Carol Foreman is best known for her roles as "The Black Widow" and "The Spider Lady" in the serials THE BLACK WIDOW and SUPERMAN.
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|Born||(1918-06-19)June 19, 1918|
|Died||July 9, 1997(1997-07-09) (aged 79)|
Carol Foreman (19 June 1918, Epps, Alabama – 9 July 1997, Burbank, California) was an American actress best known for playing exotic villains in action serials, particularly The Spider Lady in the 1948 Superman Serial.
|Short description||American actor|
|Date of birth||19 June 1918|
|Place of birth||Epps, Alabama|
|Date of death||9 July 1997|
|Place of death||Burbank, California|
SUPERMAN and the sequal ATOM MAN VS. SUPERMAN were the most successful serials ever made. But they were out of circulation for years, because the arrangement that they had with DC comics had been only for a limited time, after which they were withdrawn. A great deal of misinformation circulated about these serials during the period that they were unavailable for viewing.
Some accounts had it that Carol Forman had given a poor performance and flubbed a number of lines. Today these serials are back in circulation, and modern viewers are able to decide for themselves how well Carol Forman did in the part of "The Spider Lady".
This version makes it look like The Spider Lady is Superman's costar.
A scene from the serial.
THE SPIDER LADY
Some elements of the first Superman serial were taken from the Superman radio show, which had a story involving kryptonite and a villlianess called "The Scarlet Widow". But this character was described as "gaunt and ungly" ( something that was all too typical on a program that tended to depict female characters unfavorably ), while The Spider Lady was beautiful.*
The fact is that The Spider Lady is about the same character as the Black Widow that Carol Forman had played in the previous serial,
who resembled "The Dragon Lady" in "Terry and the Pirates".
There were also similarities to the "Spider Woman" of the 1944 Sherlock Holmes movie, particularly the way the character on the poster was depicted in the center of a web.
Although Sherlock Holmes won the first time around, he was somehow missing from the sequal.
Which made it look as if the Spider Woman was still running around loose after all.
THE SPIDER LADY STRIKES BACK
Carol Forman and Lyle Talbot ( Luthor in the second serial ) were still active on television during this same period, but were never used on the Superman show. I suspect it was due to some sort of prejudice on the part of the production people, who based the new television version on the old radio show rather than the serials.
However, even though Carol Forman didn't turn up again on the television show, they did reuse her "Black Widow" costume in one episode, "The Riddle Of The Chinese Jade", in which it was worn by Gloria Saunders.
Who also played "The Dragon Lady" on the "Terry and the Pirates" show.
Which made it look as if the Spider Lady had snuck back into "The Adventures Of Superman" after all.
In 1952, Kirk Alyn and Carol Forman made another serial for Sam Katzman, BLACKHAWK. Once again Carol Forman played about the same character as the Black Widow.
While Kirk Alyn played another comic book hero, who could be compared to Superman.
This was to be the last serial that either Carol Forman or Kirk Alyn made. The age of the serial was coming to an end.
BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON
In one of her last roles, Carol Forman had a cameo appearance in this Doris Day musical as "Dangerous Dora", the villianess in a little boy's fantasy, who once more was about the same character as she had been playing in the serials.
THE BLACK WIDOW IN MARVEL COMICS
"The Black Widow" that appeared in Marvel comics in 1964 was originally about the same character that Carol Forman had played in the 1947 serial, which had been run on television prior to the comic book character's first appearance.
Later, the Marvel character became a superhero and changed her costume, which decreased the similarities between the serial charachter and the comic book character.
IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S SUPERMAN
"The Scarlet Widow" character was revived eventually for a revival of the play IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S SUPERMAN. Or so they said.
The Scarlet Widow they had is a young woman ( Julie Johnson ) who is described as "voluptuous" and is named "Sombra". This is actually the name of the "Black Widow" played by Carol Forman in the old serial.
Reblogged from http://www.stevehodel.com/evidenceroom/?p=1396 :
Kelvin Hodel- Tim Holt Anecdote
My younger brother, Kelvin “Kelly” Hodel was born in October, 1942, just eleven-months after the birth of my twin John and I. He would be Dorothy and George’s, fourth, and final son. Kelly from an early age “loved the girls” and believe me—the girls LOVED him. A 1949 Franklin House Kelvin anecdote is appropriate:
In 1948 -1949 our father rented out many of the rooms at the Franklin House to creative types, generally, artists and actors. During that time, one of the “roomers” was a beautiful actress named, Carol Forman. (Photo below) At the time she was living with us she was dating film star, Tim Holt, who naturally, came and went on a regular basis.
Brother Kelly, then age-6 or 7 had a terrible crush on Carol, and whenever Tim showed up to take her on a date, Kelly would object, informing Holt in no uncertain terms, “she’s my girlfriend.” Finally, Holt could take it no longer and took Kelly into the center courtyard, mano-a-mano and came up with the following suggestion:
“Look Kelly. You’re too young to be with Carol now. I will date her only until you get old enough and then you and Carol can get married, and I will get on my horse and ride off. Fair enough?”
Kelly agreed, Holt & Hodel shook hands, and the battle for Carol’s heart was ended.
And now for a little appreciation of my own:
I imagine all the little boys were crazy about Carol Forman at the time. And I can remember that when I was a boy I kissed a picture of her myself that was in the book DAYS OF THRILLS AND ADVENTURE by Alan Barbour.
What red-blooded American boy wouldn't go for Carol Forman?
Especially since she wasn't really a villian, it was only in fun.
THE BLACK WIDOW:
BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVER MOON:
http://movielab.tv/movieplayer.php?name=By the Light of the Silvery Moon&year=1953
Carol Forman and Tim Holt:
Carol Forman Obituary:
The Scarlet Widow ( Radio Version ):
SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE SPIDER WOMAN:
Superman Serial Review:
Superman Serial Review:
Superman and Blackhawk Serial Review:
Terry And The Pirates ( TV Version ):