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Pamela Blake Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: Aug 6, 1916
  • Died: Oct 6, 2009

Pamela Blake used her real name ([[Performer~P55659~Adele Pearce~adelepearce]]) when decorating the background in [[Feature~V90331~Eight Girls in a Boat~eightgirlsinaboat]] (1934) and when she returned to Hollywood after a four-year hiatus to study acting in her hometown of Oakland. The diminutive brunette charmer played opposite [[Performer~P60401~Tex Ritter~texritter]] in Grand National's low-budget [[Feature~V52087~Utah Trail~utahtrail]] (1938), a less than pleasant experience, she later recalled, but she was obviously going somewhere when director [[Performer~P89428~John Farrow~johnfarrow]] ([[Performer~P22809~Mia~miafarrow]]'s father) took her under his wing at RKO. [[Performer~P89428~Farrow~johnfarrow]], who, according to [[Performer~P55659~Pearce~adelepearce]], could be quite the tyrant, directed her in [[Feature~V111106~Sorority House~sororityhouse]] (1939) and [[Feature~V92494~Full Confession~fullconfession]] (1939), but her biggest chance came at Paramount, where she tested with [[Performer~P39951~Alan Ladd~alanladd]] and played the minor, but rather showy, role of Annie in [[Feature~V49518~This Gun for Hire~thisgunforhire]] (1942), [[Performer~P39951~Ladd~alanladd]]'s breakthrough movie. As it turned out, the classic film noir proved a breakthrough of sorts for [[Performer~P55659~Pearce~adelepearce]] as well. At her request, Paramount had renamed her Pamela Blake and, as such, she signed a contract with industry leader MGM. Although the studio never really offered her the opportunity for true stardom, Blake turned up in several popular programmers, including [[Feature~V100990~Maisie Gets Her Man~maisiegetsherman]] (1942) with [[Performer~P66971~Ann Sothern~annsothern]] and [[Performer~P66086~Red Skelton~redskelton]] and the Western [[Feature~V104664~The Omaha Trail~theomahatrail]] (1942) with [[Performer~P15558~James Craig~jamescraig]]. According to Blake herself, however, MGM canceled her contract when she failed to notify the studio that she was leaving town. Despite the loss of a major studio contract, Pamela Blake rebounded on poverty row and is today best remembered for her roles in such action serials as [[Feature~V143491~Chick Carter, Detective~chickcarterdetective]] (1946) and [[Feature~V92932~The Ghost of Zorro~ghostofzorro[serial]]] (1948), the latter made by Republic Pictures, Blake's favorite studio. "Everybody out there was wonderful; it seemed like a small town," she would later recall. The early '50s brought several guest stints on such television shows as [[Feature~V133003~The Cisco Kid~theciscokid[tvseries]]] and [[Feature~V40293~The Range Rider~therangerider[tvseries]]], but Blake's acting career was waning when, in 1953, she decided to retire and raise her family with television producer [[Performer~P68416~Mike Stokey~mikestokey]] (Pantomime Quiz). She had previously been married to actor/stuntman [[Performer~P48070~Malcolm "Bud" McTaggart~budmctaggart]]. (Both marriages ended in divorce.) The mother of [[Performer~P66517~Michael W. Stokey~michaelwsmith]], a military advisor on such major motion pictures as [[Feature~V174294~The Thin Red Line~thethinredline]] (1998) and [[Feature~V258953~Hart's War~hartswar]] (2002), Blake surprisingly claims the 1943 Monogram thriller [[Feature~V115185~The Unknown Guest~theunknownguest]] as her favorite among almost 50 films and a dozen or so television appearances. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi