Scarce vintage 5x7-inch matte-finish sepia-tone portrait, boldly signed in green fountain pen in the 1940s. In fine condition, with a small spot in the left border and a tiny surface abrasion in the top border, neither flaw substantially detracting from the overall appearance of the piece. Spanish-American beauty Adele Mara began her career as a singer and dancer with the Xavier Cugat Orchestra. It was during a band tour in the early 1940s that she was spotted by a Columbia talent scout, who snagged her the supporting role of Babs Connelly in Blondie Goes to College (1942). Alas, despite considerable talent, Mara never managed to rise above B-level pictures, typically cast as brisk, loyal sidekicks in films like Vengeance of the West (1942) and Alias Boston Blackie (1942). A few years later, she signed a second contract with Republic Studios, where her brunette hair was dyed platinum blonde, and her outfits rendered tighter and more revealing, in an effort to transform her into something of a sex symbol. Nothing doing: She remained a B-movie regular, now playing senorita types in heaps of oaters like Bella of Rosarita (1945) with Roy Rogers and Twilight on the Rio Grande (1947) with Gene Autry; fetching wenches in crime dramas like Blackmail (1947) and Web of Danger (1947); and fearless explorers in Wake of the Red Witch (1948) and The Avengers (1950). Mara's best roles would come with Angel in Exile (1948) and John Wayne's Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), and her most memorable with a spate of horror, sci-fi and fantasy flicks, including The Vampire's Ghost (1945), The Catman in Paris (1946) and Curse of the Faceless Man (1958). She retired in 1959 and her autograph is rather uncommon in any format.