Biography

As part of the publicity campaign for their upcoming H. G. Wells derivation The Island of Lost Souls, Paramount Pictures combed the nation in search of the right girl to play the tempestuous "Panther Woman." The young lady chosen for this plum role was an Indiana lass named Kathleen Burke. Her sensuous portrayal of Lost Soul's woman-beast hybrid would turn out to be Burke's best screen role, though she certainly didn't lack for work during her five-year Hollywood stay. Aficionados of 1930s films will also remember her as Lionel Atwill's ill-fated bride in Murders in the Zoo (she ended up being devoured by alligators in this 1933 chiller) and as femme fatale Tania in Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935). Her later roles tended to be fleeting: as Thomas Mitchell's faithless spouse in Craig's Wife (1936), she manages to get bumped off in reel one. Kathleen Burke retired from films after appearing in 1938's Rascals. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi