Lucille Lund

“I did some crazy pictures, I’ll tell you!” –Lucille Lund

Among the many horror films that are visited and revisited around Halloween—or throughout the year—is a gem known as The Black Cat (1934). A Pre-Code delight, the film stars actress Lucille Lund in what is arguably her most notable role.

Born in Buckley, Washington, to Norwegian immigrant parents, Lund’s time in theater began early-on. As a child, she was already appearing in short skits and dramatic readings. Over the years, she would eventually join the Henry Duffy Players stock company, opening to the door to touring opportunities throughout the West Coast. Following this experiences, Lund would go on to study drama at Northwestern University.

Lund’s looks ultimately landed her a role with Universal Pictures. She won a contest in 1933, being dubbed “The Most Beautiful College Coed,” with a Universal contract as the prize. Her early film roles included Horse Play (1933), Saturday’s Millions (1933), and Pirate Treasure (1934). In the following year, she worked alongside horror icons Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in The Black Cat, also being initiated as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars. Although she primarily appeared in B-movies, her film appearances were steady throughout the 1930s.

In 1937, Lund married radio producer and writer Kenneth Higgins, remaining with Higgins until his passing in 1973. The couple had two daughters, Terry and Kim, which ultimately compelled Lund to end her acting career and focus on her growing family. Following Higgins’s passing, Lund returned to the screen by acting in commercials and appearing in a documentary about Lugosi, among other documentary appearances. Lund would also occasionally offer appearances at various film festivals, recounting her film career and experiences.

Lund passed away in Rolling Hills, California, in 2002. She was 88 years old.

Today, there are very few locations of relevance to Lund that remain.

In the 1920s and early 1930s, Lund and her family lived at 1506 A St., Buckley, Washington. The home no longer stands.

Lund’s alma mater, White River High School, is located at 2928 130th St. E., Buckley, Washington. Northwestern University also remains an educational institution with campuses in Evanston, Illinois, and Chicago, Illinois, continuing to offer a drama program, among other academic pursuits.

Additionally, the home that Lund shared with Higgins also remains, located at 210 N. Kenmore Ave., Los Angeles, California. Here is the home today:

Nonetheless, one of the best ways to honor Lund is to enjoy her performances available to audiences today.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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