In addition to being Miss New Orleans in 1931, Dorothy Lamour worked as a Chicago elevator operator; band vocalist for her first husband, band leader Herbie Kaye; and radio performer. In 1936 she donned her soon-to-be-famous sarong for her debut at Paramount, The Jungle Princess (1936), and continued to play female Tarzan-Crusoe-Gauguin-girl-with make-up parts through the war years and beyond. The most famous of these was in the popular Bob Hope/Bing Crosby “Road” pictures – a strange combination of adventure, slapstick, ad-libs and Hollywood inside jokes. Of these she said, “I was the happiest and highest-paid straight woman in the business.” As she aged, however, the quality of her films dropped. Among her serious films were Johnny Apollo (1940) and A Medal for Benny (1945).
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