The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick (Hardcover)
Frustrated by rampant Hollywood sexism, horror movie producer-turned-writer Mallory O’Meara decides to dig deeper into the life of a forgotten childhood hero: Milicent Patrick. Patrick worked as an animator, makeup artist, and special effects wiz in L.A. in the '40s, '50s, and '60s, and achieved short-lived fame for designing the monster in The Creature From the Black Lagoon. Then, her male boss got jealous, fired her, and stole all the glory. As O’Meara soon discovers, that incident was just one of many strange tales from an inspiring, complicated life.
The Lady from the Black Lagoon is part biography of Patrick, part memoir of the author's time researching and writing that biography, and part feminist referendum on lingering gender inequality in show biz. It’s empowering, chatty, and honest—O’Meara writes with compassion about Patrick’s courage, as well as her flaws. Recommended.— Noah
2019 SCIBA Book Award Winner for Biography
A Hugo and Locus Award Finalist
Winner of the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award
The Los Angeles Times Bestseller
A Thrillist Best Book of the Year
A Book Riot Best Book of 2019
One of Booklist's 10 Best Art Books of the Year
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.