Todd Gault's Movie Serial Experience

Todd Gault's Film Serial Experience: Movie serials, cliffhangers and reviews. A gallery of movie serial stars.
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"Perils of Nyoka"; Republic, 1942

Lorna Gray's real name was Virginia Pound, she started her show business career as a singer under her real name. Journeying to Hollywood, she had some small roles in films at Paramount. Later she changed her name to Lorna Gray and became a regular at Columbia's B unit. She spent two years appearing in such features as "The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt" (1939), "The Man They Could Not Hang" (1939), and "Convicted Woman" (1940).

She also played the heroine in two serials, "Flying G-Men" (1939) and "Deadwood Dick" (1940). After leaving Columbia, and doing some films at Monogram, Republic cast her in the role she is most remembered for, the evil Vultura, in "Perils of Nyoka" (1942). After a brief stint as a heroine in "Captain America" (1944), She was back to being a great baddie in "Federal Operator 99" (1945).

It looked like Gray was on her way to becoming a big actress at Republic when disaster struck. Like Robert Mitchum, Lorna Gray was arrested for smoking marajuana. Unlike Mitchum, she didn't have the kind of rebel image that could overcome such a scandal. Republic still had faith in the actress, so Lorna Gray ceased to exist, and Adrian Booth was born.


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