a freak accident. Just one year later her mother remarried but then soon after she was diagnosed with tuberculosis.
The family uprooted from Manhattan to Saranac Lake for better medical treatment. During this time Veronica was suffering from her own struggles due to her illness.
Veronica’s role as a mother didn’t come without its own set of challenges. After the horrible accident on-set that led to her losing a child, the actress was fortunate enough to have three more children – Elaine, Michael, and Diane.
Later on in life, she even had three grandchildren but she admitted in interviews that she rarely saw her family. At the time of Lake’s death, she was surrounded by more doctors than close relations.
A Fall From Grace
After being a Hollywood star in the ‘40s and ‘50s, Lake’s fame and fortune started to drastically decline as directors refused to cast her. By the early ‘60s, she had traded in her A-list acting career for working as a cocktail waitress and hostess.
She strongly denied her financial woes when the press found out about her new occupation. In fact, she had a stint back in the spotlight when she was interviewed about her change in path.
During the interviews she gave when she defended her financial status, Veronica claimed she was paying a whopping $190 per month in rent. Today that’s the equivalent to around $1600 which strongly suggests the former actress was not broke.
However, her status as a Hollywood elite diminished once she began to lose roles and never was reclaimed. Her illness, poor behavior, and lack of professionalism took their toll on her career.
Lake was married four times in her lifetime. Initially, she married art film director William Detlie and after divorcing him she went on to marry another director. Her second husband was Andre De Toth – with whom she had the most tumultuous marriage. After declaring bankruptcy the couple divorced in 1952.
She then married music producer Joseph McCarthy but by the end of the ‘50s the two had split. Her last husband Robert Carelton-Munro was a naval officer but they were actually in the process of divorcing when she died.
Lake Inspired Lynn
The film L.A. Confidential about the character Lynn Bracken was actually inspired by Veronica Lake’s tragic life. The movie centers around the darkness of Hollywood and its “city of stars.”
Kim Basinger plays the female lead and her side-swept hairstyle noticeably resembles Lake’s. Whether Veronica would have liked it or not, her tragic life made an impression. Even though the movie isn’t based entirely on truth, there are true stories included.
The Fibbing Begins
Veronica Lake lived a life that you only really see in movies. From the drama to the skepticism, there’s still so much that is unknown. For example, even Lake’s birth date is in question. While several sources say she was born in 1919, a 1920 Census claimed that her father was childless at the time.
Then a 1930 Census claimed that Lake was around seven years old at the time, which would make her birthday in 1922 more plausible. She herself mentioned in her autobiography that she was born in 1922.
The Fibbing Continues
There are a few common lies that people will fabricate about themselves – how old they are, where they were born, and where they studied. Veronica fibbed about at least two of these facts in her life.
Besides her highly contested birthday, Lake also claimed to have attended Montreal’s McGill University. She continued with this fib in several biographies until she eventually came clean and apologized to the university for lying.
From the sounding of Lake’s surname, many gathered she came from German descent and this is true but only partly. Veronica’s father was indeed German but only on his father’s side. His mother was Irish and both of Lake’s mother’s parents were also first-generation Irish-American.
Therefore, considering that both Veronica’s mother, maternal grandparents, and paternal grandmother were all of Irish descent, we hope she was able to visit the Emerald Isle in her lifetime.
How She Started
As a teenager, Veronica’s family traded in the East Coast of New York for the summerly West Coast climate of Beverly Hills. After the move, Lake received a contract from the MGM film studio which is known as the Beverly Hills Playhouse today.
They enrolled her at the Bliss-Hayden School of Acting which was an “acting farm” that MGM controlled. Back in this Old Hollywood Era, farms were more commonly used as institution spaces.
She Could Fly
While many ridicule Lake for her lies and bad reputation in the acting industry, she did have a few accomplishments under her belt that people cannot challenge. Her pilot’s license was one of them.
