The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick

Mallory O’Meara. Hanover Square, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-335-93780-3
In this captivating and exhaustively researched biography, screenwriter and producer O’Meara chronicles the largely unknown story of artist and actress Milicent Patrick, designer of the monster in the 1954 film Creature from the Black Lagoon. O’Meara traces Patrick’s journey from precocious art student to her tenure as one of the first female animators at Disney and her discovery by Universal Studios’ head of makeup, Bud Westmore. After designing the creature for the hit film and being sent on a whirlwind press tour, Patrick became the target of Westmore’s jealousy, was fired, and subsequently was denied credit for her work. O’Meara also shares her own filmmaking experiences in modern-day Hollywood, including being accused of getting a job by sleeping with the boss and being sexually harassed by a voice actor, to highlight the continuing challenges for women in the film industry. These personal anecdotes may initially appear a distraction from Patrick’s story, but O’Meara’s enthusiasm for her subject soon overcomes all objections. This is a fascinating slice of Hollywood history with a feminist slant, correcting a sexist wrong from decades ago and restoring Patrick to her rightful place of esteem. Agent: Brady McReynolds, JABberwocky Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2018
Release date: 03/05/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-335-01013-1
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