Lucille Lund

1930s starlet

Lucille Lund, 1930s starlet whose co-starring turn in the Boris Karloff/Bella Lugosi classic “The Black Cat” elevated her to cult status, died Feb. 16 of natural causes in Torrance, Calif. She was 89.

Buckley, Wash., native began in show business early, appearing as a child in stock theater in Seattle. While a co-ed at Northwestern U., she sent her photo to Universal Pictures, which was sponsoring a nationwide beauty and talent contest called “The All-American Girl.” She bested 1,200 other candidates. She signed with U. in 1933 and appeared in about 30 films between then and 1939 — the usual mix of B gangster movies, Westerns, Charley Chase comedies and Three Stooges shorts. A sampling of her credits includes “Saturday’s Millions” (her film debut), “Broadway Melody of 1936,” “3 Dumb Clucks,” “It Happened in Hollywood” and “The Awful Goof.”

She married radio producer Kenneth Higgins in 1937, gave birth two daughters and retired from the screen in 1939. She appeared in a few TV commercials during the 1950s and in the early 1990s delighted film buffs when she appeared by invitation at various film festivals. She also appeared as herself in several documentaries about old Hollywood including “Lugosi: Hollywood’s Dracula” (1997) and “I Used to Be in Pictures” (2000).

She is survived by her daughters, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

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