Here's our mystery guest with a couple of fine looking collies. The photographer (this is a handout shot) went for an arty look that left her hair buried in deep shadows, so the picture couldn't be used in the paper without lots of retouching by the art department. Our mystery guest was an actress and appeared on stage and in films.
- The wife of Lassie trainer Rudd Weatherwax? Interesting guess. But no.
- Lassie and a stand-in with some model? No.
- Joan Crawford? No.
- Andie MacDowell's mother? Oh, interesting guess! But no. At least I don't think so. (If that were true, it would be really bizarre).
- Jeanne Crain? No.
- Gail Russell? No.
- Jan Clayton? No.
- Toni Mannix (beneficiary in the will of George "Superman" Reeves)? Interesting guess. But no.
- Nancy Marchand from "The Sopranos"? No.
- Virginia Hill? No.
- Kathleen Freeman? No.
- Jean Spangler. Absolutely right!
Here's another picture of our mystery guest, taken in 1948. Her life has been discussed in several books about Los Angeles. You have most definitely heard of this actress.
Photograph by Bruce Cox / Los Angeles Times
Yes, this is Jean Spangler, the actress who mysteriously vanished in
1949. Her purse, with a cryptic note, was found in Griffith Park.
And, as a special bonus for Daily Mirror readers, here is The Times' photo of Spangler's purse and the note (which was retouched, by the way, so it would be readable in the photograph) found in Griffith Park. Nobody can say the Daily Mirror doesn't deliver goodies.