Gray in Federal Operator 99, 1945
July 26, 1917
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||April 30, 2017 (aged 99)|
|Other names||Lorna Gray, Adrian Booth, Adrian Brian, Adrian Booth Brian|
|Spouse(s)||David Brian (1949–1993; his death)|
Lorna Gray (July 26, 1917 – April 30, 2017) was an American film actress known for her comic roles, and later as a villainess. She is best known for her roles in Columbia Pictures comedy shorts and Republic Pictures serials. She was known as Adrian Booth since 1945.
Gray was born Virginia Pound in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After her father's millinery business was a victim of the Great Depression, the family split up. Before appearing in films, Gray sang with a group in Cleveland called Ben Yost's Varsity Coeds, who performed primarily in movie theaters before the movie began.
As a Columbia contract player she appeared in the studio's shorts and serials, including Flying G-Men (starring Robert Paige), Pest from the West (starring Buster Keaton), and You Nazty Spy! (starring The Three Stooges). When her Columbia contract lapsed, she found work at Monogram Pictures, where she worked with action star Frankie Darro.
In her Paramount films, such as Hold 'Em Navy, she was credited as Virginia Pound, but she was given the name Lorna Gray by Columbia and she used it from 1938 until 1945, when she left Columbia and moved to Republic Pictures. She appeared as Lorna Gray in Republic's Federal Operator 99, but subsequently adopted the name Adrian Booth.
At Republic, she often received co-star billing in Westerns, the only woman other than Dale Evans to be billed so highly at that studio. She also starred in Republic's serial about the comic book superhero Captain America.
In 1945, shortly after signing a contract with Republic Pictures, she and the stunt performer Ruel F. Taylor were arrested for "suspicion of possessing marijuana in Los Angeles." A $1,000 bail set her free. She was later exonerated after Taylor testified at his preliminary hearing that Gray had not used the marijuana and was not aware of it.
She married actor David Brian on July 19, 1949, and retired from motion pictures. As Adrian Booth, she was awarded the Golden Boot Award in 1998 and attended film festivals into her nineties. She appeared as a guest at the annual Three Stooges convention held in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, on April 30, 2011.
|1937||Hold 'Em Navy||Girl|
|Thrill of a Lifetime||Chorus girl|
|1938||The Big Broadcast of 1938||Divorcee|
|Adventure in Sahara||Carla Preston|
|Red River Range||Jane Mason|
|Smashing the Spy Ring||Anna Loring|
|1939||The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt||Girl Michael runs into in nightclub|
|Flying G-Men||Babs McKay|
|Outside These Walls||Secretary|
|Good Girls Go to Paris||Bridesmaid|
|The Man They Could Not Hang||Janet Savaard|
|Those High Grey Walls||Nurse|
|Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise (short)||May Jenkins|
|Mr. Smith Goes to Washington||Woman at station|
|The Amazing Mr. Williams||Nurse|
|Three Sappy People (short)||Sherry Rumsford|
|The Stranger from Texas||Jean Browning|
|1940||Cafe Hostess||Cafe hostess|
|You Nazty Spy! (Short)||Mattie Herring|
|Convicted Woman||Frankie Mason|
|Bullets for Rustlers||Ann Houston|
|Rockin' thru the Rockies (Short)||Flossie|
|Deadwood Dick||Anne Butler|
|Up in the Air||Rita Wilson|
|Drums of the Desert||Helene Laroche|
|1941||Father Steps Out||Helen Matthews|
|Tuxedo Junction||Joan Gordon|
|1942||Perils of Nyoka||Vultura|
|Ridin' Down the Canyon||Barbara Joyce|
|1943||So Proudly We Hail!||Lt. Tony Dacelli|
|O, My Darling Clementine||Clementine Cheshire|
|1944||Captain America||Gail Richards|
|The Girl Who Dared||Ann Carroll|
|1945||Adventures of Kitty O'Day||Gloria Williams|
|Fashion Model||Yvonne Brewster|
|Federal Operator 99||Rita Parker|
|Tell It to a Star||Mona St. Clair|
|1946||Home on the Range||Bonnie Garth|
|Valley of the Zombies||Susan Drake|
|Man from Rainbow Valley||Kay North|
|Daughter of Don Q||Dolores Quantero|
|Out California Way||Gloria McCoy|
|1947||Last Frontier Uprising||Mary Lou Garnder|
|Spoilers of the North||Jane Koster|
|Along the Oregon Trail||Sally Dunn|
|Under Colorado Skies||Julia Collins|
|1948||Lightnin' in the Forest||Dell Parker|
|California Firebrand||Joyce Mason|
|Texas Gunfighters||Connie Faulkner|
|The Plunderers||Julie Ann McCabe|
|1949||The Last Bandit||Kate Foley|
|1950||Rock Island Trail||Aleeta|
|The Savage Horde||Livvy Weston|
|1951||Oh! Susanna||Lia Wilson|
|Yellow Fin||Jean Elliott|
|The Sea Hornet||Ginger Sullivan|
- Neill, Frank (February 9, 1950). "In Hollywood". Long Beach Independent. California, Long Beach. International News Service. p. 24. Retrieved May 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Magers, Boyd; Fitzgerald, Michael G. (2004). Westerns Women: Interviews with 50 Leading Ladies of Movie and Television Westerns from the 1930s to the 1960s. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. pp. 45–52. ISBN 9780786420285.
- "Adrian Booth biography". Republic Pictures 75th. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- "Lorna Gray/Adrian Booth". B-Westerns. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
- "Yo, Adrian! Adrian Booth at the Memphis Film Festival" The Blood-shot Eye (2007) Archived July 19, 2008, at Archive.today
- "Virginia Pound, 1936 Bud Queen, Arrested On Marijuana Charge". Benton Harbor News Palladium. March 6, 1945. p. 1. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
- "Actress Exonerated in Marijuana Case". The Bakersfield Californian. California, Bakersfield. Associated Press. March 7, 1945. p. 1. Retrieved May 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Fidler, Jimmie (October 2, 1949). "In Hollywood With Jimmie Fidler". Louisiana, Monroe. Monroe Morning World. p. 4. Retrieved May 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- Barnes, Mike (May 3, 2017). "Lorna Gray, Queen of Shorts and Serials at Columbia and Republic Pictures, Dies at 99". The Hollywood Reporter. ISSN 0018-3660.
- Staff, Legacy.com (May 1, 2017). "Adrian Booth (1917 - 2017)". Retrieved May 3, 2017.