Dorothy Lamour’s route to success was via beauty contests, work in a department store in Chicago, singing in a hotel band (she was discovered by the band-leader Herb Kay, (who later became her first husband) and on radio shows.
Then in 1935 she went to Hollywood where she first donned a sarong and dark body makeup op- posite Ray Milland in The jungle Princess. From that time onwards she was rarely to be seen in any other costume as she repeated this appearance in numerous similar roles.
She even auctioned two of her sarongs for war bonds and recovered about $2 million for them. Her best known perform- ances are opposite Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in the Road films, playing the perfect, clever foil to their zany humour.
Although rarely allowed to stray from her South-Sea beauty image, she had no driving ambition to forsake the role that had put her on the path to such success.
She retired in 1953. but was nostalgically reunited in the Sixties with Hope and Crosby for a last Road film, Road to Hong Kong, where she lost out in the glamour stakes to the younger Joan Collins.
1936: The Jungle Princess
1937: The Hurricane
1938: Spawn of the North
1940: Road to Singapore; Chad Hanna
1941: Road to Zanzibar,
1942: Road to Morocco
1944: Rainbow Island
1945: A Medal for Benny
1951: The Greatest Show on Earth
1962: Road to Hong Kong (GB)
1963: Donovan’s Reef