She decided to acquire the license while buying a plane for her then-husband Andre de Toth. Unfortunately, as we now know, the marriage fell apart but in the end, Lake did fly a plane from Los Angeles to New York after obtaining her license in 1946.
Her International Schooling
While Veronica never studied at McGill in Montreal, she did however go to school nearby. When Lake was a child she went to St. Bernard’s School in New York and was then sent to Montreal to an all-girls Catholic school called Villa Maria.
To this day, the school still exists but is now co-ed. It is also important to note that Lake was expelled from Villa Maria for unknown reasons.
Reunited at Long Last
Lake and actor Joel McCrea had a public feud to the point where he refused to work with her again. However, in 1947 the two actually reconciled to star alongside each other in the Western film Ramrod.
How bad could their row have been if they were able to reunite on-screen? Then again, it couldn’t have been a walk in the park because the two never went on to collaborate after this film.
When I Grow Up
When Lake was a young girl, she never dreamed about becoming a movie star. Instead, she hoped to become a surgeon. We now can better understand why she lied about attending a premedical course at McGill.
It doesn’t make it right of course, but it does put it into context. And while Veronica never got to fulfill her dream, she was able to wear the white coat when she acted as a doctor in one of her films.
Walk of Fame
While Lake experienced fleeting fame, her popularity for being a box office attraction and pin-up girl in the ‘40s, earned her a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She went to visit her star on her last trip to Los Angeles back in 1971.
Unfortunately, she passed away just two years later. If anyone is interested in seeing the late actress’s star, head to 6918 Hollywood Boulevard. Pretty impressive, right?
Dynamite in Small Packages
The expression of how “Dynamite comes in small packages” basically means that something doesn’t need to be big in size in order to make an impact. Lake is a great example of this because the actress was just 4’11” in height. Her shortness proved to be helpful in her 1946 film The Blue Dahlia.
She co-starred alongside Alan Ladd who was 5’6” and normally required his female counterpart to wear high heels in order to look bigger. Their dynamic worked so well that the pair acted in a total of seven films together.
Her Italian Double
In the movie industry, it’s still common practice to have voice actors dub into other languages when showing the films internationally. So, when Lake’s films came out in Italy, the Italian actress Rosetta Calavetta was her go-to voice dubber.
In fact, Calavetta was involved in all but one of Lake’s films. We’re assuming that she was most disappointed when Veronica’s acting career declined as Rosetta’s stable income would have gone too.
Lake’s voice wasn’t only dubbed for foreign languages. While she was praised for her role in the 1942 comedy musical Star Spangled Rhythm, the actress’s singing voice was not actually hers.
Instead, Martha Mears, who was a famous radio singer at the time, dubbed over Lake’s. Now before you become all judgemental, this was common practice in Old Hollywood and Mears also dubbed for stars like Lucille Ball, Eva Gabor, and Rita Hayworth.
Her Name Change
When Constance Frances Marie Ockelman traded in her name in favor of Veronica Lake, fans just assumed it was her own creation. But much like everything else in the industry, the decision came from someone above.
Arthur Hornblow Jr. was the producer who cast Lake in the military drama I Wanted Wings and when he saw the young actress, he thought of the name. His invention apparently came from looking at her “calm and clear” blue eyes.
And the Oscar Goes to
When Lake starred in the war drama So Proudly We Hail!, she received rave reviews. The film went on to receive Academy Award nominations and was even adapted into a radio show shortly after it came out in cinemas.
While Veronica was happy she played the role again for radio, she felt left out when she wasn’t nominated for any Oscars. Especially since her co-star in the film, Paulette Goddard, was.
Setbacks on Set
Lake’s reputation in the industry stemmed from her poor behavior which became apparent on the set of her breakthrough film I Wanted Wings. Not only did she clash with her co-stars but she also fought with the director Mitchell Leisen.
She would also notoriously show up late to filming. This bad pattern was eventually stopped after Lake was ordered to stay on set. Once the actress became on time to shoot, tensions simmered down.
