Elyse Knox

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Elyse Knox
ElyseknoxYANK1943c.jpg
Elyse Knox, Yank magazine, 1943
Born Elsie Lillian Kornbrath
(1917-12-14)December 14, 1917
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Died February 16, 2012(2012-02-16) (aged 94)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, model and fashion designer
Years active 1937–1949
Spouse(s) Paul Hesse (1942–1943; divorced)
Tom Harmon (1944–1990; his death)
Children Kristin Nelson
Kelly Harmon
Mark Harmon

Elyse Knox (December 14, 1917 – February 16, 2012) was an American actress, model and fashion designer.

Early life[edit]

Knox was born Elsie Lillian Kornbrath in Hartford, Connecticut, the daughter of Minnie and Frederick Kornbrath.[1][2] Her parents were Austrian immigrants.[3][4] She studied at the Traphagen School of Fashion in Manhattan, then embarked on a career in fashion design. Her good looks enabled her to model some of her own creations for Vogue magazine that led to a contract offer from Twentieth Century Fox film studio in 1937.

Career[edit]

Knox performed mainly in minor or secondary roles until 1942 when she had a leading role with Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Mummy's Tomb, one of the series of Mummy horror films made by Universal Studios. She appeared as herself in the Universal Studios 1944 production Follow the Boys, one of the World War II morale-booster films made both for the soldiers serving overseas as well as civilians at home. Knox also was a pin up girl during the war, appearing in such magazines as Yank, a weekly published and distributed by the United States Military. In late 1945, Knox was signed by Monogram Pictures to portray Anne Howe, the love interest of fictional boxer Joe Palooka in Joe Palooka, Champ. Based on the very popular comic strip, the instant success of the May 1946 film led to Knox appearing in another five Joe Palooka productions. After acting in 39 films, Knox retired in 1949 following her performance in the musical film There's a Girl in My Heart.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

While appearing on the Bing Crosby radio show, she met football star Tom Harmon. They were engaged to marry, but ended the relationship when Harmon entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942. Later that year, Knox married fashion photographer Paul Hesse, who had shot many of her print ads and magazine covers. The marriage was brief. Following her divorce and Harmon's return from World War II (during which he survived two plane crashes and being lost in the jungle), she and Harmon married in 1944. Knox's wedding dress was made from silk from the parachute Harmon used when bailing out of his plane.[5] The couple remained together until his death in 1990.

The couple had three children: Kristin (born 1945). Kelly (born 1948) and Mark (born 1951). Kristin became an actress and painter who at seventeen married recording artist Ricky Nelson and bore four children: Tracy, twins Gunnar and Matthew, and Sam. Kelly also modeled and acted in film and television and was once married to automaker John DeLorean. Mark became a film and television actor who has starred in films such as The Presidio and television series including NCIS and is married to actress Pam Dawber.

Death[edit]

Knox died February 16, 2012 at age 94 at her home in Los Angeles.[6]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1937 Wake Up and Live Nurse uncredited
1940 Lillian Russell Lillian Russell's Sister performer: "Brighten the Corner Where You Are"
1940 Youth Will Be Served Pamela
1940 Yesterday's Heroes Undetermined role uncredited
1940 Girl from Avenue A Angela
1940 Girl in 313 Judith Wilson
1940 Star Dust Girl uncredited
1940 Free, Blonde and 21 Marjorie
1941 Miss Polly Barbara Snodgrass
1941 All-American Co-Ed Co-ed uncredited
1941 Tanks a Million Jeannie
1941 Sheriff of Tombstone Mary Carson
1941 Footlight Fever Eileen Drake
1942 Arabian Nights Duenna uncredited
1942 The Mummy's Tomb Isobel Evans
1942 Top Sergeant Helen Gray
1942 Hay Foot Betty Barkley
1943 Hi'ya, Sailor Pat Rogers
1943 So's Your Uncle Patricia Williams
1943 Hit the Ice Nurse Peggy Osborne
1943 Mister Big Alice Taswell
1943 Keep 'Em Slugging Suzanne
1943 Don Winslow of the Coast Guard Mercedes Colby
1944 Army Wives Jerry Van Dyke
1944 A Wave, a WAC and a Marine Marian
1944 Moonlight and Cactus Louise Ferguson
1944 Follow the Boys Herself
1946 Sweetheart of Sigma Chi Betty Allen
1946 Gentleman Joe Palooka Anne Howe
1946 Joe Palooka, Champ Anne Howe
1947 Linda Be Good Linda Prentiss
1947 Joe Palooka in the Knockout Anne Howe
1947 Black Gold Ruth Frazer
1948 Joe Palooka in Winner Take All Anne Howe
1948 I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes Ann Quinn
1948 Joe Palooka in Fighting Mad Anne Howe
1949 There's a Girl in My Heart Claire Adamson
1949 Joe Palooka in the Counterpunch Anne Howe
1949 Forgotten Women Kate Allison
1953 I Was a Burlesque Queen Linda Prentiss archive footage
1999 Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed Isobel Evans archive footage

References[edit]

External links[edit]