Hand color tinted photo of Anne Nagel, Halloween
Anne Nagel (September 29, 1915 – July 6, 1966) was an American actress. She played in adventures, mysteries, and comedies for twenty-five years. She also appeared in television series in the 1950s.
Born Anne Dolan in Boston, Massachusetts, Nagel was enrolled by her parents in a religious preparatory school with the expectation she would become a nun. But part-time work in her teens as a photographer’s model and membership in a Boston theater company turned her away from religious life. Meantime Nagel’s mother had divorced and remarried. When Nagel’s new stepfather, a Technicolor expert, was hired by Tiffany Studios in Hollywood, he moved the family to California, where he employed his stepdaughter in several experimental Technicolor shorts he had been asked to direct.
Placed under contract by Warner Brothers in 1932, Nagel secured a bit part as a ballet girl in Hypnotized and spent the next few years making uncredited appearances as a dancer or chorus girl. In 1936, she appeared in Here Comes Carter with Ross Alexander. A reviewer remarked of her performance, “she was just one of those girls who has learned to croon for the microphone, and let the rest of the world go hang.” Her early roles were in such films as Footloose Heiress, Three Legionnaires, Torchy Blane, the Adventurous Blonde (all from 1937). She was in Mystery House (1938), Unexpected Father (1939), and Legion of Lost Flyers (1939).
In 1940, she appeared with W.C. Fields and Mae West in My Little Chickadee. Other feature movies from 1940 in which she had parts are Black Friday, Hot Steel, and Diamond Frontiers. She was often a heroine in horror films. Late in the 1940s she made The Spirit of West Point (1947). The film starred Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis. Nagel later worked on television in episodes of The Range Rider (1951) and Circus Boy (1957).
Personal life and death
Nagel was married twice: first to actor Ross Alexander (who committed suicide in 1937), then to Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Keenan on December 4, 1941. That marriage ended in divorce ten years later in 1951.
In December 1947, Nagel filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against Hollywood physician and surgeon Franklyn Thorpe (former husband of actress Mary Astor). She alleged that, while performing an appendectomy on her ten years earlier, Thorpe had removed other organs without her knowledge or consent, leaving her unable to conceive a child. In the suit, Nagel demanded $350,000 in damages.
Anne Nagel died in Hollywood, California in 1966, aged 50, following surgery for liver cancer. She is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.