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!