Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #00179: ANNE NAGEL

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Scarce vintage black fountain pen signature on a roughly 4x5-inch portion of a tan autograph album page, acquired in-person in the 1930s and decorated with a small magazine image. In good condition, overall, with some thinning in spots, where it was pealed away from a scrapbook page. After abandoning preliminary steps to become a nun, Anne Nagel worked as a model, and then a dancer in early talkies from 1932 through 1936. That year, she landed a feature film contract with Warner Brothers, headlining in a string of unspectacular pictures like A Bride for Henry (1937), The Case of the Stuttering Bishop (1937), Gang Bullets (1938), and Mystery House (1938). Although things were looking up, it was also in 1936 that she married actor Ross Alexander, a self-loathing, gay, hard-drinking manic depressive who committed suicide by shotgun less than a year later. By the early 1940s, Nagel had transitioned to Universal, where, following a small role in W.C. Field's My Little Chickadee (1940), she was pigeonholed as a serial and B-movie queen.  Lovely and alluring, reciting lines with her distinctive, low-pitched voice, she was unforgettable as Lenora Case in the Green Hornet (1940) and Green Hornet Strikes Again! (1941) cliffhangers; Sunny Rogers, alongside Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, in the horror flick Black Friday (1940); Jean in Invisible Woman (1940); June Lawrence in the Lionel Atwill and Lon Chaney, Jr. classic Man Made Monster (1941); Mrs. Saunders in The Mad Doctor of Market Street (1942); Lenora Cameron in The Mad Monster (1942); a barfly in Mighty Joe Young (1949); and Marsha Phillips in the cult favorite Armored Car Robbery (1950). Alas, by the early 1950s, Nagel had sunken into depression and developed a serious alcohol problem. Her career completely collapsed in 1952, after which she lived in utter destitution until her tragic death of cancer at the age of 50.