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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"Secret Service in Darkest Africa"; Republic, 1943

Lionel Royce was quickly typecast soon after he began appearing in films. With a supporting role in “Confessions Of A Nazi Spy” (1939), Royce was permanently fixed in the public’s mind as representing that particular form of evil. He would play similar villains in the Hope/Crosby film “Road to Zanzibar” (1941) and Bob Hope’s “My Favorite Blonde” (1942). Around this time he got to play a dual role in a serial. Republic cast him as the sympathetic Arab leader who is kidnapped and impersonated by a look a like Nazi officer in “Secret Service In Darkest Africa” (1943), a sequel to their popular “G-Men Vs. The Black Dragon” (1943), both of which featured Rod Cameron as super spy Rex Bennett.

Among Royce’s other film work was a starring role in the low budget “White Pongo” (1945), as well as appearances in “Tarzan and the Amazons” (1945) and “Gilda” (1946). Sadly he passed away in 1946 while appearing on a USO tour to entertain troops stationed in the Philippines.

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