Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow

Highest Rated: 100% Red Dust (1932)

Lowest Rated: 76% Hell's Angels (1930)

Birthday: Mar 3, 1911

Birthplace: Not Available

Jean Harlow, with her soft come-hither body, platinum blonde hair, and keen sense of humor, is recognized as one of the most gifted and blatantly sensual stars of the 1930s. Harlow endured much pain during her 26 years. Born Harlean Carpenter in Kansas City, she was the daughter of Jean Harlow Carpenter (whose name the actress appropriated for the marquee), the complex, often oppressive force behind her daughter's sudden rise to fame. When she was only 16, the young Harlow eloped with a businessman and moved to Los Angeles, where she began appearing as an extra in silent films. She was particularly noticed for her appearance in a 1929 Laurel and Hardy short Double Whoopee. That year she also played a small role opposite reigning sex symbol Clara Bow in The Saturday Night Kid. In 1930, Harlow got her first real break from Howard Hughes, who cast her in his World War I drama Hell's Angels after he found the film's original star Greta Nissen's Swedish accent incomprehensibly thick. It was in this film that she uttered the immortal words "Would you be shocked if I changed into something more comfortable?" Harlow's wise-cracking presence in the film soon attracted much attention, and Hughes sent her out on a publicity tour and loaned her to other studios. In 1931 she appeared in six films; while her performances were often panned by critics and audiences were initially shocked by her almost lurid onscreen sexuality, she gradually began to develop a following. She achieved real fame in 1932 when MGM bought her contract and decided to give her more substantial parts. In films such as Red-Headed Woman and Red Dust (both 1932) Harlow demonstrated that she was not only extremely sexy and funny, she was also a first-rate actress; by the year's end she was a bonafide star playing opposite some of the industry's most popular men, including Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy. Unfortunately, as her professional career flourished, her personal life began to deteriorate, beginning with the alleged suicide of her second husband Paul Bern. Though there was a subsequent scandal surrounding his demise, it did not impact Harlow's popularity. Later she ended up briefly married to cinematographer Harold Rosson, and then had a long engagement with MGM star William Powell. While filming Saratoga in 1937, Harlow suddenly fell ill; ten days later, on June 7, she died at age 26. During her reign, Harlow had starred in less than twenty films. At the time of her death, no details as to why she died were released, but several years later it was revealed that Harlow had suffered from kidney disease most of her life, and that she died of acute uremic poisoning. Her life has been chronicled in several biographies and two subsequent movies, both named Harlow.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet Judy Garland's Hollywood Actor 1997
No Score Yet The Further Perils of Laurel and Hardy Actor 1968
No Score Yet Saratoga Carol Clayton 1937
No Score Yet Personal Property Crystal Wetherby 1937
No Score Yet Suzy Suzy Trent 1936
No Score Yet Wife vs. Secretary Whitey 1936
No Score Yet Riffraff Hattie 1936
83% Libeled Lady Gladys 1936
80% China Seas Dolly 'China Doll' Portland 1935
No Score Yet Reckless Mona Leslie 1935
No Score Yet The Girl From Missouri (100 Per Cent Pure) (Born to Be Kissed) Eadie 1934
90% Bombshell (Blonde Bombshell) Lola Burns 1933
95% Dinner at Eight Kitty Packard 1933
No Score Yet Hold Your Man Ruby 1933
No Score Yet The Beast of the City Daisy Stevens, aka Mildred Beaumont 1932
No Score Yet Red Headed Woman Lillian "Lil" / "Red" Andrews Legendre 1932
100% Red Dust Vantine 1932
100% Platinum Blonde Ann Schuyler 1931
100% The Public Enemy Gwen Allen 1931
No Score Yet The Secret Six Anne Courtland 1931
98% City Lights An Extra 1931
No Score Yet Goldie Goldie 1931
No Score Yet Iron Man Rose Mason 1931
76% Hell's Angels Helen 1930
100% The Love Parade Extra in Theater Audience 1929
No Score Yet Bacon Grabbers Actor 1929
No Score Yet Liberty (Criminals at Large) Woman in cab 1929
No Score Yet Double Whoopee Swanky blonde 1929

QUOTES FROM Jean Harlow CHARACTERS

Magistrate McCall says: Well I hope you'll be very happy and don't forget to invite me to your silver anniversary.

Gladys Benton says: It'll have to be in the next six weeks!

Gladys Benton says: Can't you go any faster?

Taxi Driver says: I can, but the cab can't.

Helen says: Would you be shocked if I put on something more comfortable?

Kitty Packard says: I was reading a book the other day.

Carlotta Vance says: Reading a book?

Kitty Packard says: Yes. It's all about civilization or something, a nutty kind of a book. Do you know that the guy said that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?

Carlotta Vance says: Oh, my dear, that's something you need never worry about.