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Patricia Lake
Born Patricia Van Cleeve
June 18, 1923(1923-06-18)
Paris, France (reportedly)
Died October 3, 1993 (aged 70)
Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.
Resting place Douras mausoleum
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Nationality American
Other names Patricia Van Cleve Lake
Patricia Van Cleeve Lake
Spouse(s) Arthur Lake
Children Arthur Patrick Lake
Marion Rose Lake
Parents Of Record:
- Rosemary Davies
- George Van Cleeve
- Marion Davies
- William Randolph Hearst
Awards MPAA "Baby Star", 1940

Patricia Van Cleeve Lake (June 18, 1923—October 3, 1993), known as Patricia Lake, was an American socialite, actress, and radio comedienne, who was suspected of being and, just before she died, claimed to be the illegitimate daughter of actress Marion Davies and publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst.[1]



In the 1920s, there was speculation that Lake was the child of Hearst and Davies, who carried on a public affair[2] despite Hearst being married to another woman. Many reference books state that Lake's parents were Marion Davies' sister Rose and her first husband, George Van Cleeve, but after her death in 1993, Lake's family claimed that she was actually the daughter of Davies and Hearst, born during a trip the pair took to France in 1923.[2] The Lake family asserted that the newborn was given to Davies' sister, whose own child had died in infancy, and that the dead child's birth certificate was altered to support the deception.[2] It was reported by CBS News that Hearst is alleged to have acknowledged to Lake on her wedding day that he was her father.[3]

According to the Magazine Americana, published by The Institute for the Study of American Popular Culture, George Van Cleve kidnapped Patricia in 1924 and went into hiding. Hearst's detectives located the pair after five years and the child was returned to Rose's custody, only to be returned to Van Cleve's custody after a court decision.[4]

Patricia attended Lawlor Professional School in Hollywood,[5] The Lake family asserts further that when Patricia lived with the Van Cleves, Hearst paid the bills and also sent her to schools in New York and Boston.[2]

It was reported that Hearst and Davies took her on trips to Europe and spent time with her. Lake spent considerable time at Hearst's San Simeon estate, is included in most home movies of Hearst and Davies and accompanied them on many trips.[6] Introduced as Marion Davies' niece, Lake socialized with such notables as Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson.[7] Lake lived with Marion Davies for the major portion of her life and Hearst financially supported Lake all of her life.[6] After Lake's marriage, Davies continued to support both Patricia and her husband Arthur.[8] When Davies died in 1961, half of her 20 million dollar estate was left to Lake as an inheritance.[9]

Her features, "suspiciously similar" to those of Hearst, did not go unnoticed, but Lake never made any public comment on the subject, even after the deaths of Hearst and Davies.[7] Reportedly, just before Patricia Lake's death in 1993, she told her family her beliefs about the identities of her biological parents.[2][10]


Patricia first met actor Arthur Lake when he was visiting at Marion Davies's beach house.[11] She and Arthur were married on July 24, 1937,[12] at Hearst's San Simeon estate,[13] with both Hearst and Davies jointly giving her away at the marriage ceremony.[6] Patricia and Arthur remained married for nearly 50 years until his death in January 1987. They had two children: Arthur Patrick Lake (Arthur Lake Jr.) (born March 1, 1943),[14] and Marion Rose Lake (born October 6, 1944).[15]

Both Patricia and her husband are interred in the same crypt as Marion Davies at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.[6]


Lake performed in theater during the late 1930s through the mid-1940s. When after 7 years Penny Singleton left the radio sitcom Blondie in the mid-1940s, Mrs. Lake, the former Patricia Van Cleeve, replaced her as the voice of Blondie Bumstead for the remaining five years of the show, opposite her real-life husband Arthur Lake, who played Blondie's spouse, Dagwood.[16][17][18][19] In 1954,[20][21] Lake also co-starred with her husband in an early television sitcom he created called Meet the Family.[22][23][24]

Lake was selected by the Motion Picture Publicists Association to be one of the MPPA 'Baby Stars' of 1940,[25][26][27] an award similar to the WAMPAS Baby Stars selections of 1922 through 1934.


