Anne Nagel

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Anne Nagel
Born Anne Dolan
(1915-09-29)September 29, 1915
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died July 6, 1966(1966-07-06) (aged 50)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death liver cancer
Other names Ann Nagel
Occupation Actress
Years active 1932–1957
Spouse(s) Ross Alexander (1936-1937)
Lt. Col. James H. Keenan (1941-1951)

Anne Nagel (September 29, 1915 – July 6, 1966) was an American actress. She played in adventures, mysteries, and comedies for twenty-five years. She also appeared in television series in the 1950s.



Born Anne Dolan in Boston, Massachusetts, Nagel was enrolled by her parents in a religious preparatory school with the expectation she would become a nun. But part-time work in her teens as a photographer's model and membership in a Boston theater company turned her away from religious life.[citation needed] Meantime Nagel's mother had divorced and remarried. When Nagel's new stepfather, a Technicolor expert, was hired by Tiffany Studios in Hollywood, he moved the family to California, where he employed his stepdaughter in several experimental Technicolor shorts he had been asked to direct.

Placed under contract by Warner Brothers in 1932, Nagel secured a bit part as a ballet girl in Hypnotized. She was one of 14 young women "launched on the trail of film stardom" August 6, 1935, when they each received a six-month contract with 20th Century Fox after spending 18 months in the company's training school. The contracts included a studio option for renewal for as long as seven years.[1] Nagel spent the next few years making uncredited appearances as a dancer or chorus girl. In 1936, she appeared in Here Comes Carter with Ross Alexander. A reviewer remarked of her performance, "she was just one of those girls who has learned to croon for the microphone, and let the rest of the world go hang." Her early roles were in such films as Footloose Heiress, Three Legionnaires, Torchy Blane, the Adventurous Blonde (all from 1937). She was in Mystery House (1938), Unexpected Father (1939), and Legion of Lost Flyers (1939).

In 1940, she appeared with W.C. Fields and Mae West in My Little Chickadee. Other feature movies from 1940 in which she had parts are Black Friday, Hot Steel, and Diamond Frontiers. She was often a heroine in horror films. Late in the 1940s she made The Spirit of West Point (1947). The film starred Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis. Nagel later worked on television in episodes of The Range Rider (1951) and Circus Boy (1957).

Personal life and death[edit]

Nagel was married twice: first to actor Ross Alexander (who committed suicide in 1937), then to Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Keenan on December 4, 1941. That marriage ended in divorce ten years later in 1951.

In December 1947, Nagel filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against Hollywood physician and surgeon Franklyn Thorpe (former husband of actress Mary Astor). She alleged that, while performing an appendectomy on her ten years earlier, Thorpe had removed other organs without her knowledge or consent, leaving her unable to conceive a child. In the suit, Nagel demanded $350,000 in damages.[2]

Anne Nagel died in Hollywood, California in 1966, aged 50, following surgery for liver cancer. She is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1933 College Humor Student Uncredited
1934 Stand Up and Cheer! Dancer Uncredited
1935 George White's 1935 Scandals Chorine Uncredited
1936 Bullets or Ballots Bank secretary Uncredited
1937 Hoosier Schoolboy Mary Evans Top billing with Mickey Rooney
1940 The Green Hornet Lenore "Casey" Case
1941 The Green Hornet Strikes Again! Lenore "Casey" Case
1941 Man Made Monster June Lawrence
1942 The Mad Doctor of Market Street Mrs. William Saunders
1942 The Mad Monster Lenora Cameron
1942 The Secret Code Jean Ashley
1943 Women in Bondage Deputy District Director Alternative title: Hitler's Women
1947 Blondie's Holiday Bea Mason (Class of '32) Credited as Ann Nagel
1948 One Touch of Venus Reporter Uncredited
1949 The Stratton Story Mrs. Piet Uncredited
1950 Armored Car Robbery Mrs. Marsha Phillips Uncredited
Year Title Role Notes
1951 The Range Rider Aunt Ginny 2 episodes
1957 Circus Boy Louisa Cody 1 episode


  1. ^ "The Hollywood Roundup". The Times. Indiana, Hammond. United Press. August 6, 1935. p. 35. Retrieved May 20, 2016 – via  open access publication – free to read
  2. ^ "Actress Starts $350,000 Suit".The Milwaukee Sentinel.December 22, 1947. Page 2

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