Classic Horror Scream Queens

by mjm2273 | created - 25 Oct 2013 | updated - 25 Oct 2013 | Public

1. Fay Wray

Actress | King Kong

Canadian-born Fay Wray was brought up in Los Angeles and entered films at an early age. She was barely in her teens when she started working as an extra. She began her career as a heroine in westerns at Universal during the silent era. In 1926 the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers ...

2. Mary Philbin

Actress | The Man Who Laughs

Mary Philbin's life should be a lesson to domineering parents. Mary was born on July 16, 1903, in Chicago, Illinois, to John Philbin and his first wife and namesake, Mary. The child was regarded as a little beauty from an early age and her mother was exceedingly proud of her and loved to show her ...

3. Mae Clarke

Actress | Frankenstein

Vivacious, blonde Mae Clarke was exposed to cinema from an early age, her father being an organist in a motion picture theatre. Growing up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, she learned how to dance and, at the tender age of 13, was already performing in nightclubs and amateur theatricals. In 1924 she ...

4. Valerie Hobson

Actress | Bride of Frankenstein

Elegant, quintessentially English (although born in Northern Ireland) Valerie Hobson was the daughter of a British army officer. She studied dancing at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and appeared on the stage for the first time at age 16, but she contracted a case of scarlet fever and ...

5. Olga Baclanova

Actress | Freaks

Born Olga Vladimirovna Baklanova, one of six children of Vladimir Baklanoff and his wife Alexandra, later billed as the Russian Tigress in her early talking films, was born August 19, 1893. She graduated from the Cherniavsky Institute in Moscow prior to her selection in 1912 at age 19 to apprentice...

7. Gloria Stuart

Actress | Titanic

Gloria Stuart was born on a dining room table on 4th Street in Santa Monica, California on July 4, 1910. Her early roles as a performing artist were in plays she produced in her home as a young girl. She was the star of her senior class play at Santa Monica High School in 1927. Attending the ...

8. Julie Adams

Actress | Creature from the Black Lagoon

Betty May Adams was the daughter of a travelling Iowa cotton buyer with a penchant for alcohol. Growing up in Arkansas, Betty expressed an early interest in acting and made her performing debut in a third grade play of "Hansel and Gretel". Beautiful, talented and determined, the freshly minted '...

9. Mara Corday

Actress | Sudden Impact

The actress was born Marilyn Watts in Santa Monica, California, 17 years before she put her foot on the bottom step of the show biz ladder, dancing in the back row of the chorus in "Earl Carroll's Revue" at the famed showman's theater-restaurant in Hollywood. Modeling for photographers led to wider...

10. Beverly Garland

Actress | It Conquered the World

Born in Santa Cruz, California, Beverly Garland studied dramatics under Anita Arliss, the sister of renowned stage and screen star George Arliss. She acted in little theater in Glendale then in Phoenix after her family relocated to Arizona. Garland also worked in radio and appeared scantily clad in...

11. Evelyn Ankers

Actress | The Wolf Man

Evelyn Ankers, a beautiful movie actress who was a staple of Universal's horror films in the 1940s, was born in Chile to English parents in 1918. Her parents repatriated the family back to England in the 1920s, and it was in Old Blighty that Ankers developed a desire to become an actress.

She began ...

12. Zita Johann

Actress | The Mummy

Zita Johann was born on July 14, 1904 in Temesvar, Austria-Hungary. She was an actress, known for The Mummy (1932), The Sin of Nora Moran (1933) and Tiger Shark (1932). She was married to Bernard Edward Shedd (Schetnitz), John McCormick and John Houseman. She died on September 20, 1993 in Nyack, ...

13. Elsa Lanchester

Actress | Witness for the Prosecution

Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born into an unconventional a family at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents, James "Shamus" Sullivan and Edith "Biddy" Lanchester, were socialists - very active members of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in a rather broad sense and did not believe in the ...

14. Jean Brooks

Actress | The Seventh Victim

The fourth and youngest child of Horace and Robina Kelly, Jean Brooks spent her early years in her native Texas before relocating to Costa Rica with her mother after her father's death. Her time in Costa Rica enabled her to become fluent in Spanish, and she began her professional career as a singer...

