Elyse Knox played leading role with Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Mummys Tomb


Elyse Knox (December 14, 1917 – February 16, 2012) was an American actress, model and fashion designer. Knox was born Elsie Lillian Kornbrath in Hartford, Connecticut, the daughter of Minnie and Frederick Kornbrath. Her parents were Austrian immigrants. She studied at the Traphagen School of Fashion in Manhattan, then embarked on a career in fashion design. Her good looks enabled her to model some of her own creations for Vogue magazine that led to a contract offer from Twentieth Century Fox film studio in 1937. Knox performed mainly in minor or secondary roles until 1942 when she had a leading role with Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Mummy's Tomb, one of the series of Mummy horror films made by Universal Studios. She appeared as herself in the Universal Studios 1944 production Follow the Boys, one of the World War II morale-booster films made both for the soldiers serving overseas as well as civilians at home. Knox also was a pin up girl during the war, appearing in such magazines as Yank, a weekly published and distributed by the United States Military. In late 1945, Knox was signed by Monogram Pictures to portray Anne Howe, the love interest of fictional boxer Joe Palooka in Joe Palooka, Champ. Based on the very popular comic strip, the instant success of the May 1946 film led to Knox appearing in another five Joe Palooka productions. After acting in 39 films, Knox retired in 1949 following her performance in the musical film There's a Girl in My Heart. While appearing on the Bing Crosby radio show, she met football star Tom Harmon. They were engaged to marry, but ended the relationship when Harmon entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942. Later that year, Knox married fashion photographer Paul Hesse, who had shot many of her print ads and magazine covers. The marriage was brief. Following her divorce and Harmon's return from World War II (during which he survived two plane crashes and being lost in the jungle), she and Harmon married in 1944. Knox's wedding dress was made from silk from the parachute Harmon used when bailing out of his plane. The couple remained together until his death in 1990. The couple had three children: Kristin (born 1945). Kelly (born 1948) and Mark (born 1951). Kristin became an actress and painter who at seventeen married recording artist Ricky Nelson and bore four children: Tracy, twins Gunnar and Matthew, and Sam. Kelly also modeled and acted in film and television and was once married to automaker John DeLorean. Mark became a film and television actor who has starred in films such as The Presidio and television series including NCIS and is married to actress Pam Dawber. Knox died February 16, 2012 at age 94 at her home in Los Angeles

vintage actress Elyse Knox Gallery

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