Lois Lumiere rose to stardom when she played teenage tease Conchita in The Lonely Trail (1931), and went on to further box-office success in Came the Dawn (1932), Zombies in Tinseltown (1936), and A Tale of Two Cuties (1938).
But behind the glamour lies a tale of heartbreak.
Lois’s first love, Dash Cheese, was thrown from a camel in the Sudan while filming the romantic comedy Kiss of the Serpent (1939). He landed on the director, Ed Cutts, and both died instantly.
For many years afterwards, Lois could not bring herself to love again, but eventually bring herself to love again she did, this time in the hunky form of Lon Romero, heart-throb and smouldering star of Kitty, what’s your Kaper? (1944), and Destination Rio (1946). They met in 1947 and had a son, Lon Jnr.
But their happiness was fleeting as the dawn. After three short years together, tragedy struck again: aged just 32, Lon was impaled while filming a love scene for Farewell my Porcupine (1951). A schmoozer to the end, his last words were said to be: ‘Lois, my lumiere!’ (though others heard ‘There’s no room in here’ or ‘Where’s my lucky hare?’).
Since that fateful day, Lois has shunned publicity and never gives interviews. A semi-recluse, she appears in public only very occasionally, always wearing her trademark camel and porcupine shoes.
In 1957, she made headlines when she punched a photographer in an LA street, reprising her unforgettable line from A Tale of Two Cuties: ‘Say, fancypants? Want some more?’
Her autobiography, So Lon, Dash, was an instant best-seller.
In 1959, Lois appeared briefly alongside Audrey Heartburn and Ginger Snap in Who juiced the Mangoes?, directed by Alfred Pitchfork, but it was not a critical success.
Lois now lives in New York with her son, who is rumoured to be dating Gore Vidal.