Priscilla Lawson (Priscilla Shortridge)

Priscilla Lawson

Priscilla Lawson (March 8, 1914 – August 27, 1958), born Priscilla Shortridge, was an American actress best known for her role as Princess Aura in the original Flash Gordon serial (1936). Lawson was a professional model by her early twenties and was named Miss Miami Beach in 1935. This gained her a contract with Universal Studios, which used her in a variety of small roles. However, in 1936 she was cast in the serial Flash Gordon as the voluptuous daughter of the villain, Ming the Merciless. Princess Aura’s rivalry with Dale Arden for Flash Gordon’s affection was one of the centerpieces of the serial and gained Lawson cult figure status. Little is known of her post-Hollywood life. Lawson married Hollywood leading man Alan Curtis (1909-1953), and enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. An unverified rumor claims she lost a leg in an accident while serving in the Army. Another version is that she lost a leg in a 1937 car crash. However, her Flash Gordon co-star Jean Rogers denied that Lawson had lost a leg, and it was also rejected in a biographical review in an Indianapolis journal. Her gutsy performance in that classic has dated remarkably well and even found favor among feminist critics, who view Aura as a go-getting role model.Lawson and her husband eventually divorced, and she then managed a stationery shop in Los Angeles, California. Priscilla Lawson died at the early age of 44 due to upper gastrointestinal bleeding caused by a duodenal ulcer. She was interred at Live Oak Memorial Park in Los Angeles County, California.


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  • March, 08, 1914
  • USA
  • Indianapolis, Indiana


  • August, 27, 1958
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • upper gastrointestinal bleeding


  • Live Oak Memorial Park
  • Monrovia, California
  • USA

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