Sorting out the Lane Sisters is always a bit tricky, but Joe always likes to give it a try. First, this brief introduction:
The sisterly trio lit up the screens for Warners brothers for a few years in the late 1930s. There were three of them, naturally, and we’re hoping pay an informal homage to each.
We begin today with the youngest and most famous of the trio — Priscilla Lane (left above, next to sisters Lola in the middle and Rosemary to the right).
Priscilla made several important pictures, and starred opposite James Cagney, Cary Grant and Robert Cummings. That’s them below in an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.
Enough said that Priscilla (nee Priscilla Mullican) was born in 1915 in the middle of America: Indianola, Indiana, to be exact. She spent her relatively brief — 22 movies in all from 1937 through 1948 — playing variations on the themes of girlfriends, daughters and fiancees. She also appeared with her siblings in several pictures.
For some reason, Priscilla had a big following in England. A British trade journal at the time wrote favorably about all three Lane sisters, but criticized out Warner Bros. for not giving Priscilla meatier roles. The trade journal editors may have been on to something.
Of the three Lane sisters, Lola Lane (above) had the longest film career. Rosemary the shortest. They both starred in Hollywood Hotel with a young Dick Powell.
But Rosemary, who had a fine voice, was given little else at the studio.
This may drive you nuts but there were actually FIVE Lane sisters.
Besides Lola, Rosemary and Priscilla Lane, there were Martha, who never got involved in show business, and Leota, who did but never enjoyed even the limited big screen successes of either Priscilla, Lola or Rosemary.
As mentioned, Lola had the longest career of any of the women. Her best movie is probably the 1937 crime drama Marked Woman starring Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis. She portrayed a showgirl working at a mob run clip joint.
Rosemary, Lola and Priscilla Lane costarred together in four movies: 1938’s Four Daughters, 1939’s Four Wives and Daughters Courageous and 1941’s Four Mothers.