WWII Sci-Fi/Horror Starlet Anne Gwynne, 1918-2003

From today’s L.A. Times:

Anne Gwynne, leading lady in scores of sci-fi and horror films including the 1940 serial Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe and Black Friday with Boris Karloff, has died. She was 84. Gwynne died March 31 of a stroke following surgery at the Motion Picture County Hospital in Woodland Hills, her family said.
Born Marguerite Gwynne Trice in Waco, Texas, she studied drama at Stephens College in Missouri and moved to Los Angeles with her family. Billed as Anne Gwynne, she began acting in small theaters and was spotted by a talent scout who invited her to stop by Universal Studios. She was signed to a contract in 1939. She began churning out B pictures as leading lady to such Western stars as Johnny Mack Brown and moved on to the space serial with Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon, alternately titled Perils From the Planet Mongo and Purple Death From Outer Space.
But Gwynne did her most memorable work in horror films, working with Karloff, Basil Rathbone, Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney, Jr. Among those 1940s scream-fests, in addition to Black Friday, were The Black Cat, House of Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Doctor Rx, Weird Woman, Murder in the Blue Room and the 1947 movie Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome. “To fans of the Universal horror films of the 1940s, Anne was one of the best and most popular leading ladies,” said Tom Weaver, an author and expert on the horror genre. “Unlike the exotic 1930s horror heroines who generally were, or at least acted English or European or ‘mid-Atlantic’ at best, Anne was the spunky, bubbly, very American girl-next-door type—the stuff of instant crushes for these movies’ mostly male audiences.”
Among Gwynne’s favorite films were The Black Cat and two Westerns, Ride ’Em Cowboy with Abbott and Costello in 1942 and Men of Texas with Robert Stack and Broderick Crawford the same year.

I was just reading about her in a book about actresses in horror films of the 40s (I can’t recall the author’s name right now, but he did a matching book about actresses of the 30s*). I fondly remember her performance in House of Frankenstein.

*Sadly, several of the women who were alive when the books were published in 1999 have passd on since–e.g. Peggy Moran.