Although she enjoyed a career as a Ziegfeld girl-turned-Hollywood starlet, Jean Howard left her true legacy as a legendary Hollywood hostess and photographer. Her March 21, 2000, death at the age of 89 occurred at her Coldwater Canyon home, where she had entertained the likes of Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart, Laurence Olivier, Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, and Judy Garland. Born in Dallas, Texas, on October 13, 1910, Howard came to Hollywood in 1930, when she was scarcely out of her teens. She won a part in the Ziegfeld Follies, and she eventually became one of Hollywood's first Goldwyn Girls. As an MGM contract player in the 1930s and '40s, she appeared in a number of supporting roles in such films as Broadway to Hollywood (1933), The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933), and Claudia (1943). However, Howard had little interest in becoming a star; she instead focused her energies and talents on playing her real-life role as one of the industry's favorite hostesses and photographers. Her portraits were made into two books, Jean Howard's Hollywood and Travels with Cole Porter, published in 1989 and 1991, respectively. Howard also continued to make the occasional screen appearance late into her life, popping up in such films as Huckleberry Finn (1975) and Traveller (1996).