There’s a secret reason that glamorous star Veronica Lake left Hollywood and it’s because the star, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and had an alcohol problem, “had to get out” before it destroyed her life.
She was one of the top Hollywood stars during the 1940s but the pressure of success became too much. The actress wrote about her experience in a memoir shortly before she tragically passed away in 1973 from Hepatitis at age 50, Fox News reported. The book has now been republished and her story is once again in the spotlight.
As a child, Lake was diagnosed with schizophrenia and her mother pushed her into acting as a form of therapy. She was later discovered by a film agent who helped launch her career, but the star said her mental state was not prepared for fame.
"I had to get out," Lake wrote in her 1969 memoir, excerpts of which were made public by Closer Weekly. "I was never psychologically meant to be a picture star."
It did not help that she continuously was cast in the same type of roles, or that her mother was overbearing.
"She had a very aggressive stage mother who pushed her towards show business against her will," Turner Classic Movie (TCM) host Eddie Muller, who wrote a new introduction to Lake’s book, told the outlet. "She was naturally rebellious. She got tired of people expecting her to fit into a box."
Lake turned to alcohol as a way of coping, Muller said.
"She was behaving the way a lot of men did, and they got a pass. Drinking, showing up hungover — that’s part of Humphrey Bogart‘s legend," he said.
By 1952, Lake had enough and she decided to walk away from showbiz.
"I said, 'The hell with you, Hollywood,'" she wrote, adding that she had "never been back."
The actress was later spotted working as a cocktail waitress in New York City and although people "felt very sorry" for her, she "really enjoyed the job."
Lake reportedly died broke. Her ashes remained at a Vermont funeral home for three years before a friend paid to have them shipped to two close friends.
Sue Cameron, former TV columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, previously spoke of Lake's tragic ending and her sad departure from Hollywood.
"When someone becomes a star and they don’t have… family or people who are really supportive and appreciative of them, they don’t do well in Hollywood," she said, per Fox News. "It’s very, very hard to be a public personality. And if you don’t have stability, faith or a true sense of self, you will just perish… She looked like she needed a friend."
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