Priscilla Lawson - Biography

A voluptuous, rather severe-looking beauty, dark-haired Priscilla Lawson was a professional model in her early twenties when she was crowned "Miss Miami Beach" in 1935. The attention helped her to win a contract with Universal Pictures and she soon began appearing in films. Confined mostly to small roles as nurses, hat check girls, switchboard operators and secretaries, she capped her brief, rather unremarkable 1930s career as Princess Aura, daughter of Ming the Merciless in the classic cliffhanger Flash Gordon (1936), a role that made her a minor cult figure. Her moviemaking career was over within five years. At one time married to movie actor Alan Curtis, she joined the armed forces under her married name in World War II. It is believed that she lost a leg in a war accident and managed a stationary shop in Los Angeles after leaving active service. She divorced Curtis in the post-war years. He died on February 2, 1953. Priscilla Lawson died on August 27, 1958 at age 44 in the Veterans' Administration hospital in Los Angeles due to upper gastrointestinal bleeding from a duodenal ulcer.