The Ann(e) Darling Mystery
The name Ann (or is it Anne?) Darling wouldn’t mean a thing to anyone were it not for the fact that she briefly tended sheep in Bride Of Frankenstein and had a moment’s encounter with Boris Karloff’s monster. Otherwise, her career at Universal came and went within a season, a fate not unknown to starlets whose initial promise never came to blossom. Could she have been the next Sidney Fox? Perhaps Ann(e) was another Carl Laemmle, Jr. protegee, and he lost interest. I was told years ago that she’d retired to, of all places, Hickory, North Carolina. A lost Bride Of Frankenstein cast member lived within driving distance! Having no address or even a current name, I made no attempt to trace her specific whereabouts. Perhaps a Yellow Pages search under shepherdesses would have revealed her, but not likely. The imdb claims she died on August 3, 1991 in Los Angeles. Well, they’ve made mistakes before. Assuming she were alive, Darling would be 91. I’d like to think she’s still in Hickory, just waiting for someone like me to rediscover her so she could tell all about that day she worked with Boris Karloff.
When I Google searched Ann (and Anne) Darling, I got nowhere. One link explained how to remove skin tags from your dog’s eyelid. Another took me to a specimen of erotic fiction entitled The Reluctant Father Figure, a story told in nine parts which looked to run in excess of 60,000 words. I’d like to reveal the entire saga of Ann Darling, particularly the Whatever Happened To… part (maybe one of you can), but for the time being, these images will have to do. The step-by-step process with Jack Pierce is dated September 1934. Refreshing to see Jack applying something other than yak hair and bolts to a subject’s face. I’d gone years thinking he just made up monsters, but here’s proof that Pierce could deliver on the glamour treatment when he set his mind to it. Roman Freulich, Universal’s photographer in residence, made the portrait. Finally, we have Ann Darling spotting Boris Karloff from a soundstage hilltop in Bride Of Frankenstein.