Lola Lane

Lola Lane (born Dorothy Mulligan,[1] May 21, 1906 – June 22, 1981) was an American actress and one of the Lane Sisters, with her three siblings. She appeared on Broadway and in films from the 1920s to 1940s.

Lola Lane
Dorothy Mulligan

(1906-05-21)May 21, 1906
Macy, Indiana, U.S.
DiedJune 22, 1981(1981-06-22) (aged 75)
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
Years active1929–1946
Spouse(s)Henry Clay Dunham
(m. 192?; div. 19??)
Lew Ayres
(m. 1931; div. 1933)

Alexander Hall
(m. 1934; div. 1936)

Roland West
(m. 1940; died 1952)

Robert Hanlon
(m. 1955)

Early years

The daughter of a dentist, Lane was born in Macy, Indiana, and grew up in Indianola, Iowa. As a teenager, she played piano for silent films and sang in a flower shop. Entertainer Gus Edwards discovered her in the flower shop and put her on the road to her professional career.[2] (Her obituary distributed by the Associated Press said that she wrote to Edwards to ask for an audition.[3] Another source said that Edwards observed Lane and her sister when they performed in a benefit concert in Des Moines, Iowa.[4])

Lane graduated from a conservatory at Simpson College.[5]


Edwards changed the actress's name and added her to his touring production, Ritz Carlton Nights.[2] In 1926, she and her sister Leota appeared in the Greenwich Village Follies in New York City.[5] She went on to appear in vaudeville shows on the Orpheum, Loew, and Interstate circuits[2] and later acted on Broadway in The War Song (1928).[6] The latter role led to her work in films after a talent scout saw her on Broadway. After a screen test, she made her film debut in Speakeasy (1929).[2]

Most of Lane's films were Warner Bros. productions. They included Four Daughters, Four Wives, and Four Mothers, in each of which she appeared with her sisters Priscilla and Rosemary.[2]

Personal life

On September 11, 1931, Lane married actor Lew Ayres in Las Vegas, Nevada.[7] They remained wed until 1933.[2] She was also married to Henry Dunham, a yacht broker, and director Roland West.[3] When she died, she was married to Robert Hanlon,[2] a retired aircraft executive.[3]

A Democrat, she, along with her sisters, supported the campaign of Adlai Stevenson during the 1952 presidential election.[8]


On June 11, 1981, Lane died at her home in Santa Barbara, California, at age 75. She was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Santa Barbara.[2]


Comic book writer Jerry Siegel named Lois Lane, the fictional reporter and Superman's girlfriend in DC Comics after Lola Lane.[9]

In 1967, Lane received a Pope Pius X medal for her efforts in religious training of mentally challenged people.[3]



  1. Peak, Mayme Ober (October 25, 1931). "Cupid Descends on Hollywood And Finds the Hunting Good". Hartford Courant. Connecticut, Hartford. p. Part 5 - p 1. Retrieved 24 May 2019 via
  2. "Lola Lane, 75, veteran actress". The News. New Jersey, Paterson. United Press International. June 25, 1981. p. 39. Retrieved 24 May 2019 via
  3. "Lola Lane, actress, dies at 75". The Morning Call. Pennsylvania, Allentown. Associated Press. June 26, 1981. p. 20. Retrieved 25 May 2019 via
  4. "Lola Lane Boosted to Stardom". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. April 7, 1929. p. 49. Retrieved 25 May 2019 via
  5. "Goings-On in the Theaters". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. p. 30. Retrieved 25 May 2019 via
  6. "Lola Lane". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  7. "Lew Ayres of Films Faces Divorce Suit". Oakland Tribune. California, Oakland. United Press. January 19, 1933. p. 2. Retrieved 25 May 2019 via
  8. Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 33, Ideal Publishers
  9. Letters to the Editor, Time magazine (May 30, 1988), pp. 6–7.
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