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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"Radar Patrol vs. Spy King"; Republic, 1950.

Eve Whitney toiled for years in Hollywood and yet never really climbed the pinnacle to achieve true stardom. A talented dancer, directors enjoyed casting the exotic looking brunette as one of the chorus girls who would get a couple of quick wise cracking quips during a scene. Popular in that context she worked steadily in such extravaganzas as “Three Cheers” (1943), “DuBarry Was a Lady” (1943), “Ziegfeld Follies” (1946), and “The Harvey Girls”” (1946).

Some of her other film appearances include bit parts in “A Guy named Joe” (1944), “Kismet” (1944), the adaptation of the comic strip “Little Iodine” (1946), and “State of the Union” (1948). It was obvious she was getting nowhere in A pictures and so Whitney took roles in B films like “Blonde Savage” (1947) and “The Blonde Bandit” (1950). While her roles were expanded she wasn’t exactly expanding her career, stuck still playing supporting characters.

The same is true of her only serial, Republic’s “Radar Patrol vs. Spy King” (1950), which had a surprisingly large cast for a late era production, six leads; hero, heroine, sidekick, villain, femme fatale, and henchman. Eve Whitney assayed the role of Nitra, the second in command to villain John Merton, yet billed after henchman Anthony Warde. It was probably her best performance in a film as she exuded a slinky sexiness mixed with a callous menace that frightened even the thuggish meaner than mean Warde.

Despite this excellent portrayal her career stalled out. After a bit part in “The World in His Arms” (1952) and an amusing cameo on “I Love Lucy”, as herself, Whitney retired from acting and devoted herself to her marriage to composer/ lyricist/ actor Eddie Cherkose. His gain was Hollywood’s loss.

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