Jean Harlow

From Academic Kids

Jean Harlow, born as "Harlean Carpenter", (March 3, 1911 - June 7, 1937), US film actress, became known as the "original blonde bombshell", predating Marilyn Monroe as a blonde sex symbol. Jean was the first blonde to be cast in 'bad girl roles'. Before her, bad girls in movies were always dark-haired and exotic looking. She made over 36 films during a career that lasted only 10 years, and had a talent for comedy as well as drama that is still recognized today by record numbers of fans and film critics alike. Her birth name was an anagram of her mother's maiden name, Jean Harlow, which she adopted as a stage name and then, in 1935, legally.

Missing image
Harlow early in her career


1 Early Years
2 Movie Career
3 Trivia
4 Filmography
5 External link


Early Years

She was born at 3344 Olive Street in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of Mont Clair Carpenter, a dentist, and his wife, Jean Harlow Carpenter. Mother Jean, as she was called, divorced Harlean's father and moved to Hollywood with hopes of becoming an actress herself. Shortly afterward she remarried and moved to Chicago, where Jean attended a private girl's academy in the wealthy suburb of Lake Forest called Ferry Hall School. At the age of 16, Jean eloped with Charles McGrew 2nd, a wealthy young stockbroker, and the couple moved to Los Angeles, California. They divorced two years later.

Movie Career

Jean wanted only to be a wife and mother, but to please Mother Jean she looked for work as an extra in films. In which she made $7 a day. In the beginning Jean landed bit parts in silent films such as Why is a Plumber? (1927), Moran of the Marines (1928), and The Love Parade (1929). She has a more substantial role in Laurel and Hardy's short Double Whoopee (1929). She got her first major role when producer Howard Hughes cast her in the World War I film Hell's Angels (1930).

In 1931, Harlow began to gain popularity when she appeared in The Public Enemy, Goldie, The Secret Six, with Clark Gable, and Platinum Blonde. In 1932 she had bigger roles in Red-Headed Woman, for which she got a salary of $1,250/week, and Red Dust, her second film with Clark Gable. Harlow and Gable worked well together, and starred in a total of six films together. It was during the making of Red Dust that Harlow's second husband, MGM producer Paul Bern (n Paul Levy) died in an episode that remains mysterious to this day: He was found nude, in his wife's bedroom, shot in the head, and drenched in his wife's perfume. Years later, it was suggested by screenwriter Ben Hecht that Bern was murdered by an unbalanced former lover, Dorothy Millette, who did actually suicide the next day. (Years later, the Bern-Harlow house became the home of Jay Sebring and his lover, Sharon Tate, who were both murdered by Charles Manson and his followers.)

By 1933, Jean was becoming a superstar. She had a great comedic part in Dinner at Eight, and later that year she starred in Bombshell. After an affair with boxer Max Baer, she married in 1933 to cinematographer Harold Rosson; they divorced seven months later. Jean then starred in two more films with Clark Gable, China Seas (1935), and Wife vs. Secretary (1936).

Following the end of her third marriage she met MGM star William Powell. They reportedly were engaged for two years, but differences kept them from marrying swiftly (she wanted children, he did not). Harlow also said that studio head Louis B. Mayer would never allow them to wed. While filming Saratoga (1937) with Clark Gable, she was hospitalized with uremic poisoning and kidney failure, a result from scarlet fever she suffered from during childhood. She died shortly afterward at the age of 26, and is buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Los Angeles, California. Powell paid for her tomb.


Jean was linked to American mobster Bugsy Siegel and was the godmother of his daughter Millicent. She also dated mobster Abner Zwillman at one time. He bought her a cadillac and a jeweled bracelet along with getting her a two-picture deal with Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures due to a loan he gave to Cohn.

She was one of Marilyn Monroe's idols when Marilyn was growing up.

William Powell told Jean that he had married a blonde bombshell already, and he was not going to marry another one.


External link

es:Jean Harlow it:Jean Harlow ja:ジーン・ハーロウ sv:Jean Harlow


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools