alt.obituaries Memorial Deadpool
Yolande Donlan was one of those
starlets of the Hollywood silver era who were overshadowed by other actors and
raised from small roles to only co-star roles while her male co-actors became legends.
Her career in theatre and her books were more successful than her cinematic
Donlan was born on June 2, 1920, in
Jersey City, New Jersey. Her father, James Donlan, was a character actor in 1930s
Hollywood cinema. There are some unconfirmed speculations that his daughter had
early roles in some films during the 1930s. Yolande Donlan officially started
her career in 1940 as a maid in the horror film The Devil Bat, with
Bela Lugosi. She seemed to be qualified for the French-accented maid
characters, which she also played in later films.
Donlan's first success was not onscreen
but onstage, in the touring production Born Yesterday, which
started in 1947 in London's West End, cast by Laurence Olivier. She was later
asked to play the lead in Peter Pan, for which she was initially
denied a work permit due to nationality concerns. She remained in the United
Kingdom and returned to the cinema in addition to her stage work, working with
director Val Guest, whom she married in 1954 following her divorce from Philip
Truex. Donlan appeared in eight films by her husband, as well as several others,
such as Tarzan and the Lost Safari (1957), Express Bongo
(1959), Jigsaw (1962), and Seven Nights in Japan
(1976), her last film role. Her film co-stars included Cliff Richard, Douglas
Fairbanks Jr., Jack Warner, and Dirk Bogarde. Her other theatrical work included Rocket to the Moon, To Dorothy a Son, and Chorus
Her second success was her writings:
the autobiographical travelogue Sand in My Mink (1955) and her
autobiography, Shake the Stars Down, published in 1976. After Val
Guest's retirement in 1985, the couple moved to Palm Springs, where they lived
until his death in 2006. Donlan spent her final years in Belgravia, London,
where she died on December 30, 2014.
Her death was a mysterious surprise
for WEP, who had dropped her off his 2015 AO Deadpool list without any reason.
His last check-in on January 4 told him that Donlan was alive. Only hours
later, her obit was published and pushed him onto the podium, adding 17
unexpected points to his account (two for the hit, five for the solo, and ten
as year-end bonus points).
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