Anne Nagel ~ The Heartbroken Widow

Anne Nagel

Anne Nagel was a 1930s actress who was heartbroken when her husband, Ross Alexander, committed suicide

She was born Anna Marie Dolan on September 29, 1915 in Maiden, Massachusetts. When she was a child she attended Notre Dame Academy and planned to become a nun. After her parents divorced her mother remarried and moved the family to California. Her stepfather worked for Tiffany Pictures and helped get started in show business. Anne made her film debut in the 1932 film Hypnotized. Then she had bit parts in the movies Sitting Pretty and Coming Out Party. In 1935 she was signed by 20th Century Fox. While making Here Comes Carter she fell in love with her costar Ross Alexander. He was bisexual and had recently been widowed when his wife, Aleta Freel, committed suicide. She and Ross were married on September 17, 1936. Tragically just three months later Ross committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Anne found his body and was devastated by his death. She said she had no idea why he did it. During the late 1930s she appeared in numerous films including Mystery House, Gang Bullets, and Under The Big Top.

Anne NagelAnne Nagel

In 1940 she starred in the thirteen part serial The Green Hornet. After leaving Warner Brothers she was signed by Universal. Anne co-starred with John Barrymore in The Invisible Woman and with Lon chaney in Man-Made Monster. She married Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Keenan in 1941. The couple wanted to have children but she was unable to get pregnant. In 1947 she sued her doctor claiming that he had left her infertile when he operated on her ten years earlier. By this time her career had stalled and she was only getting bit parts. Anne also had a serious drinking problem. Her final film was the 1950 film noir Armored Car Robbery. She and James divorced in 1951. Anne briefly returned to acting in 1957 when she appeared in on the television show Circus Boy. Unfortunately she continued to struggle with alcoholism and lived in poverty. On July 6, 1966 she died following surgery for liver cancer. She was only fifty years old. Since she died bankrupt she was buried in an unmarked grave at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Her fans later paid for a grave marker for her,

Anne NagelAnne Nagel

Anne Nagel Ross Alexander
With Ross Alexander