15. Simone Simon

Actress | Cat People

Diminutive, fiery-tempered Simone Simon was born in France, but spent much of her early childhood in Madagascar, where her father managed a graphite mine. Her schooling was somewhat unsettled, her family moving from city to city (Berlin, Budapest, Turin) before finally establishing themselves in ...

16. Kim Hunter

Actress | A Streetcar Named Desire

Her father, Donald Cole, was a consulting engineer, and died in 1926 when Kim was only 3 years old. Her mother, Grace Lind, once performed as a concert pianist. She had one brother who was eight years older than she, and she was educated at Miami Beach High.

According to an in-depth article on Kim ...

17. Margo

Actress | Lost Horizon

The daughter of a Spanish surgeon, Maria Margarita Guadalupe Teresa Estella Castilla Bolado y O'Donnell was born in Mexico City. As a niece to famous bandleader Xavier Cugat, she performed with his orchestra from the age of nine as a specialty dancer in nightclubs, and, later, on the Starlight Roof...

18. Jane Randolph

Actress | Cat People

Poised and pretty actress Jane Randolph was briefly in the limelight during the 1940s. Born in Ohio in 1919, Jane grew up in Indiana. A couple of years after graduating from high school her interest in an acting career accelerated and she decided to move to Hollywood in 1939 to try her luck. She ...

19. Virginia Bruce

Actress | The Invisible Woman

American leading lady of the 1930s and 1940s, Virginia Bruce was born in Minnesota but grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, and came to California to attend college. Her blond good looks got her an entry into films, and after a few extra roles and bit parts she began to make serious inroads as a leading...

20. Anna Lee

Actress | The Sound of Music

The daughter of a clergyman, Anna Lee was born Joan Boniface Winnifrith and encouraged to pursue an acting career by her father. After training at London's Royal Albert Hall, she took to the boards and later began appearing in English films, first as an extra, then working her way up to featured ...

21. Frances Dee

Actress | I Walked with a Zombie

Dee was born in Los Angeles, where her Army officer father was stationed, and grew up in Chicago after her father was transferred there. In 1929, he was re-assigned to L.A., and, as a lark, the 19 year old Dee began working in motion pictures as an extra. Her debut was in Words and Music (1929) ...

22. Janet Leigh

Actress | Psycho

Janet Leigh was the only child of a couple who often moved from town to town. Living in apartments, Janet was a bright child who skipped several grades and finished high school when she was 15. A lonely child, she would spend much of her time at movie theaters. She was a student, studying music and...

23. Vera Miles

Actress | The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Born in Boise City, Oklahoma, Vera Miles attended school in Pratt, Kansas and Wichita, Kansas. The patrician beauty of Miss Miles won her the title of "Miss Kansas" in 1948, leading soon to small roles in Hollywood films and television series. Fame came to the forthright, spirited Miles when she ...

24. Carolyn Jones

Actress | Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Carolyn Jones was born April 28, 1930, in Amarillo, Texas. Her mother was Jeannette and her sister was Bette (Moriarty). She was an imaginative child, much like her mother. In 1934, her father abandoned the family and her mother moved them in with her parents, also in Amarillo. As a child Carolyn ...

25. Barbara Shelley

Actress | Quatermass and the Pit

The sexy Barbara Shelley was born Barbara Kowin on February, 13, 1932 in London, England. With her beautiful looks and stature, she worked as a model during her salad days. Her film career began in Italy in the mid-1950s in such tempting fare as New Moon (1955) and Nero's Mistress (1956), but when ...

26. Barbara Steele

Actress | La maschera del demonio

The most beautiful star of the greatest horror masterpiece of Italian film, Black Sunday (1960): Barbara Steele was born on December 29, 1937 in Birkenhead, Cheshire, England. Barbara is loved by her fans for her talent, intelligence, and a dark, mysterious beauty that is unique; her face ...

27. Josephine Hutchinson

Actress | North by Northwest

As a child she studied at Seattle's Cornish School. Still in her early twenties, after several years of stock work in New York, she joined Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory Theater where she won critical praise for her title role in "Alice in Wonderland." She came to Hollywood in 1934 under ...

28. Laura La Plante

Actress | The Cat and the Canary

Laura La Plante was 15 years old when she entered films as a Christie Comedy Bathing Beauty. By 1921, she had played a number of roles including a Tom Mix Western called The Big Town Round-Up (1921) for Fox and The Old Swimmin' Hole (1921) for First National. Laura, now 17, next signed with ...