A First for Everything
Veronica’s final acting role came in the 1970 low-budget horror picture entitled Flesh Feast. Not only did she act in it but she also co-produced. And thanks to the film’s intriguing title, its theatrical life spanned over 13 years.
Initially, it was seen as a second or third-billed movie alongside other more renowned horror movies but even in 1983, audiences could still see it in theaters.
You just might be scratching your head thinking that you’ve seen Veronica Lake’s face before. If you’re one of these people, you’re absolutely right. Her side-swept hairstyle inspired the Disney character Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
However, it is important to mention that this redheaded cartoon was also inspired by other Old Hollywood starlets like Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney and Jayne Mansfield. Even though Lake’s look might only have a passing resemblance today, at least her iconic hairstyle lives on.
Lake visited Boston in 1944 when she got involved with a war bond drive that was taking place there. She was even auctioned off and took part in a performance in order to raise funds. However, despite this goodwill, she received a lot of backlash for the rude comments she made there.
Reporters go as far as to say that this event contributed to her Hollywood fall as it was around this time that she started to lose film roles.
A New Beginning
Many would see Lake’s later life as a fall from grace but during her time working as a cocktail waitress at Martha Washington Hotel in Manhattan, she was pretty happy.
Reports from 1952 claim that she had a new alias and was motivated by her more humble job. Lake enjoyed interacting with customers who didn’t know of her and saw this period in her life as a silver lining.
When word got out that Veronica was a broke cocktail waitress after exiting Hollywood, many fans started sending her money through the mail. Lake would then send the funds back and explain she was financially sound but choosing to live a different lifestyle.
One of the alleged fans who sent her money was Marlon Brando. The high-profile American actor sent Lake a $1000 cheque that she decided to keep and frame on the wall.
When Things Worsened
Lake’s acting career went from bad to worse when she starred in two failed films back-to-back. The first was The Hour Before the Dawn and the second was the musical Bring on the Girls which was released the year after.
It is believed that during this time she turned to her unhealthy addictions to numb the pain of being alienating professionally. She began to shy away from everyone, including her own family.
An Ever-Lasting Review
Film critics are known to be crass but when Lake starred in the 1948 comedy Isn’t It Romantic, she received an award-winningly harsh review. Renowned film critic Leonard Maltin was even entered into the Guinness World Records for his commentary because it was the shortest one ever recorded in American history.
Maltin simply wrote “No” in response to the movie’s title. Ouch! That’s got to sting a little. Though, sometimes less is more, right?
Ahead of the Times
One of Veronica’s most loved films was the adventure picture Slattery’s Hurricane which honored Navy pilots. In fact, the tribute film was even shown in a special screening to passengers onboard a 90-ton aircraft called Constitution.
Lake believed that this event inspired later in-flight screenings and was quoted saying “If they only knew.” Well, if that is the case then she was indeed part of history in the making.
It isn’t very hard to believe that Lake and her mother had a tricky relationship considering that so many of her personal relationships were fractured as an adult.
As a young girl, Veronica was pushed into an acting career by her mom and even when she achieved fame, the relationship remain strained. At a point in time, she was even sued by her mother dearest for lack of support.
The Mother She Wasn’t
It’s very unfortunate that Veronica couldn’t break the cycle when she became a mother. Instead of smothering her children in love that she never received, she continued on with the coldness she was custom to. She blamed her divorces for never really getting close to her children.
However, in her later years she was very open about her regrets for being an absent mother. Yet, she was never able to really fix things with any of her kids.
Her Hate for Hollywood
While most will argue that Hollywood swallowed her up and spit her out, Lake claimed she was happy to leave and viewed the film industry as a shallow place that destroys people. She often spoke out about what the ramifications of fame and fortune can do to a person.
She also hated being typecast as a ‘sex-symbol.’ In her eyes, this is what made her pack up her belongings and children to leave Hollywood in 1951.