The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick
2019 SCIBA Book Award Winner for Biography 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 Los Angeles Times Bestseller A PureWow “Book We Can’t Wait to Read in 2019” A Bustle Nonfiction Book Coming Out In 2019 To Start Getting Excited About 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.
Hanover Square Press 368 pages