Elyse Knox

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Elyse Knox
ElyseknoxYANK1943c.jpg
Elyse Knox, Yank magazine, 1943
BornElsie Lillian Kornbrath
(1917-12-14)December 14, 1917
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedFebruary 16, 2012(2012-02-16) (aged 94)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, model, fashion designer
Years active1937–1949
Spouse(s)Paul Hesse (1942–1943; divorced)
Tom Harmon (1944–1990; his death)
ChildrenKristin Nelson
Kelly Harmon
Mark Harmon
 
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Elyse Knox
ElyseknoxYANK1943c.jpg
Elyse Knox, Yank magazine, 1943
BornElsie Lillian Kornbrath
(1917-12-14)December 14, 1917
Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedFebruary 16, 2012(2012-02-16) (aged 94)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, model, fashion designer
Years active1937–1949
Spouse(s)Paul Hesse (1942–1943; divorced)
Tom Harmon (1944–1990; his death)
ChildrenKristin Nelson
Kelly Harmon
Mark Harmon

Elyse Knox (December 14, 1917 – February 16, 2012) was an American actress, model, and fashion designer.

Early life[edit]

Knox was born Elsie Lillian Kornbrath in Hartford, Connecticut, the daughter of Austrian immigrants Minnie and Frederick Kornbrath.[1][2][3][4] She studied at the Traphagen School of Fashion in Manhattan, then embarked on a career in fashion design. Her good looks enabled her to model some of her own creations for Vogue magazine that led to a contract offer from Twentieth Century Fox film studio in 1937.

Career[edit]

Knox performed mainly in minor or secondary roles until 1942 when she had a leading role with Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Mummy's Tomb, one of the series of Mummy horror films made by Universal Studios. She appeared as herself in the Universal Studios 1944 production Follow the Boys, one of the World War II morale-booster films made both for the soldiers serving overseas as well as civilians at home. Knox also was a pin up girl during the war, appearing in such magazines as Yank, a weekly published and distributed by the United States Military. In late 1945, Knox was signed by Monogram Pictures to portray Anne Howe, the love interest of fictional boxer Joe Palooka in Joe Palooka, Champ. Based on the very popular comic strip, the instant success of the May 1946 film led to Knox appearing in another five Joe Palooka productions. After acting in 39 films, Knox retired in 1949 following her performance in the musical film, There's a Girl in My Heart.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

While appearing on the Bing Crosby radio show, she met football star Tom Harmon. They were engaged to marry, but ended the relationship when Harmon entered the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942. Later that year, Knox married fashion photographer Paul Hesse who had shot many of her print ads and magazine covers. The marriage was brief. Following her divorce and Harmon's return from World War II (during which he survived two plane crashes and being lost in the jungle), she and Harmon married in 1944. Knox's wedding dress was made from silk from the parachute Harmon used when bailing out of his plane.[5] After Harmon's demobilization, they settled in the Los Angeles area.

The couple had three children: Kristin (born 1945), Kelly (born 1948) and Mark (born 1951). Kristin became an actress and painter who at seventeen married recording artist Ricky Nelson and bore four children: Tracy, twins Gunnar and Matthew, and Sam. Kelly, a model turned interior designer, was once married to automaker John DeLorean and has two daughters and a son and two other stepchildren. Mark is a film and television actor, best known for NCIS, and has two sons with wife Pam Dawber.

Death[edit]

On February 16, 2012, Knox died at her home in Los Angeles, California.[6] She was 94.

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1937Wake Up and LiveNurseuncredited
1940Lillian RussellLillian Russell's Sisterperformer: "Brighten the Corner Where You Are"
1940Youth Will Be ServedPamela
1940Yesterday's HeroesUndetermined roleuncredited
1940Girl from Avenue AAngela
1940Girl in 313Judith Wilson
1940Star DustGirluncredited
1940Free, Blonde and 21Marjorie
1941Miss PollyBarbara Snodgrass
1941All-American Co-EdCo-eduncredited
1941Tanks a MillionJeannie
1941Sheriff of TombstoneMary Carson
1941Footlight FeverEileen Drake
1942Arabian NightsDuennauncredited
1942The Mummy's TombIsobel Evans
1942Top SergeantHelen Gray
1942Hay FootBetty Barkley
1943Hi'ya, SailorPat Rogers
1943So's Your UnclePatricia Williams
1943Hit the IceNurse Peggy Osborne
1943Mister BigAlice Taswell
1943Keep 'Em SluggingSuzanne
1943Don Winslow of the Coast GuardMercedes Colby
1944Army WivesJerry Van Dyke
1944A Wave, a WAC and a MarineMarian
1944Moonlight and CactusLouise Ferguson
1944Follow the BoysHerself
1946Sweetheart of Sigma ChiBetty Allen
1946Gentleman Joe PalookaAnne Howe
1946Joe Palooka, ChampAnne Howe
1947Linda Be GoodLinda Prentiss
1947Joe Palooka in the KnockoutAnne Howe
1947Black GoldRuth Frazer
1948Joe Palooka in Winner Take AllAnne Howe
1948I Wouldn't Be in Your ShoesAnn Quinn
1948Joe Palooka in Fighting MadAnne Howe
1949There's a Girl in My HeartClaire Adamson
1949Joe Palooka in the CounterpunchAnne Howe
1949Forgotten WomenKate Allison
1953I Was a Burlesque QueenLinda Prentissarchive footage
1999Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition UnearthedIsobel Evansarchive footage

References[edit]

External links[edit]