Virginia Vale

Virginia Vale (born Dorothy Howe, 20 May 1920 14 Sep 2006) was an American film actress. She starred in a number of B-movie Westerns but took a variety of other roles as well, notably in Blonde Comet (1941), in which she played a race car driver.

Virginia Vale
Dorothy Howe

(1920-05-20)May 20, 1920
DiedSeptember 14, 2006(2006-09-14) (aged 86)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills), California
OccupationActress, U.S. Figure Skating Association Judge, Executive Secretary
Years active1937-1945

Early years

Vale was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Howe.[1] Before becoming a professional actor, she was a switchboard operator in Dallas, Texas, and honed her acting skills in productions at a little theater in Dallas. After a representative of Paramount Pictures saw her in a leading role, he invited her to make a screen test, which led to a contract.[2] (Another source says that Howe was working at the switchboard in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Dallas office, where a talent scout for Paramount found her and signed her to a contract.)[3]


Several of Vale's early films were made using her birth name. The name Virginia Vale had been chosen in advance for the female winner of the 1939 Gateway to Hollywood contest, a nationwide talent search sponsored by producer Jesse Lasky—as noted (somewhat indignantly) then by another Virginia Vale[4] a syndicated columnist covering the film industry.[5] Vale edged out Rhonda Fleming in the 1939 contest.[6]

After her film career, she became an executive secretary at Lockheed and also a competition judge for the US Figure Skating Association. She was eventually honored by the USFSA for 50 years of service in that role.[7][8] Before becoming a judge, she'd also briefly been a competition skater.[7] Her life in film and skating was featured at the 2002 U.S. figure skating championships[9] and a memorial trophy for "most outstanding performance" was given in her name at the 2007 California Championships.[10]


Year Title Role Notes
1937Night Club ScandalMarsh's Maid
1937True ConfessionBrunette GirlUncredited
1938The BuccaneerUncredited
1938The Big Broadcast of 1938Joan Fielding
1938Her Jungle LoveEleanor Martin
1938Cocoanut GroveHazel De Vore
1938King of AlcatrazDixie
1939DisbarredAirline Stewardess
1939AmbushWaitress at RestaurantUncredited
1939Persons in HidingFlo
1939Three SonsPhoebe Pardway
1939Marshal of Mesa CityVirginia King
1940Legion of the LawlessEllen Ives
1940Bullet CodeMolly Mathews
1940You Can't Fool Your WifeSally
1940Prairie LawPriscilla Brambull
1940Millionaires in PrisonMay Thomas
1940Stage to ChinoCaroline McKay
1940Triple JusticeLorna Payson
1941Repent at LeisureElevator GirlUncredited
1941Robbers of the RangeAlice Tremaine
1941South of PanamaJanice 'Jan' Martin, aka Dolores Esteban
1941Unexpected UncleTelephone GirlUncredited
1941The Gay FalconHysterical WomanUncredited
1941Blonde CometBeverly Blake
1942Broadway Big ShotBetty Collins
1945Crime, Inc.Trixie Waters(final film role)


  • Boyd Magers, Michael G. Fitzgerald (1999), Westerns Women: Interviews With 50 Leading Ladies Of Movie And Television Westerns From The 1930s To The 1960s, Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Co., ISBN 0-7864-2028-6
  • Herb Fagen (1996), White Hats and Silver Spurs: Interviews With 24 Stars of Film and Television Westerns of the Thirties Through the Sixties, Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Co., ISBN 0-7864-0200-8


  1. "News and Views of the Shows". Harrisburg Sunday Courier. Pennsylvania, Harrisburg. November 14, 1937. p. 10. Retrieved July 9, 2016 via
  2. "Wanted: New Faces!". The Lincoln Star. Nebraska, Lincoln. July 10, 1938. p. 34. Retrieved July 9, 2016 via
  3. "Switchboard Operator in Movies". The Edwardsville Intelligencer. Illinois, Edwardsville. August 10, 1937. p. 3. Retrieved July 9, 2016 via
  4. "Star Dust", Virginia Vale, June 17, 1939
  5. Fleming, E.J. (2005). Carole Landis: A Tragic Life in Hollywood. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland and Co. ISBN 978-0-7864-2200-5, p.275
  6. "Virginia Vale is alive and well". Los Angeles Times. 1 Aug 1976.
  7. "LAFSC Mourns the Passing of Virginia Vale", The Ice Monitor, v.62, #3, Dec 2006, p.3 Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Friday's News from the 2004 Governing Council - (5/8/04)", US Figure Skating Association website Archived 2011-06-13 at the Wayback Machine
  9. Josephine Lawless (2007). Introduction to Vale's 1982 "History of the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club" Archived 2009-01-05 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "And Now the News", 2007,
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.