Happy Birthday Veronica Lake, Hollywood's quintessential femme fatale | EW.com

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Happy Birthday Veronica Lake, Hollywood's quintessential femme fatale

Veronica Lake

(Eliot Elisofon/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

If there’s a name synonymous with femme fatale and scene-stealer, it’s Old Hollywood legend Veronica Lake.

She would have been 91 today. The film noir starlet was famous for her enchanting presence in films like Sullivan’s Travels, The Blue Dahlia, and The Glass Key.

“Lake brought to the screen an air of mystery, contained sensuality and quiet wit that lit up the screen. But, as she herself said, she just wasn’t cut out to be a movie star – at least not as Hollywood in the Forties envisioned that role – and her later life was marked by broken marriages, addiction and illness,” writes Time magazine in “Veronica Lake: Hollywood Rebel and Self-Proclaimed ‘Sex Zombie’.”

The actress took a break from film work after the 1940s but continued working on the stage and the small screen. Time writes that the latter part of her life was full of personal tumult – multiple marriages, issues with alcohol and mental illness, and familial drama. Lake died in July 1973 from hepatitis and kidney injury.

Her smoldering legacy lives on, in countless fashion spreads attempting to emulate her mermaid curls and sultry makeup, in a thousand New Hollywood actress copycats, and in the old Hollywood film archives continuing to allure modern audiences.

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