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His size and coloring were regarded as not right for movies, so he worked hard at radio, where talent scout and former actress Sue Carol discovered him early in 1939.Throughout the 1940s his tough-guy roles packed audiences into theaters and he was one of the very few males whose cover photos sold movie magazines.
She was one of Paramount's biggest female wartime stars, along with Goddard, Dorothy Lamour and Betty Hutton.Lake worked for a while when her career ended as a cocktail waitress at the Martha Washington Hotel in NYC: she apparently didn't mind it, but when a reporter wrote it up, everyone was horrified and sent her job offers, and she started acting again.(Her former lover Marlon Brando immediately sent her a check for a thousand dollars, and she never cashed it--instead she framed it to show her friends how sweet he was.)Lake was a terrific actress and luminous in "I Married A Witch" and "Sullivan's Travels".In the 1950s he was performing in lucrative but unrewarding films (an exception being what many regard as his greatest role, Shane (1953).The Proud Rebel western movie starring Alan Ladd, Olivia De Havilland.