29. Julie Bishop

Actress | Northern Pursuit

Colorado-born leading lady Julie Bishop, who also acted under her birth name of Jacqueline Wells and the stage name Diane Duval, started off as a silent movie child actress, working with such legends as Clara Bow and Mary Pickford.

The daughter of a wealthy banker and oilman, she was raised in Texas ...

30. Irene Ware

Actress | Chandu the Magician

One of the many "also rans" or "might-have-beens" in 1930's Hollywood was a blonde beauty queen of Swedish/Austrian ancestry, named Irene Ware. She was actually born Irene Ahlberg in Pelham, New York and first plied her trade as a stenographer before other endeavours piqued her interest. Aged ...

31. Frances Drake

Actress | Mad Love

Frances Drake was born on October 22, 1912 in New York City, New York, USA as Frances Dean. She was an actress, known for Mad Love (1935), The Invisible Ray (1936) and Les Misérables (1935). She was married to David Brown and Lt. Cecil John Arthur Howard. She died on January 18, 2000 in ...

32. Dolores Fuller

Actress | Jail Bait

Dolores Fuller first got the idea that she wanted to get into the picture business at the age of ten, when she was an extra in the motel sequence of It Happened One Night (1934). She acted in school plays, modeled and landed a few jobs on TV. In the early 1950s, she and her actress-friend, Mona ...

33. Maila Nurmi

Actress | Vampira

The original glamour ghoul herself, "Vampira", of late night 1950s television, was actually born Maila Syrjäniemi (later changed to the easier surname Nurmi) on December 11, 1922 in Petsamo, Finland. Her uncle was the multiple Olympic medal runner Paavo Nurmi. Maila arrived in the United States ...

34. Gloria Holden

Actress | Dracula's Daughter

Hollywood leading lady in B-movies, and supporting actress in big budget films. Although remembered for her portrayal of "Mme. Zola" in The Life of Emile Zola (1937), she is most memorable for her chilling-yet-beauteous performance as Dracula's Daughter (1936). She had another memorable role in ...

35. Marguerite Churchill

Actress | The Big Trail

Marguerite Churchill was born on December 26, 1910 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. She was an actress, known for The Big Trail (1930), Dracula's Daughter (1936) and The Walking Dead (1936). She was married to George O'Brien. She died on January 9, 2000 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA.

36. Jean Rogers

Actress | Flash Gordon

Massachusetts-born Jean Rogers had hoped to study art in New York and Europe upon graduation from high school, but her plans changed when she won a national beauty contest in 1933 and was offered a contract by a Hollywood producer. She was soon signed by Warner Bros., and a year later jumped ship ...

37. Dorothy Arnold

Actress | The Phantom Creeps

Dorothy Arnold was a nightclub singer and budding movie star when she married baseball great Joe DiMaggio in 1940. She had made several films for Universal starting in 1938, but after her marriage to DiMaggio she gave up acting. Although the two divorced in 1944, Arnold did not try to resume her ...

38. Anne Gwynne

Actress | House of Frankenstein

Vivid, strikingly beautiful actress Anne Gwynne arrived in Hollywood a typical starry-eyed model looking to become a big film star and ended up one of Universal Studio's favorite screamers in "B" horror films. Born in Waco, Texas, but raised in Missouri, she first modeled Catalina swimwear and ...

39. Anne Nagel

Actress | The Green Hornet

Anne Nagel's life could be summed up in two words: pretty miserable. Born to devoutly religious Bostonian parents who had long encouraged her to become a nun, she had been enrolled in a preparatory school for just that purpose. As a young teenager, she worked part time as a photographer's model, ...

40. Maria Montez

Actress | Cobra Woman

In a world weary of war and dispirited by the ravages of the Great Depression, Hollywood at the turn of the 1940's concocted a wildly popular, effective lot of escapist fare (though often cheaply made) to regale the sick at heart worldwide. Universal Pictures, more often than not, led in producing ...

41. Peggy Moran

Actress | The Mummy's Hand

Mary Jeanette Moran was born in Clinton, Iowa. The daughter of Louise Moran, a dancer with the famous Denishawn Dancers, and the celebrated artist Earl Moran, whose paintings graced many a barracks wall during World War II. One of Earl's favorite models was Norma Jean Baker, who later changed her ...



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