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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"Undersea Kingdom"; Republic, 1936

It is always sad when a tragedy is visited on someone who could have attained big things. Lois Wilde, a finalist in the 1923 Miss America Pageant went on to become a model, then a Ziegfield girl and finally Broadway. It was inevitable that she would eventually come to Hollywood.

Her film debut was at Republic studios in The Millionaire Kid (1936). She was then Gene Autry's leading lady in his film debut, The Singing Cowboy (1936).

They quickly moved her to star opposite Ray "Crash" Corrigan in the company's second serial production, Undersea Kingdom (1936). She played a feisty newspaper reporter (are there any other kind in the movies?) who accompanies a naval commander and a scientist to the lost continent of Atlantis and must prevent the evil dictator from taking over the surface world.

After this successful run she began freelancing and was a staple of low budget westerns, flirting with Russell Hayden in Hopalong Rides Again (1937) and staring in Danger Valley (1938). It seemed she was poised to become a major female sagebrush star like Peggy Stewart became in the forties, but it was not to be. A car accident ended her acting career.

After recovering from her injuries, which included a broken neck, she worked as a nurse's assistant and began popping up in bit parts in the fifties. She has uncredited appearances in Love Nest (1951), Steel Town (1952), and Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Waikiki (1955). Her last official film appearance was as a casino patron in Oh God, You Devil (1984). Normally that is where the story would end but there is an unsubstantiated rumor that she worked through the late eighties as one of the two women with Clara Peller in the popular Where's the Beef!?!" Wendy's commercials.

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