My Jean Harlow photo collection

These are the 8x10 glossy photos that I have in my collection.
Click on a picture to see a larger version!
Also, read the short biography below!

Click on a picture to see a larger version!


Jean Harlow
Born March 3rd, 1911 (7:40pm) in Kansas City, MO (In her parents' home at 3344 Olive Street)
Died June 7th, 1937 (11:38am) in Los Angeles, CA (At The Good Samaritan Hospital)

Biography from Microsoft Cinemania 95 (Katz's Film Encyclopedia):

The daughter of a dentist, she eloped at 16 with a young businessman. The newlyweds settled in Los Angeles, where the bride soon found work as an extra in films (MORAN OF THE MARINES, 1928; LOVE PARADE, 1929; CITY LIGHTS, 1931, etc.). In between such parts in features, she was displayed more prominently in Hal Roach comedy shorts, notably DOUBLE WHOOPEE (1928) with Laurel and Hardy. She had a featured part in Paramount's THE SATURDAY NIGHT KID (1929) but went unnoticed and returned to shorts, working for Al Christie. She had by this time disposed of her real name, Harlean Carpenter, and taken her mother's maiden name, Jean Harlow.

In 1929 she obtained a divorce and was now fully committed to a movie career. Opportunity knocked in the person of Howard Hughes, who was converting his WWI aviation saga, HELL'S ANGELS (1930), to sound. The film had been started in 1927 and now had to be largely reshot, with an English-speaking girl to take the place of the heavy-accented Swede Greta Nissen. Hughes signed Harlow to a contract and after the film's completion began loaning her out to other studios at a profit.

Jean's early career was far from spectacular. She was the target of tart press notices and was frequently singled out by critics for poor performances. But the public began responding to her vulgar platinum-blonde glamour in such films as Warner's THE PUBLIC ENEMY (1931) and Columbia's PLATINUM BLONDE (1931). The turning point in her career was provided by a contractual switch to MGM in 1932. Now she worked for a permanent studio with a vested interest in developing her career and star image. In just months the coarse, flashy, whorish sexpot underwent a transformation into a subtle actress with a natural flair for comedy. Cast opposite such red-blooded male counterparts as Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy, Jean quickly developed into a superstar. Film critics courageously reversed their opinions of her acting, praising her vitality and comic talent in such career highlights as RED DUST (1932), BOMBSHELL (1933), DINNER AT EIGHT (1933), CHINA SEAS (1935), RIFFRAFF (1935), and LIBELED LADY (1936).

However, in contrast, the private life of America's sex symbol of the 30s was unhappy. In July of 1932 she married Paul Bern, a former director and by then right-hand man of Irving Thalberg, MGM's production genius. Several months later Bern committed suicide. His suicide note, widely interpreted as hinting at impotence on his part, caused Miss Harlow much adverse publicity, which somehow failed to affect her career. In 1933 she married Harold Rosson, the director of photography on several of her films, but the union lasted only one year. She then became engaged to her sometime co-star William Powell. They ran away but never married.

Jean became quite ill during the filming of SARATOGA (1937). She was hospitalized and ten days later she died, at age 26. At the time of her death, no details as to why she died were released, but several years later it was revealed that Jean had suffered from kidney disease most of her life, and that she died of acute uremic poisoning (cerebral edema). Due to Jean's illness and tragic death, Mary Dees was her body double and Paula Winslowe dubbed her voice in unfinished scenes in SARATOGA.

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