Jean Harlow

Another platinum blonde to add to the collection. Jean Harlow was one of those actresses who had ultimate sex appeal. Born in 1911 and died in 1937 at the young age of 26.
Jean was known as the “original blonde bombshell,” much before Marilyn Monroe came onto the scene. Born Harlean Carpenter, her acting career lasted only 10 years, but she made 36 movies, and was even the first movie actress to appear on the cover of Life Magazine!
Jean had poor health as a child, even contracting meningitis and scarlet fever at age 15. Jean’s big break as an actress came when eccentric Howard Hughes hired her for his film debut “Hell’s Angels.” It was in this film that she spoke her now famous line, “Would you be shocked if I changed into something more comfortable?”
While filming “Saratoga” in 1937, Jean was hospitalized with uremic poisoning and kidney failure, a result of the scarlet fever she had suffered during childhood. In the days before dialysis and kidney transplants, nothing could be done and Jean died on June 7, 1937. The film had to be finished using long angle shots and a double, Mary Dees. Clark Gable was reported to have said that he felt as if he was “in the arms of a ghost.” After a large Hollywood funeral organized by Louis B. Mayer of MGM, Jean was buried in the mausoleum in Forest Lawn Glendale, in Los Angeles.
So sad that her life was cut so short. Who knows what she could have accomplished. Even though she died young, and her career was but a mere 10 years, she lives on forever as a true Hollywood legend. Here are some of my favorite photos of Jean. Enjoy! 
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Join the Discussion!

  1. So deeply alluring…I’ve always felt that despite the plethora of platinum blondes filling Hollywood in her day, she was such a one of a kind. Such a shame she passed away so young.

    Thank you deeply for all of your lovely comments, honey! Have a marvelous Wednesday!
    ♥ Jessica

  2. O….M….G…. I LOVE your blog!!! It is so cute and retro! I love the music and style! I have a passion for old fashioned!

  3. Bonjour! Another winning post, Jean was a beauty. Merci for adding my button to your sidebar, it is much appreciated! It looks like your clever blog is taking the blogosphere by storm – it gives everyone a chance to step back into a more glamorous time!

  4. Oh wow! I have never read anything that said that about her! You know those Hollywood legends though, so who knows what the truth is right? That is a tragic story. Not that either is good, but I prefer the version of her life I wrote about. Either way, she died much too young. Thank you so much for the sweet comments! I am having a blog button made by Gypsy Fox and it will be ready soon! Kori xoxo

  5. Hi Kori

    Thanks so much for adding my button to your blog! I’m so happy to find you – I’ve immediately clicked the Follow button. What fun your blog is! Plus I’m a sucker for old movie stars (and old movies, of course).

    I have to say I read about Jean Harlow’s history in a rather different version: the man she married was very under-endowed, and thought she’d perform magic… he beat her badly which caused internal bleeding, and her Christian Scientist mother wouldn’t allow any doctors until it was too late… This may not be true but this was the biography version I saw, anyway. Rotten shame, she was a bloody good actress.

  6. thanks for following my blog:) Your pics are amazing! I wouldn’t mind seeing some of Lucille Ball (kinda my nickname) ;) Have a wonderful day~aubrey

  7. I’m signed up! I don’t know how I am going to do it, but I think it’s the kick in the butt I need. I will add you and we can help motivate each other! Thanks so much for the post and for following my blog! Kori xoxo

  8. She was taken away so young! :(

    You should try the NaNoWriMo competition! I know it sounds time consuming, but there is no harm in giving it an honest try. That’s what I’m going to do. Was up late brainstorming for story ideas. If you do, my profile is: nicoletterenee, you should add me as a buddy for encouragement and we can track our wordcounts! Since blogging, I have never been better about keeping my goals, so we’ll see! :)

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