Dr. Lona Bailey
researcher, and writing coach
Dr. Lona Bailey is an award-winning Golden Age of Hollywood researcher and writer of Uncredited: The Life and Career of Actress Virginia Gregg, Voice of Villainy: The Betty Lou Gerson Story, Mrs. Radio: The Cathy Lewis Story, and The Wasp Woman: The Life, Career, and Brutal Murder of Hollywood’s Susan Cabot. As a PhD and former therapist, Dr. Bailey is passionate about telling the untold stories of women who perhaps weren’t finished using their own voices during their earthly journeys. Her biographic works offer a balanced perspective on the multidimensional elements involved in feministic legacy-maintenance with particular interest in the preservation efforts of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Dr. Bailey's Voice of Villainy biography was a finalist in the International Book Awards for 2023 and won the Gold Medal Award in the Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards Contest of 2023. Dr. Bailey is a sponsor of Typesmith Writer's Awards and has been featured on The Wolfe Den Show, in Film Daily, and in The Los Angeles Tribune.
Uncredited: The Life and Career of Actress Virginia Gregg
She had one of the most recognizable faces and voices in American media for over 40 years. In radio, television, and film, Virginia went largely uncredited for many of her legendary performances including "Norma Bates" from Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 classic Psycho. In radio she was a favorite on classics like Dragnet, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, and Richard Diamond, Private Detective. On television she was a regular guest on shows such as Dragnet, Gunsmoke, and The Twilight Zone. In film she gave her most memorable performances in productions including Psycho, Operation Petticoat, and Spencer's Mountain.
Read the incredible story behind the familiar face and voice that until now has never been told. Virginia's is a story of great tragedy, resilience, and perseverance far more compelling than that of any character she ever portrayed. Discover the great lady behind the hundreds of unforgettable characters she gave our world. Through the pages of this biography, I invite you to meet legendary actress Virginia Gregg.
The Voice of Villainy: The Betty Lou Gerson Story
She voiced one of Disney’s most infamous villainesses. With her husky timbre and most unforgettable cackle, Betty Lou Gerson terrified an entire generation as Disney’s original “Cruella de Vil” in One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961). Betty used her whiskey-soaked voice to give us an innovative portrait of elegant villainy beyond entertainment’s stereotypical “old hag” antagonists in radio, film, and television. She had a prolific radio career in both Chicago and Hollywood before the silver screen and was featured in many popular television series in the 1950s and 1960s such as Perry Mason, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Hazel. Though “Cruella” is perhaps her most recognized role, she also performed in other beloved film classics including Cinderella (1950), Mary Poppins (1964), and Cats Don’t Dance (1997).
The great irony of Betty’s story is that while her voice frightened audiences through nearly all mediums, off mic, she was in fact no villainess at all. Betty traversed through some of the most volatile eras in American history, while overcoming many personal tragedies of her own. She was among twentieth century entertainment pioneers and an iconic voice of feminism.
Learn the compelling story of Betty Lou Gerson as the “voice of villainy.”
Mrs. Radio: The Cathy Lewis Story
Cathy Lewis was one of the most dynamic and sought-after voices in American radio. Her early years as a jazz orchestra vocalist with Kay Kyser, Herbie Kay, and Ray Noble helped cultivate her unique vocal quality that regally transitioned to a radio acting career. For over twenty years she was considered one of radio’s cornerstone females in acclaimed supporting and leading roles of all genres. After she married actor, producer, and director Elliot Lewis in 1943, the talented duo quickly became recognized coast to coast as “Mr. and Mrs. Radio” until their shocking split in 1958.
Though Cathy was a prolific pioneer in one of America’s earliest and most beloved media, she also appeared in many films and popular television series throughout her career. She made her film debut in a number of 1940s’ noirs such as Kid Glove Killer (1942) and The Story of Molly X (1949). She also had a popular recurring role on the television series Hazel in the 1960s as well as many memorable guest appearances on Route 66, Death Valley Days, and Wagon Train.
As the better half of an Old Hollywood power couple, Cathy’s career was fixed in the glamorous Hollywood night life with cocktail parties, headlines, and smoky Jaguar rides down Sunset Blvd., but behind the microphone and tabloids, she experienced tremendous heartache. Read the dramatic life story of how a small-town Washington state girl became the world’s first “Mrs. Radio.”
Some Small Nobility: The Biography of Joan Banks Lovejoy
Joan Banks Lovejoy was a radio, film, and television actress known for supporting roles in some of the world’s most legendary series such as I Love Lucy, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Perry Mason, and Bewitched. Joan was the wife of actor Frank Lovejoy, and together they made a powerhouse Hollywood couple of the glamorous Golden Era before his sudden, untimely death.
Joan’s extraordinary dramatic career began in New York and took her to the heights of Tinseltown spanning some of the most critical decades of American history and American media. Her dreams of becoming a professional actress were first realized over the radio waves of the 1930s, as she became one of the most prolific radio queens of the medium’s prime in shows such as Mary Foster, The Editor’s Daughter, The Whistler, Escape, My Friend, Irma, and Suspense. After radio faded, Joan transitioned to film and television, where she artistically contributed to some of the most beloved works of the twentieth century including Cry Danger (1951), Return to Peyton Place (1961), Make Room for Daddy, Private Secretary, and The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.
In Joan’s career and personal life, she experienced arresting dimensions of triumph and defeat. As an actress, wife, mother, and eventual widow, Joan’s story shows the collision of feministic humanity and classic Hollywood glory. Joan’s story is one of love, acclaim, heartache, sacrifice, and “some small nobility.” In this biographic work, learn more about one of Hollywood’s most lauded character actresses in behind-the-scenes details of a gothic-glamour era gone by.
In The Press
About The Voice of Villainy:
"For years, Dr. Lona Bailey has dedicated herself to researching and writing about Betty Lou Gerson’s life. Her book unveils Gerson’s meteoric rise from an unknown voice actress to one of Disney’s most iconic villains. With a combination of in-depth interviews and archival research, Dr. Bailey presents a comprehensive, captivating look at the life and career of this legendary star."
-The Los Angeles Tribune
See Dr. Bailey on MJ Wolf's Author Spotlight segment
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