I'm pretty sure my mouse is the HUGEST fan of Joan Crawford, because, before it picked out Jean Harlow, it picked Joan Crawford again.
I'm really pleased about today's Sunday Star being Jean, as I am such a big fan of hers. Unfortunately, I'm still having difficulty with bigger posts due to my illness, so this might be more photos that text!
3 March, 1911 - 7 June, 1937
I've always loved Jean, ever since I first saw the above photo of her. From that moment on, I was hooked. Initially, I think it was her platinum blonde hair and her elusive and mysterious face and eyes that made me want to know more about her, but, as I learned about her tragic life, I wanted to know more about Harlean than Jean. Several years on, and I still haven't learnt as much about her as I have some other actresses whom I've been interested in for a much shorter period of time. I believe, despite a being very much in the public eye, that she was a very private person, and that, like so many other "movie stars" with tragic lives, she was used and abused.
Jean Harlow was born Harlean Harlow Carpenter...a bit of mouthful, but I think it's such a cool name! I've never heard of anyone being called Harlean before. Her childhood wasn't particularly idyllic, and by the age of 16 she had eloped with Charles McGrew who was 4 years her senior.
In 1927 she began her career in the movies that eventually took her to the heights of fame and fortune. As is often the case, although she appeared happy and carefree, Jean's life was full of sadness and tragedy. She died in 1937 from kidney failure, after complaining of feeling unwell for several months. Her final film, Saratoga, was incomplete when she died, and the studio was ready to cast another actress in it, but the public protested and 3 doubles were used to complete the film. One for close ups, one for long distance shots, and one for her voice. I personally find it really hard to watch the film, knowing that she was so ill.
Oh my, this has been such a drear and depressing post - I'm really sorry! Here's a list of some of my favourite Jean films for those of you who might not be familiar with her...
Dinner at Eight
The Public Enemy
The Beast of the City
Now for a few of my favourite photos...
^This dress from Dinner At Eight was so form fitting that Jean couldn't sit down in it, so the studio had to make her a special board contraption thing, so that she could rest in between takes!