Florence Lake

Florence Lake (born Florence Silverlake,[1] November 27, 1904 – April 11, 1980) was an American actress best known as the leading lady in most of the Edgar Kennedy comedy shorts.

Florence Lake
Florence Lake 2.jpg
Florence Silverlake

(1904-11-27)November 27, 1904
DiedApril 11, 1980(1980-04-11) (aged 75)
Years active1929-1976
Known forPlaying Mrs. Kennedy in the Edgar Kennedy comedy shorts
and Jenny, the Calverton telephone operator in Lassie

Early lifeEdit

Lake was born in Charleston, South Carolina.[2] In the early 1900s, her father and uncle toured with a circus in an aerial act known as "The Flying Silverlakes".[3] Her mother, Edith Goodwin, was an actress. Her parents later appeared in vaudeville in a skit "Family Affair", traveling throughout the South and Southwest United States. Florence and her younger brother Arthur Silverlake, Jr. became part of the act in 1910.[3] Their mother brought the children to Hollywood to get into the burgeoning film industry. Arthur changed his professional name to Arthur Lake and later achieved great success as "Dagwood Bumstead" in the Blondie movie series.

Early careerEdit

Before acting in films, Lake was the leading lady for the Raynor Lehr stock theater company.[4] Her film debut came in New Year's Eve (1929).[5]

Comic acting personaEdit

Lake was petite, with a high-pitched speaking voice. She perfected a comical singsong delivery that established her in "dumb" roles. She personified flightiness in the Kennedy shorts, as the scatterbrained Mrs. Kennedy. After the series ended upon Kennedy's death in 1948, she continued to play character roles in films and television. Her best-known TV role was Jenny, the Calverton telephone operator in Lassie. Lake played the role for the entire ten year "farm seasons" of the show (1954–1964), thus becoming the Lassie player with the longest run on the series. She played the role of Mama Angel in "The Angel and the Outlaw", a 1957 episode of the TV series The Lone Ranger. She also appeared in the first color episode of the TV series Superman in 1957 as a cave woman.[6][7]

On old-time radio, Lake portrayed Jessie in Charlie and Jessie,[8] Tess Terwilliger in David Harum,[8]:94 Mrs. Featherstone's daughter in The Gay Mrs. Featherstone,[8]:127-128 and Miss Smith in Phone Again Finnegan.[8]:272

In her later years, Lake appeared as Elvira Norton on an episode of Dragnet entitled "Frauds". She appeared in an episode of the 1973 situation comedy A Touch of Grace, and later that year played a blind date for the character Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show episode, "Lou's First Date". Her last roles were in the TV series Emergency!, Baretta in 1976, and Most Wanted in 1977.

Selected filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "Former Star of Lehr's Company in Movie Here". The Morning Herald. Maryland, Hagerstown. July 27, 1929. p. 5. Retrieved June 16, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ "Raynor Lehr Actress Has Talkie Lead". The Daily Mail. Maryland, Hagerstown. September 6, 1930. p. 4. Retrieved June 16, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ a b Lamparski, Richard (1982). Whatever Became Of ...? Eighth Series. New York: Crown Publishers. pp. 166–7. ISBN 0-517-54855-0.
  4. ^ "Capitol Theatre". Shamokin News-Dispatch. Pennsylvania, Shamokin. April 9, 1931. p. 12. Retrieved June 16, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "Offerings At Theatres". The Morning Herald. Maryland, Hagerstown. July 31, 1929. p. 5. Retrieved June 16, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ IMDB Page
  7. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (2008). The Encyclopedia of Superheroes on Film and Television, 2d ed. McFarland. p. 566. ISBN 978-0-7864-3755-9.
  8. ^ a b c d Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.

External linksEdit