Famous actress Lorna Gray, who was also billed as Adrian Booth, appeared opposite Hollywood titans such as John Wayne, Buster Keaton, and Boris Karloff, along with The Three Stooges. She also starred in films that were produced by Republic Pictures.
I loved the role she played in Red River Range with John Wayne. She will be missed by classic movies fans:
Born Virginia Pound on July 26, 1917, in Grand Rapids, Mich., she won the Miss Michigan beauty pageant and worked as a model, singer and in a vaudeville show before making her movie debut in Paramount Pictures’ Hold ‘Em Navy (1937), starring Lew Ayres.
She signed with Columbia, which changed her name to Lorna Gray, and worked with Wayne in Red River Range (1938), with Keaton in the short Pest From the West (1939) and with Karloff in The Man They Could Not Hang (1939).
The dark-haired beauty also fooled around in The Three Stooges shorts You Nazty Spy! (as a spy named Mattie Herring), Rockin’ Thru the Rockies, Three Sappy People and Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise — classics one and all — and appeared in the Columbia cliff-hangers Flying G-Men (1939) and Deadwood Dick (1940).
The actress began the next stage of her career as Adrian Booth at Republic, which claimed her as a new “discovery.” She starred in such serials as Perils of Nyoka (as the ruthless Vultura, a villainess with a pet ape, opposite Clayton Moore), Captain America (as the hero’s girlfriend, Gail Richards) and Federal Operator 99.
She also appeared alongside Monte Hale in several Westerns, including Out California Way (1946), Along the Oregon Trail (1947) and Under Colorado Skies (1947).
She retired from acting after appearing in two films released in 1951, The Sea Hornet and Yellow Fin, then devoted many years to the World Adoption International Fund, an adoption agency founded by actress Jane Russell. She also became an ordained minister.
She was married to actor David Brian until his death in 1993. She is survived by nieces Roberta, Robin, Rebecca, Patricia, and Penny and her caregivers of 37 years, Carlos and Lucy Iraheta.
Sorry to report… Lorna Gray, Queen of Shorts & Serials Dies at 99 https://t.co/ubMvh89Soz
— Classic Movie Hub (@ClassicMovieHub) May 3, 2017
We’re sorry to hear of the passing of Lorna Gray/Adrian Booth, who passed away on Sunday aged 99. pic.twitter.com/SUE63ZQg9e
— The Film Magazine (@thefilmagazine) May 2, 2017
When you look at the stars of today, you don’t see the elegance and class of the Golden Age. Nowadays, we rarely see films that are little more than vehicles for liberal propaganda, and the movie rags are filled with stories of drug abuse, failed relationships, and political statements.
They don’t make them like Lorna anymore. She’s from a better era. Let us pray for Gray’s family during this difficult time. Rest in peace.
What was your favorite movie from the Golden Age? Let us know in the comments below!