June Lang

Last updated
June Lang
June Lang in Isle of Destiny.jpg
Born
Winifred June Vlasek

(1917-05-05)May 5, 1917
DiedMay 16, 2005(2005-05-16) (aged 88)
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Education Beverly Hills High School
OccupationActress
Years active1931–1961
Known for
Spouses
(m. 1937;div. 1938)
(m. 1939;div. 1943)
John Morgan
(m. 1946;div. 1952)
Children1

June Lang (born Winifred June Vlasek, May 5, 1917 – May 16, 2005) was an American film actress.

Contents

Early life

Born Winifred June Vlasek [1] in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she was the daughter of Edith and Clarence Vlasek, After the family moved to Los Angeles, Lang trained at a school of dance and performed in revues in theaters in Los Angeles. [2] She graduated from Beverly Hills High School in the summer graduating class of 1933. [3]

Career

With Warner Baxter and Fredric March in The Road to Glory (1936) The Road to Glory (1936) 1.jpg
With Warner Baxter and Fredric March in The Road to Glory (1936)

At age 16, Lang was a dancer at a vaudeville theater in Los Angeles when she left that job to seek work at the Fox Film studio. The company had her teeth straightened and changed her name from Vlasek to Lang. [4]

Lang made her film debut in 1931, with much of her early work coming in minor roles in musical and dramatic films. [2] She gradually secured second lead roles in mostly B movies for 20th Century Fox. She played her debut feature film role in Young Sinners. [5]

Noted for her fragile and demure appearance, she was usually cast as the little sister or the heroine's best friend in light comedies and adventure films.[ citation needed ]

Early in Lang's career, she was a blonde when she worked for Fox Film, averaging "about one good role a year" and spending more time posing for publicity photographs while wearing a bathing suit. [4] Her last film under her contract was Bonnie Scotland (1935), for which Fox loaned her to Hal Roach Studios. Fox did not renew her contract, and during her time of "brief retirement" she changed her hair color to chestnut. [4] An encounter with producer Darryl F. Zanuck at the Trocadero night club led to her being cast as the romantic lead in Captain January (1936) for the new 20th Century Fox. Within 12 weeks she had five significant roles in films. [4]

She soon graduated to leading roles, most notably in Bonnie Scotland (with Laurel and Hardy, 1935), in The Road to Glory (with Fredric March, Warner Baxter and Lionel Barrymore—written in part by William Faulkner—1936), and as Joyce Williams in Wee Willie Winkie (directed by John Ford, with Shirley Temple, Cesar Romero, and Victor McLaglen, 1937).

Personal life

Lang first married her Hollywood agent, Victor Orsatti, on May 29, 1937, [6] but they divorced on August 5, 1937. [7] Her reputation as a wholesome leading lady was somewhat tarnished when she married Johnny Roselli, a Chicago connected mobster who helped control Hollywood movie unions, on April 1, 1939. Lang later said she had no idea that Rosselli was a mobster. Lang and Rosselli divorced in March, 1943. [8] Fox Studios had released Lang from her contract one year before she was married to Rosselli. She was released from contract in 1938, because against Fox studio orders, she left the United Kingdom, after she was cast in So This Is London , which was filmed at Pinewood Studios in London, Fox's U.K. studio. Lang and her mother left London because they feared an impending war in Europe. Three years after marrying him, Lang divorced Rosselli, but she later found it more difficult to secure consistent film work. Lang married John Morgan in 1946 (they divorced in 1952), with whom she had a daughter.

Lang semi retired from acting in 1947, after struggling as a free lancer to re-establish her film career for several years. Lang occasionally appeared in minor roles on television.

Lang died in 2005 in Valley Village, California. She is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.[ citation needed ]

Partial filmography

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References

  1. Room, Adrian (January 10, 2014). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. ISBN   978-0-7864-5763-2 . Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  2. 1 2 Packer, Eleanor (August 30, 1936). "New Girls From Old!". Albuquerque Journal. New Mexico, Albuquerque. King Features Syndicate, Inc. p. 14. Retrieved 23 March 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  3. "Films Mixed With School". The Los Angeles Times . June 30, 1933. p. 10. Retrieved 23 March 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Elwell, Jay (April 5, 1936). "What Price Blondes?". St. Louis Globe-Democrat. p. 60. Retrieved July 9, 2022 via Newspapers.com.
  5. "Blonde June Vlasek Here for Personal Appearance". The Bakersfield Californian. October 5, 1933. p. 10. Retrieved 23 March 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  6. "June Lang Becomes a Bride" . The New York Times. Associated Press. May 30, 1937. p. 16. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  7. "Orsatti Divorces June Lang" . The New York Times. Associated Press. August 6, 1937. p. 21. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  8. FBI FOIA John Roselli FBI FOIA files