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(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is the title lobby card from the Trucolor UNDER COLORADO SKIES (Republic, 1947) showing Adrian Booth (Lorna Gray) and Monte Hale.

Lorna Gray / Adrian Booth
Real name: Virginia Pound

Special thanks to Mark Tourin for the following narrative and background info on Adrian Booth.

Adrian Booth was born Virginia Pound in either 1918, 1921 or 1924 (depending on the source) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The attractive Ms. Booth can be found by her fans plying her profession across the wide gamut of Saturday afternoon favorites from the serial cliffhangers (where she played good and bad girls) ... to the B westerns (invariably cast as the heroine) ... to being a foil in a two reel comedy short. On occasion, she might even be cast in a supporting role in an A level production.

As Lorna Gray, she began her 50+ film career in a supporting role in 1938 in Columbia's ADVENTURE IN SAHARA. And within a year, Booth received a quick education in the perils and realities of being a contract player when cast as a ditsy society gal in The Three Stooges' THREE SAPPY PEOPLE. The actress gave it her all as a live target for airborne cream puffs and by submitting to a layer cake being deposited on her pretty head at the short's conclusion.

Booth made her Western debut in a 1938 Republic oater, RED RIVER RANGE, a Three Mesquiteers feature starring John Wayne. Booth played Jane Mason in support of the Mesquiteers' encounter with a cattle rustling operation tied in with an illicit slaughterhouse.

Booth made two cliffhangers at Columbia. 1939's FLYING G-MEN featured her as the heroine opposite lead, Robert Paige. One year later, Booth portrayed Ann Butler in the better remembered and respected Western cliffhanger, DEADWOOD DICK (opposite star Don Douglas), in another 'good girl' role in this serial about a cowpoke who assumes a masked alter ego as he crusades for justice.

Best recalled by her fans however, is her screen portrayals at Republic Pictures, which included the following serial work:

  • as evil Vultura in PERILS OF NYOKA (1942).
  • as Dick Purcell's plucky aide Gail Richards in CAPTAIN AMERICA (1944).
  • in FEDERAL OPERATOR 99 (1945), she played hard-as-nails Rita Parker teaming with brains heavy George J. Lewis as adversaries of Cary Grant 'sound alike' Marten Lamont and All-American girl (and western heroine) Helen Talbot.
  • lastly, Booth 'went straight' in her final chapterplay, DAUGHTER OF DON Q (1946) where SHE was the lead (heiress Dolores Quintero) and beneficiary of able support by Kirk Alyn (of later Superman serial fame).

Appearances in major motion pictures included an unbilled role in Frank Capra's MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON as well as a credited supporting part (as Lt. Toni Dacolli), one of the heroic Army nurses serving on Battan and Corregidor, in Paramount's memorable SO PROUDLY WE HAIL (1943).

During the latter stage of her career (1946 through 1951), Booth spent more than half her screen time cast in various and sundry Republic westerns - she played opposite Monte Hale in eight of his short-lived series, as well as several of the later, and higher budgeted, Rod Cameron and Bill Elliott oaters.

Though she had worked at Republic since around 1941 on a picture commitment basis, she ultimately was offered, and signed, a Term Players Contract at the studio. That contract, which ran from February 19, 1945 through June 23, 1951, gave Ms. Booth a steady paycheck and some job security, but it also allowed Republic to use her often and in a variety of films. At or around the time of this contract signing, Lorna Gray changed her screen name to Adrian Booth.

One of Booth's better roles in the Hale series was as Gloria McCoy in 1946's OUT CALIFORNIA WAY, a story concerned with a fading screen cowboy's envy of a newcomer and a kid hoping to get his trained horse into the movies. In the role of Molly Bannister, Booth helped Rod Cameron in BRIMSTONE (1949), a cattle-rustling yarn. Her second western with Cameron, OH SUSANNA (1951), was a story about a feud between Cameron and co-lead William Bakewell. Her appearances with Elliott included THE GALLANT LEGION (1948), THE LAST BANDIT (1949) and THE SAVAGE HORDE (1950).

Adrian Booth retired in the early 1950s. She was married to David Brian (early TV's famed 'Mr. District Attorney'). He passed away in 1993.

You may want to visit the Golden Boot award webpage on the Old Corral. Adrian Booth Brian was presented with a Golden Boot at the 1998 awards ceremony.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Burr Caruth, Lorna Gray (Adrian Booth), Bob McKenzie, Kirby Grant, John Wayne, Ray Corrigan, Sammy McKim, Elmer and Max Terhune in a scene from the Three Mesquiteers adventure RED RIVER RANGE (Republic, 1938).

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card from Charles Starrett's BULLETS FOR RUSTLERS (Columbia, 1940). L-to-R behind the rock are Bob Nolan, Lorna Gray (Adrian Booth) and Jack Rockwell.

(From Old Corral image collection)

VALLEY OF ZOMBIES (Republic, 1946) was filmed in 1945 and was one of Bob Livingston's last starring roles at Republic ... and one of Adrian Booth's first films under her new Term Player Contract at Republic. Ian Keith is the ghostly (ghastly) adversary shown on the left.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Monte Hale's third starring Republic oater, the Trucolor OUT CALIFORNIA WAY (Republic, 1946), had Adrian as the heroine. And guest stars included Roy Rogers, Trigger, Dale Evans, Allan Lane and Donald Barry.

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - lobby card showing Adrian and Monte Hale in UNDER COLORADO SKIES (Republic, 1947).

(From Old Corral image collection)

Above from left to right are Bill Elliott, Adrian Booth, Jack Holt, Hank Bell and Andy Devine in Elliott's THE LAST BANDIT (Republic, 1949).

(Courtesy of Bill Sasser)
Left - Adrian at the 1999 Knoxville convention.

Adrian's husband, David Brian, was an acclaimed actor and star on radio, TV and films.  Shortly after his death, Ms. Booth discovered a variety of poetry written by her husband, and that material now resides in the 'David Brian and Adrian Booth Brian Collection' at Boston University. The following link will take you to the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center:

  Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has information on Lorna Gray / Adrian Booth:

In 2009, Chicago artist Stephan Giannini contacted ye Old Corral webmaster and others about photos of Adrian Booth/Lorna Gray as "Vultura". He was preparing a 16 foot tall tribute to Adrian for the ArtPrize Contest in Grand Rapids, Michigan:

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