Sunday, September 1, 2013

Republic Pictures contract player CAROL ADAMS

Having begun her career in childhood with, among others, The Meglin Kiddies and in Our Gang silents under her real name of Lurlene Uller, this busy starlet was renamed Carol Adams while under contract to first Paramount then Republic Pictures. Presumably because the name Lurlene was more reminiscent of the Appalachian Trail, a revenooer hiding behind any other tree, than Los Angeles where she had been born in 1918. While with Republic, she appeared opposite Gene Autry in RIDIN' ON A RAINBOW (1941), where she was upstaged by diminutive songstress Mary Lee, who Republic unaccountably considered to have star potential; and starring with Roy Rogers in BAD MAN OF DEADWOOD (1941). She was under contract to the studio 5-15-1940 to 10-14-1941.

D. Emery Smith wrote a fine bio of Lurlene/Carol on the IMDb site, which I would like to reproduce here: 

[Lurlene Uller] was "discovered" at age 5, while playing in her aunt's yard, near the corner of Sunset and Gower and recruited to appear as a flower girl in "Navy Blues" (1923) with Dorothy Devore.

Lurline spent her early years appearing in various "Our Gang", "Mickey McGuire" and "Buster Brown" silent shorts and training with the Meglin Kiddies. In 1929, she began honing her prodigious dancing skills alongside adolescent Francis Gumm (Judy Garland) as a member of The Hollywood Starlets.

Uller spent her teen years performing song and dance on the vaudeville stages throughout California, She was eventually re-discovered at age 18, while dancing in a show at the Paramount theatre, and signed to a 2-year contract at 20th Century Fox. She worked as a contract player in over thirty 20th Century films. Uller was eventually renamed Carol Adams when she moved to Paramount Studio.

Her dancing and camera-friendly appearance brought her to the attention of casting directors on bigger and better motion pictures, soon appearing in "Rose of Washington Square" . Then came larger, credited roles in "Sally, Irene and Mary" "Dancing On A Dime", "Ice Capades" and "Sis Hopkins". By 1941 she was starring alongside Gene Autry in "Ridin' on a Rainbow" and Roy Rogers in "Bad Man of Deadwood".

During the war (WWII) she performed extensively for the troops and donated many hours to Bette Davis' USO efforts.

In 1944, Carol also appeared in several of James Roosevelt's "Soundies" (the precursors to music videos) including:"Rhythm on the River", "Jukebox Joe's", and "Doin' the Hotfoot".

At the age of 26, after appearing in 60+ films, Carol met and married a young studio executive, who later became head of the Art Department at Paramount Studios. She retreated from show business to become dedicated housewife and mother.

Lurline Uller/Carol Adams passed away aged 94 in 2012.