Lorna Gray, aka Adrian Booth
As a contract player at Columbia early in her career and later as one of Republic Pictures' top stars, actress Lorna Gray was a regular at the Iverson Movie Ranch. She racked up a string of screen credits in serials, B-Westerns and other productions from the late 1930s through the 1940s before retiring from acting back in 1951. Born Virginia Pound, she worked for about a decade as Lorna Gray and then wound down her career under the stage name Adrian Booth.
Gray made what was probably her biggest impact at Iverson as the villainous Vultura in the 1942 Republic serial "Perils of Nyoka," leaving behind an unusual legacy of rocks and other features on the movie ranch that now bear informal "Vultura-related" nicknames: Vultura's Pass, Vultura's Trail, Vultura's Trail Rock, Vultura's Stakeout, etc.
I've posted before about Vultura's Palace, which was a set for "Perils of Nyoka" that was built on the Lower Iverson. You can click here to see "then and now" shots of the area where the palace stood. The structure was a false front built on some high-profile rocks that remain in place in a privately owned section of the former movie ranch.
Lorna Gray takes aim in "Daughter of Don Q" (1946)
Gray earned a reputation as an actress who was "good at being bad," and frequently wound up playing villainous characters. But her versatile chops enabled her to break out of that mold from time to time, something she did with panache in the 1946 Republic serial "Daughter of Don Q."
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games"
Gray's bow-and-arrow-wielding heroine was a forerunner to — and possibly inspiration for — later heroic female archers such as Katniss Everdeen of "The Hunger Games" ...
Kirk Alyn and Lorna Gray in "Daughter of Don Q"
Gray stars with Kirk Alyn in "Daughter of Don Q." Two years later Alyn would become the first Superman of the movies, starring in the 1948 Columbia serial "Superman" and later in the 1950 sequel "Atom Man vs. Superman."
click here to see a post containing additional photos and other details about Cleft Rock.
In her 20s Lorna Gray was a contract player at Columbia, where she starred opposite movie cowboy Charles Starrett in 1940 in "Bullets for Rustlers," which shot much of its outdoor action at Iverson.
"Bullets for Rustlers" (1940)
Coincidentally, Gray shares the screen here too with Cleft Rock, as she would again later in "Daughter of Don Q," as noted above. This shot contains a number of features that are worth pointing out, which I'll do in the next photo.
Monte Hale and Lorna Gray — billed here as Adrian Booth — in Republic's 1947 B-Western "Under Colorado Skies."
Other movies Lorna Gray — by this time working as Adrian Booth — shot at Iverson included a number of Republic Pictures' Monte Hale titles: "Home on the Range" (1946); "Out California Way" (1946), with Hale, Roy Rogers and a young Robert ("Bobby") Blake; "The Man From Rainbow Valley" (1946); "Under Colorado Skies" (1947); "Last Frontier Uprising" (1947); and "California Firebrand" (1948), to name a few.
Lorna Gray and Don Douglas in "Deadwood Dick"
Gray starred with Don Douglas in Columbia's 1940 serial "Deadwood Dick," another Iverson production, and worked the Iverson Ranch yet again in Republic's "The Gallant Legion" (1948), starring alongside Wild Bill Elliott.
Adrian Booth Brian in 2009
Lorna Gray, who now goes by Adrian Booth Brian, is still going strong at 96 and continues to make the rounds of movie conventions and other industry events.