Lucille La Verne



Coming to films from the stage in 1914, actress Lucille LaVerne had a career which endured for over twenty years. She seemed to dote on playing tattered old hags, staggering tosspots, time- and care-worn slum mothers and indomitable frontierswomen. She was delightful in her own nasty way as the old harridan who forces blind Dorothy Gish to sing in the streets in Griffith's Orphans of the Storm (1922). Successfully making the transition to sound, she was seen as petty-crook James Cagney's overprotective mother in Sinner's Holiday (1930), a slatternly underworld fence in Little Caesar (1930) and "The Vengeance," the toothless, cackling insurrectionist in Tale of Two Cities (1935). A more benign LaVerne was seen as a hillbilly matriarch who's set her cap for old blowhard Noah Beery Sr. in Wheeler & Woolsey's Kentucky Kernels (1934). Lucille LaVerne's most famous screen role, was one in which her face was never seen: she served as voice and model of the Wicked Queen in the 1937 Disney animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.