Wanda McKay

Active - 1939 - 1952  |   Born - Jan 14, 1916   |   Died - Apr 11, 1996   |   Genres - Comedy, Crime, Western, Drama, Mystery

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Biography by Hans J. Wollstein

With a real name of Dorothy Quackenbush, Wanda McKay was one movie starlet who definitely needed a new moniker. Named Miss American Aviation of 1938, the Portland, OR, native earned a contract with Paramount in 1939 but her roles remained minor and McKay was one of the many starlets to find better employment on Poverty Row. Through the 1940s, the name Wanda McKay became synonymous with low-budget companies like PRC and Monogram, where she toiled in such minor fare as Voodoo Man (1944) with Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, and George Zucco, and the Jiggs and Maggie comedies, with Mickey Rooney's father Joe Yule. It was not enough to sustain a lengthy career, however, and by the early 1950s, McKay was playing unbilled bit parts. In May 1977, the long-retired starlet married Hoagy Carmichael after what reporters termed "a lengthy courtship," a union that lasted until the legendary composer's death in 1981.

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