Read facts you never knew about Veronica Lake:
One of the reasons Veronica got a studio contract so quickly, was the fact that she was only 4’11 tall and petite. This made her a perfect match for shorter actors like Alan Ladd, who was reportedly 5’6.
When she heard that her Hollywood name would be ‘Veronica Lake’, she burst into tears. Her mother was sometimes called Veronica and they had a fraught relationship.
Although she was a golden Hollywood duo with Alan Ladd, the two were never close. According to Veronica they were both ‘aloof people’ and that made working together easy, because there was never any drama or friction.
Veronica was so popular during World War II, that two marines who discovered a barren volcanic island in the South Pacific named it ‘Veronica Island’ in her honor.
During her Hollywood heyday Veronica held ‘kitchen parties’, which people like Howard Hughes and Paulette Goddard would attend. All the female guests would wear aprons and help with serving.
Life Magazine reported that her hair took a lot of work: she had to get up early to wash it, set it and dry it. She washed it twice in Nulava shampoo, once in Maro oil and then rinsed it in vinegar. She pointed out in her autobiography that this was all true, though somewhat embellished.
Although she loved working on the comedy I Married A Witch, she hated her co-star Fredric March. She claimed he treated her ‘like dirt’ and saw her as nothing more than a blonde sexpot.
Her peek-a-boo hair was so popular during World War II, that women working in the defense industry got their look-a-like hair caught in the machines. Veronica had to take a picture where her hair got ‘caught’ in a machine, to warn women about the dangers of her hairstyle.
After losing her son, who was born two months prematurely, Veronica got a surprise visit from Katharine Hepburn at the hospital. They had never met before. Katharine told her: ‘Don’t worry, Veronica. You’ll get over it. If there’s anything I can do, please let me know.’ She walked away in her mink coat, turned around at the door and said: ‘Remember, Veronica, the calla lilies will bloom again.’
She was once invited to dinner at the White House. According to her autobiography, she asked Mrs. Roosevelt if she could take a teaspoon as a keepsake. Mrs. Roosevelt said yes because, unlike many others, she asked for it instead of just taking it.
Veronica earned her pilot’s license in 1946 and would take solo flights between Los Angeles and New York in her private plane in the following years.
She felt like a misfit in Hollywood, because she did not want to keep up with the rat race. She was branded a rebel and that cost her, but she later said that she never regretted it.
Veronica’s ashes sat in a Vermont funeral home for three years before her autobiography’s ghostwriter Donald Bain finally paid to have them shipped to two of her friends. They scattered the ashes in the waters off Miami, as per her wishes. There was a rumor that they kept a small portion of it and that these ashes were found in an antique store in 2004, but its authenticity was never confirmed.
R&B singer and actress Aaliyah, famous for hits like Try Again and Are You That Somebody, copied Veronica’s peek-a-boo hairstyle. Veronica Lake was her mother’s favorite actress and her mother suggested that it would add mystique to her image.
Veronica was one of the five inspirations for Jessica Rabbit. The other four were: Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth, Jayne Mansfield and Gene Tierney.