Lately I have been on a Jean Harlow kick. I can’t seem to read enough, or learn too much about the “Original Blonde Bombshell”. She was born Harlean Carpenter out in the good ol’ midwest and then later transformed into Jean Harlow, however, she only made it to be 26.
In only ten years of acting, Harlow was able to be a part of 36 movies. She was voted No. 22 on the American Film Institute’s list of the “Greatest American Screen Legends” (female), and also was the first movie actress to appear on the cover of Life magazine. Just trying to throw a little bit of knowledge atcha!
Even though Harlow was extremely talented, her platinum blonde hair seemed to be a star all on it’s own. Peroxide sales in the US actually skyrocketed thanks to this beauty and I am sure I would have totally jumped on that band-wagon..if I wasn’t already.
Poor health seemed to follow Harlow throughout her life, at age five she contracted meningitis and then at 15 she got scarlet fever.
Her first marriage was when she was 16. She married a 23 year old. Wanting to pursue her acting career, the marriage fell apart so she could live her dream.
She later went on to marry Paul Bern, who ended up being extremely abusive and “supposedly” almost beat her to death on the first night of their marriage! Only a few months after their wedding, Bern’s committed suicide in their home, leaving behind a cryptic suicide letter to Harlow.
After Bern’s death, Harlow married again. However, while filming Saratoga in 1937, Jean was hospitalized with uremic poisoning and kidney failure. She went into a coma June 6th 1937 and then passed away the following day. Saratoga had to be finished using long angle shots and a double. Clark Gable, her co-star, supposedly felt he was “in the arms of a ghost.” After a large Hollywood funeral, Jean was buried in the mausoleum in Forest Lawn Glendale.
In my little jaunt around Hollywood last week, I stopped over by one of Harlow’s houses. Too bad it is all covered up with greenery now! This is the 214 S. Beverly Glen Blvd. house in Beverly Hills.
The Paul Bern’s house was at 9820 Easton Drive, just a short drive north of here.