Thursday, September 8, 2011

Carole Donne (Appointment with Murder)

Catherine Craig, aka Mrs. Robert Preston, plays the co-owner of a Los Angeles gallery in Appointment with Murder (1948), a nifty little thriller and the second of three starring stage magician John Calvert as the eponymous The Falcon. Miss Craig comes complete with a blonde secretary who is awarded a couple of close-ups and a line or two. But that's is also about it for Carole Donne, a tough-looking starlet who showed up in quite a few potboilers in the late 1940s playing secretaries, waitresses and nurses. She's a waitress in Decoy (1946), another secretary, a newspaper editor's this time, in Violence (1947), but was then a rather drab housefrau type with a missionary husband and a young child caught up in revolution in Mongolia or somewhere in State Department File: 649 (1949), a fine little portrayal of mounting hysteria.

In none of these speaking parts does she portray any accent at all but Carole Donne was apparently from Denmark (born March 20, 1916). She had arrived in Hollywood in 1945 as the wife of Walter Donner, a Canadian Royal Air Force pilot, but that union was short-lived and she was soon seen around town with brewery heir Lionel Goetz. The latter was said to have appeared in “several western pictures as Lionel Shelley,” but we have found no footprints from him under that name. The much ballyhooed engagement to the Missouri brewery air went bust soon enough, alas, and Carole instead became known for showing her prize Great Dane (naturally), Brutus von Prinsen, at the Oakland Kennel Club Dog Show in Oakland, CA, and for dating much-married B-movie actor Alan Curtis. In 1949, circus heir John Ringling North gave Carole “the three-ring treatment at the Stork Club” in New York and she was seen at the Los Angeles nitery Mocambo with comedian Joe E. Lewis. In 1953, she shared an apartment with a newcomer from Denmark, Marilyn Monroe double and 3 Stooges stooge Greta Thyssen but Carole's own screen career seems to have been over by then. She was married again in 1957, this time to oil millionaire Walter McCune and the couple settled in Phoenix, AZ and San Diego, CA. In December of 1967 Mrs. McCune was once again in the news, this time, however, on the crime beat, when Frederico Kandacio, 60, Pasquale Natarelli, 56, and Stephen A. Cino, 30, all of Buffalo, NY, were sentenced to 20 years each for attempting to steal $500,000 in jewelry from her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. Carole apparently divorced McCune shortly thereafter (he died in 1971) and was not heard from again. As Carole Donne McCune she died in San Diego, CA, October 6, 1996.

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