Anne Nagel

Anne Nagel (born Anna Marie Dolan; September 29, 1915 – July 6, 1966)[1] was an American actress. She played in adventures, mysteries, and comedies for twenty-five years. She also appeared in television series in the 1950s. One book described her as "one of Hollywood's true hard-luck gals."[2]

Anne Nagel
Betty Ross Clarke-Anne Nagel in A Bride for Henry.jpg
Betty Ross Clarke and Anne Nagel in A Bride for Henry (1937)
Anna Marie Dolan

(1915-09-29)September 29, 1915
DiedJuly 6, 1966(1966-07-06) (aged 50)
Other namesAnn Nagel
Years active1932–1957
Spouse(s)Ross Alexander (1936–1937) (his death)
Lt. Col. James H. Keenan (1941–1951) (divorced)


Early yearsEdit

Born in Malden, Massachusetts,[note 1][3] Nagel was enrolled by her parents in Notre Dame Academy, with the expectation she would become a nun.[2] But part-time work in her teens as a photographer's model[citation needed] and membership in the Shubert Theatre company turned her away from religious life.[2] Meantime Nagel's mother had divorced and remarried. When Nagel's new stepfather, Curtis Nagel, a Technicolor expert, was hired by Tiffany Pictures 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, her "first documented feature credit".[2] 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.[4] 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, Guns of the Pecos, Torchy Blane, the Adventurous Blonde (all from 1937). She was in Romance Road (1938), 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).

On radio, Nagle was a vocalist on the Scramby Amby game show.[5] She had the role of Miss Case in The Green Hornet radio series, [6] a role she reprised for both of the filmed serials, The Green Hornet and The Green Hornet Strikes Again!.

Personal life and deathEdit

On September 17, 1936, Nagel married actor Ross Alexander;[7] he died by suicide in 1937.[note 2][2] Nagel then wed Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Keenan on December 4, 1941.[8] That marriage ended in divorce on May 22, 1951.[9]

In December 1947, Nagel filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against Hollywood physician and surgeon Franklyn Thorpe (former husband of actress Mary Astor). In the suit Nagel demanded $350,000 in damages and alleged that, while performing an appendectomy on her in 1936, Thorpe had removed other organs without her knowledge or consent, rendering her infertile. [10] [2]:21 Nagel claimed she was unaware of her infertility until January 1947, but Thorpe countered that she "well aware of the nature of the surgery."[2]:21

Nagel died at Sunray North Convalescent Hospital in Hollywood, California in 1966, aged 50, following surgery for liver cancer. She is buried, with no marker, in Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.[2]:22–23

Selected filmographyEdit

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
1937 A Bride for Henry Sheila Curtis Starring opposite Warren Hull
1938 Mystery House Gwen Kingery
1938 Under the Big Top Penelope (AKA Penny)
1939 Legion of Lost Flyers Paula
1940 The Green Hornet Lenore "Casey" Case 13-chapter serial
1940 Black Friday Sunny Rogers
1940 The Invisible Woman Jean
1940 Diamond Frontier Jeanne Kruger
1941 The Green Hornet Strikes Again! Lenore "Casey" Case
1941 Man Made Monster June Lawrence
1941 Road Agent Lola
1941 Never Give a Sucker an Even Break Madame Gorgeous
1941 Mutiny in the Arctic Gloria Adams
1941 Meet the Chump Miss Burke
1942 The Dawn Express Nancy Fielding
1942 The Mad Doctor of Market Street Mrs. William Saunders
1942 The Mad Monster Lenora Cameron
1942 The Secret Code Jean Ashley
1942 Stagecoach Buckaroo Nina Kincaid
1942 Don Winslow of the Navy Misty Gaye
1942 Sealed Lips Mary Morton
1943 Women in Bondage Deputy District Director Alternative title: Hitler's Women
1946 The Trap Maria
1946 Traffic in Crime Ann Marlowe
1946 Murder in the Music Hall Attendant at Mission
1947 Blondie's Holiday Bea Mason (Class of '32) Credited as Ann Nagel
1947 The Spirit of West Point Mrs. Blaik
1948 An Innocent Affair Gladys - Receptionist
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. ^ An Associated Press story about Nagel's filing papers to marry Keenan says, "The actress ... listed her maiden name as Anna Marie Donan, born in Malden, a Boston suburb ..."
  2. ^ Alexander "... went into his Van Nuys barn and reportedly fired a rifle into his mouth as his bride of four months sat quietly knitting in the house."


  1. ^ Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 170. ISBN 9780786409839. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Mank, Gregory William (2005). Women in Horror Films, 1940s. McFarland. pp. 7–24. ISBN 9781476609553. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Film Notables in Weddings". The Indiana Gazette. Pennsylvania, Indiana. Associated Press. December 5, 1941. p. 11.
  4. ^ "The Hollywood Roundup". The Times. Indiana, Hammond. United Press. August 6, 1935. p. 35. Retrieved May 20, 2016 – via  
  5. ^ Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 296–297. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
  6. ^ Cox, Jim (2010). Radio Crime Fighters: More Than 300 Programs from the Golden Age. McFarland. p. 123. ISBN 9781476612270. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Alexander Ended Life As Film Fame Neared". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. Associated Press. January 4, 1937. p. 3. Retrieved June 15, 2017 – via  
  8. ^ "Actress Anne Nagel, Army Flyer Married". Eau Claire Leader. Wisconsin, Eau Claire. United Press. December 5, 1941. p. 1. Retrieved June 15, 2017 – via  
  9. ^ "Divorces". Billboard. June 2, 1951. p. 39. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  10. ^ "Actress Starts $350,000 Suit".The Milwaukee Sentinel, December 22, 1947. Page 2

External linksEdit