Saturday, February 25, 2012
Saturday Scream Queen: Evelyn Ankers
At Universal, Ankers was the queen of the studio's B-movie line-up, appearing in landmark pictures like Abbott and Costello's first horror comedy "Hold That Ghost", the horror-genre shaping picture "The Wolf Man", the quirky Southern Gothic vampire flick "Son of Dracula", and two of the Basil Rathbone-starring "Sherlock Holmes" movies. She also has the distinction of co-starred with Lon Chaney Jr. more than any other of Universal's leading ladies, including appearances in two of the "Inner Sanctum" movies. Interestingly, Ankers and Chaney had a strong dislike for each other, despite their frequent pairing on screen.
Between the years of 1941 and 1945, Ankers made 29 films for Universal. Her ability to scream was a trademark during these years, as was the way form-hugging and elegant gowns showed off her body. In 1946, she went freelance and made films for Republic Pictures and Columbia Studios, but by 1950, the sort of thrillers and horror films she had built her career on were no longer popular and she entered semi-retirement at the age of 32. The 1950s saw her do occasional guest shots on television series, and she retired permanently from acting in 1960 after co-starring in the religious drama "No Greater Love" with her husband Richard Denning.
Ankers passed away in 1985 at the age of 67.