Monday, May 12, 2008

Adele Pearce/Pamela Blake

Pamela Blake was an actress in the late 1930s and 1940s who played leading and supporting roles, mostly in B-movies. At the beginning of her career, she used her birth name, Adele Pearce, and in the early 1940s, changed it to Pamela Blake. She is remembered today mostly for her roles as the leading lady, also known as the "heroine", in B-western movies.

In 1993 I located Ms. Blake, living in Las Vegas, Nevada. The way I did this was sort of a round-about way. Searching through the clipping files at the NY Public Library, I found one article referring to her being married to Mike Stokey, who was a tv game show host and producer. I found a phone listing for his business in Los Angeles, called and left a message with the receptionist. I explained I was trying to locate Pamela Blake, and she told me that while Mr. Stokey was no longer married to her, they were still in contact on occasion. A few days later, the receptionist called and gave me Ms. Blake's phone number.

Pamela Blake was now Mrs. Canavan, and was very cordial when I called. We had a rather long conversation, talking not just about her career, but about other movie people she knew, as well as life in general. She didn't have any photos to send, so it was up to me to find one, which I did.

I sent her the photo, and she called to acknowledge receiving it, telling me she'd never seen it before, and wanted to make a copy for herself, then return it. It took some time for the photo shop to complete the job, and she explained it in this handwritten letter, dated May 29, 1993:
"Dear Bill, Thank you for your patience! I hope! Am sorry I just got your picture back yesterday. It took them so long to make a duplicate - Do you know when or where this was taken? It is one I have never seen before. Anyway, thank you for contacting me, and sending it along to me".

At the time I called her, she had a cold, and I suggested she take vitamin C to ease the symptoms; hence her closing sentence: "Am feeling better and following your advice with good old vitamin C - !".

For some years afterward, we exchanged birthday cards. She was the only 'celebrity' with whom I did this. However, her eyesight was failing and eventually all written correspondence stopped. Below are two examples of the birthday cards I received from Pam - the first one was two months early, and the second was about a month late (not dated but I remember receiving it a month after my September birthday).

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