Active - 1942 - 1990  |   Born - Jul 21, 1920 in Cheyenne, WY  |   Died - Aug 16, 2004 in Ahwatukee, AZ  |   Genres - Adventure, Horror

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A true screen oddity, Universal's exotic Paula the Ape Woman was, according to the lady herself, part Arapaho Indian and part British nobility. Her adopted name was Mildred Davenport and she had been a Harry Connover model prior to signing with Universal in 1942. As Acquanetta (or Burnu Acquanetta, meaning "Burning Fire"), the darkly handsome starlet starred as the Captive Wild Woman (1944), Universal's only female monster. Like her distant relative, the Panther Woman of The Island of Dr. Moreau, Paula Dupree was part animal, part human but with a tendency to turn back into the former under stress. Unfortunately, the transformation scenes were rather ill-advised, Acquanetta appearing to change from Caucasian girl to African-American to gorilla, a sequence, according to many critics, that conjured up the ridiculous racial theories of the Nazi regime. Even more ill-advised was an incredibly stupid sequel, Jungle Woman (1944), but Acquanetta was spared the third and final Ape Woman potboiler, The Jungle Captive (1945), having left Universal under somewhat mysterious circumstances. She was replaced by 18-year-old starlet Vicky Lane. After appearing in the inevitable Tarzan programmer, Tarzan and the Leopard Woman (1946), Acquanetta more or less ended her screen career in a weak Poverty Row sci-fi, The Lost Continent (1951). She later hosted a local television show in Arizona, authored a book on her personal philosophy, and returned to acting in the straight-to-video Grizzly Adams -- The Legend Never Dies (1989).

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