The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick

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The Lady from the Black Lagoon uncovers the life and work of Milicent Patrick—one of Disney’s first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood’s classic movie monsters

As a teenager, Mallory O’Meara was thrilled to discover that one of her favorite movies, Creature from the Black Lagoon, featured a monster designed by a woman, Milicent Patrick. But for someone who should have been hailed as a pioneer in the genre, there was little information available. For, as O’Meara soon discovered, Patrick’s contribution had been claimed by a jealous male colleague, her career had been cut short and she soon after had disappeared from film history. No one even knew if she was still alive.

As a young woman working in the horror film industry, O’Meara set out to right the wrong, and in the process discovered the full, fascinating story of an ambitious, artistic woman ahead of her time. Patrick’s contribution to special effects proved to be just the latest chapter in a remarkable, unconventional life, from her youth growing up in the shadow of Hearst Castle, to her career as one of Disney’s first female animators. And at last, O’Meara discovered what really had happened to Patrick after The Creature’s success, and where she went.

A true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten feminist trailblazer, Mallory O’Meara’s The Lady from the Black Lagoon establishes Patrick in her rightful place in film history while calling out a Hollywood culture where little has changed since.
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About the author

Mallory O'Meara is an author, screenwriter and a producer for the independent film company Dark Dunes Productions. Whether it is for the screen or the page, she seeks creative projects imbued with horror and monsters. A New England native, she now lives in Los Angeles.

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Published on
Mar 5, 2019
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Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts
Biography & Autobiography / Women
Performing Arts / Film / Genres / Horror
Performing Arts / Film / Genres / Science Fiction & Fantasy
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