Sunday Style Icon: Veronica Lake

Very few women are remembered for their hair alone…. in fact I can think of only one……

Peekaboo Pin Curls(Images source FanPop)

Pin Curls & 1940s White Dress(Image Source Stirred Straight Up

Pin Curls(Image Source Stirred Straight Up)

American film star and pin-up girl, Veronica Lake captured Hollywood audiences during the 1940s like few before her, or since and received both popular and critical acclaim for her femme fatale roles in film noir. But she was and still is most well-known for her alluring peek-a-boo, pin curls.

Pin Curls

 (Above images source FanPop)

Pin Curls (Image Source FanPop)

Born Constance Frances Marie Ockelman, Paramount producer Arthur Hornblow, Jr  changed her name in 1939 to Veronica Lake, because the surname suited her blue eyes.

Pin Curls(Image Source FanPop)

For a short time during the early 1940s Lake was one of the most reliable box office draws in Hollywood. After stealing scene after scene from the rest of the cast in her breakthrough film I Wanted Wings in 1941, she went on to star in such popular hits as, Hold Back the Dawn, Sullivan’s Travels, This Gun for Hire, I Married a Witch, The Glass Key, and So Proudly We Hail!

Pin Curls & 1940s dress

1940s Dress & Pin Curls Hair

(Above 4 images source FanPop)

During the height of her fame her luscious pin curls were copied by thousands of women around the world. In fact, incredibly, during World War II it became a huge health hazard to women who worked assembly lines in factories – to such an extent that Life Magazine did an article featuring photos of Veronica highlighting the dangers of wearing your hair like hers whilst operating machinery. Eventually she was asked by the government to change her hairstyle…….. and she did.

Pin Curls(Image Source This Girls Vintage)

I LOVE the victory rolls….

Victory Rolls(Image Source This Girls Vintage)

Victory Rolls(Image Source FanPop)

(Image Source FanPop)

(Image Source Stirred Straight Up)

At just 4 feet 11 inches, Veronica Lake was Paramount’s most petite star at the time. And it was this that lead to her most famous and successful onscreen pairing, with actor Alan Ladd, who was just 5 feet 5.

1940s Dress & Pin Curls(Image Source This Girls Vintage)

Wow, alongside fellow starlet Dorothy Lamour, this image really shows how petite she was – like a beautiful porcelain doll!

Sadly Lake was as mentally as fragile as she looked. The combination of her reputation for being difficult on set, mediocre films, and the eventual loss of her trademark peekaboo pincurls rang the death knell on her career: after Paramount dropped her contract in 1948, she appeared in just two more films before being branded unhirable. Her fall from superstar and Pin-up girl was tragically fast: by the early 1950’s, Lake had lost everything she owned to the IRS for unpaid taxes, a raging alcoholic, with a string of arrests for public drunkeness and disorderly conduct, she was living hand to mouth in cheap motels. By the late 1960s she was in Hollywood, Florida, immobilized by paranoia, which included claims she was being stalked by the FBI. At the time of her death of hepatitis and acute renal failure (both complications of alcoholism) on July 7, 1973, Veronica Lake was estranged from all 3 of her children and had filed for her fourth divorce.

1940s Pin Curls & Dress(Image Source FanPop)

Veronica Lake Pin Curls Hair(Image Source Stirred Straight Up)

Pin Curls Peekaboo Hairstyle(Image Source Stirred Straight Up)

Looking back at her career years later, Lake remarked, “I never did cheesecake; I just used my hair.” Even after Lake’s fame had faded, and now, nearly 40 years after her death her iconic look remains indelible, copied by numerous glamorous red carpet starlets of today.

Scarlett Johansson 1940s Pin CurlsScarlett Joahnsson

Kate Bosworth 1940s Pin Curls HairKate Bosworth

Megan Fox 1940s Pin Curls HairMegan Fox

Diane Kruger 1940s Pin CurlsDiane Kruger

One stylish lady, but what a sad sad life.

Amy

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