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Actress Carol Adams dies at 94

Appeared in 'Our Gang' shorts, Westerns

Actress Carol Adams, who appeared in some 50 features, starring at times with Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, died April 9 in West Hollywood of natural causes. She was 94.

She was born Lurline Uller in Los Angeles and was discovered at age 5 while playing in her aunt’s yard near the corner of Sunset and Gower, where Christie Film Co. had established the first movie studio in Hollywood itself. She made a small appearance as a flower girl in the Dorothy Devore picture “Navy Blues” (1923), beginning a 20-year career in the industry.

Uller appeared in “Sparrows” (1926), with Mary Pickford, and “Fireman Save My Child” (1927), with Wallace Beery, and she also appeared in silent comedy shorts in the “Our Gang,” “Buster Brown” and “Mickey McGuire” (Mickey Rooney) series while training with the Meglin Kiddies.

In 1929 she honed her dancing skills alongside a very young Francis Gumm (Judy Garland) in the Hollywood Starlets. In her teens she performed song and dance on vaudeville stages across California and later did bit parts in films at Paramount and Fox. She was eventually rediscovered at age 18 while dancing in a show at the Pantages Theatre and signed to a two-year contract at 20th Century Fox. She began appearing in “college” musicals, which led to roles in better pictures.

Uller worked steadily, appearing in more than 30 films during this period, including four Mr. Moto outings as well as “The Big Broadcast of 1938,” “Sally, Irene and Mary” and “Rose of Washington Square.”

By age 20, she was under contract to Paramount, where she was renamed Carol Adams, and moved into larger, credited roles in “Dancing on a Dime,” “Ice Capades” and “Sis Hopkins.” In 1941 Republic Pictures signed her, and she starred alongside legends

Gene Autry in “Ridin’ on a Rainbow” and Roy Rogers in “Bad Man of Deadwood.”

In 1944 Adams appeared in several of James Roosevelt’s “Soundies” (coin-operated precursors to musicvideos) including “Rhythm on the River,” “Juke Box Joe’s,” “Swing It, Mr. Schubert” and “Doin’ the Hotfoot.”

The same year, Adams toured as a featured dancer with the company of “George White’s Scandals.” She also toured with a variety show headlined by the Ritz Brothers comedy team.

In 1944 Adams married Richard J. Pearl, a studio executive who later became head of the art department at Paramount and Columbia.

She is survived by a son, a daughter, six granddaughters and seven great-grandchildren.

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