  1. ^ Golden, Eve (2001). Golden images (illustrated ed.). McFarland. pp. page 26. ISBN 0786408340. OCLC 9780786408344.,+Hearst#v=onepage&q=%22Patricia%20Van%20Cleve%22%2C%20Hearst&f=false. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Fiore, Faye (October 31, 1993). "Obituary Revives Rumor of Hearst Daughter - Hollywood: Gossips in the 1920s speculated that William Randolph Hearst and mistress Marion Davies had a child. Patricia Lake, long introduced as Davies' niece, asks on death bed that record be set straight.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  3. ^ Bowen, Jerry (August 25, 2002 (originally aired May 6, 2001)). "Return To Xanadu". (CBS News). Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  4. ^ "Hearst and Davies: The Gayest Social Scene, or, Where We Had The Most Fun". Magazine Americana. pp. paragraph 6. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  5. ^ "Patricia Van Cleve". Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  6. ^ a b c d Vogel, Michelle (2005). Children of Hollywood: accounts of growing up as the sons and daughters of stars (illustrated ed.). McFarland. pp. pages 208-209. ISBN 0786420464. OCLC 9780786420469. 
  7. ^ a b Reeves, Phil (November 1, 1993). "Birth of a rumour is laid to rest". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  8. ^ The Hearsts: family and empire : the later years. Simon and Schuster. 1981. pp. page 98. ISBN 0671247654. OCLC 9780671247652.,+Arthur+Lake,+family&dq=Patricia+Lake,+Arthur+Lake,+family&ei=V2p2Ssj8BY7okATFs72eAQ. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  9. ^ Fleming, E. J. (2004). The fixers: Eddie Mannix, Howard Strickling, and the MGM publicity machine (illustrated ed.). McFarland. pp. page 146. ISBN 0786420278. OCLC 9780786420278.,+Hollywood+Forever+cemetary&ei=l2J2StX1OaaqlQSKmKWMAQ#v=onepage&q=&f=false. Retrieved August 2, 2009. 
  10. ^ "PATRICIA LAKE, LINKED TO DAVIES AND HEARST". San Jose Mercury News. October 16, 1993. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  11. ^ Jones, Jack (January 10, 1987). "Arthur Lake Dies; 'Blondie' Film Star". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  12. ^ The Funsters. Arlington House. 1979. ISBN 0870004182. OCLC 9780870004186.,+Van+Cleve&dq=%22Blondie%22,+Van+Cleve&ei=x4RySrqLDYjwkQSyzNWPAQ. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  13. ^ Pizzitola, Louis (2002). Hearst over Hollywood: power, passion, and propaganda in the movies (illustrated ed.). Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231116462. OCLC 9780231116466.,+Hearst&ei=_pFzSr3JFYuolQSuzuyoAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Patricia%20Van%20Cleve%22%2C%20Hearst&f=false. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  14. ^ Hopper, Hedda (March 2, 1943). "Looking at Hollywood". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  15. ^ "'Dagwood' has baby daughter". Ellensburg Daily Record. October 7, 1944.,1440758&dq=patricia-van-cleve-lake. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  16. ^ "Radio Today". (New York Times): pp. page 3 of PDF. March 4, 1944. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  17. ^ Lamparski, Richard (1968). Whatever became of ... ?: Second series. Crown Publishers.,+Van+Cleve&dq=%22Blondie%22,+Van+Cleve&ei=x4RySrqLDYjwkQSyzNWPAQ. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  18. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the air: the encyclopedia of old-time radio. Oxford University Press. pp. page 97. ISBN 0195076788. OCLC 9780195076783.,+Van+Cleve&ei=RINySvsFldSVBIr_yX8#v=onepage&q=%22Blondie%22%2C%20Van%20Cleve&f=false. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  19. ^ Dunning, John (1976). Tune in yesterday: the ultimate encyclopedia of old-time radio, 1925-1976. Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0139326081. OCLC 9780139326080.,+Van+Cleve&dq=%22Blondie%22,+Van+Cleve&ei=x4RySrqLDYjwkQSyzNWPAQ. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  20. ^ Gertner, Richard (1992). International Television Almanac. Quigley Publishing Company, Incorporated. ISBN 0900610271. OCLC 9780900610271.,+%22Meet+The+Family%22&dq=%22Arthur+Lake%22,+%22Meet+The+Family%22&ei=Pn1zSrz0OJiCkQS9xcSjAQ. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  21. ^ Erikson, Hal. "Arthur Lake biography". All Movie Guide. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  22. ^ Liebman, Roy (1998). From silents to sound: a biographical encyclopedia of performers who made the transition to talking pictures (illustrated ed.). McFarland. ISBN 0786403829. OCLC 9780786403820.,+%22Meet+The+Family%22&dq=%22Arthur+Lake%22,+%22Meet+The+Family%22&ei=Pn1zSrz0OJiCkQS9xcSjAQ. Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  23. ^ "'Dagwood' of Movies, Arthur Lake, Is Dead". New York Times. January 11, 1987. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  24. ^ "Several New TV Series Ready To Roll". Billboard. September 25, 1954.,+%22Meet+The+Family%22&ei=Pn1zSrz0OJiCkQS9xcSjAQ#v=onepage&q=%22Arthur%20Lake%22%2C%20%22Meet%20The%20Family%22&f=false. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  25. ^ "Alternate 'Baby Star'". Chicago Daily Tribune. October 19, 1930. pp. page 5.'Baby+Star'&pqatl=google. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  26. ^ "'BABY STARS' SELECTED; 13 Girls Chosen in Hollywood as Most Likely to Succeed". New York Times. October 20, 1940. pp. page 51. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  27. ^ "The WAMPAS Baby Stars". Retrieved 2009-07-31. 

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