8/17/1918 to 8/29/1985
Evelyn Felisa Ankers was an American actor. Ankers was born to English parents in Valparaíso, Chile. She was educated at The Latymer School, the Golophyn School, the Tacchomo School of Music and Dramatic Art, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Ankers' stage debut came in Colombia at age 10 when she had the title role in “The Daughter of Dolores”. On Broadway, she had the role of Lucy Gilham in “Ladies in Retirement” (1940). In London, she acted in “Bats in the Belfry”.
Some of her films included; “The Wolf Man” (1941), “The Ghost of Frankenstein” (1942), “Captive Wild Woman” (1943), “Son of Dracula” (1943), “The Mad Ghoul” (1943), “Jungle Woman” (1944), “Weird Woman” (1944), “The Invisible Man's Revenge” (1944), and “The Frozen Ghost” (1945). She also appeared in “Hold That Ghost” (1941), “Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror” (1942) and “The Pearl of Dead” 1944. Ankers made over fifty films between 1936 and 1950, and then she retired from movies at the age of 32 to be a housewife.
She was the only actress to appear in a Wolf Man, Dracula, and Frankenstein film. She played Gwen Conliffe in "The Wolf Man" (1941). In "Son of Dracula" (1943) she played Claire Caldwell and she appeared in "The Ghost of Frankenstein" (1942) as Elsa Frankenstein. Each of these roles was opposite Lon Chaney Jr. who played the monsters which terrorized Ankers.
Despite the numerous times she worked with Lon Chaney Jr., the two reportedly had a strong disliking for each other. Often Chaney would scare Ankers and because of this, she referred to him as "a brute with bad breath".
She appeared with Lon Chaney Jr. in five films: "The Wolf Man" (1941), "The Ghost of Frankenstein" (1942), "Son of Dracula" (1943), "Weird Woman" (1944) and "The Frozen Ghost" (1945).
Other neat stuff: Her first name was pronounced "Ee-vul-lynn". She was the “Yank” pin-up girl on July 13, 1945. She would on occasion play television roles. She came out of retirement once in 1960 to appear in the film “No Greater Love” with her husband Richard Denning. Also referred to as "the Queen of the Bs" and “the Queen of Screamers”. She wrote the introduction for the 1978 book The Golden Age of "B" Movies by Doug McClelland, published by Charter House. She was engaged to actor Glenn Ford, but broke the engagement when she met Richard Denning while Ford was on location.
She married actor Richard Denning in 1942. They were married until her death. They had one child. She became an American citizen in 1946.
Evelyn Ankers died of ovarian cancer on August 29, 1985 in Maui, Hawaii. Following her death, she was interred at Maui Veterans Cemetery in Makawao, Hawaii.