Known for movies

Short Info

DiedOctober 3, 1929, New York City, New York, United States
SpouseTed Coy, Morris Dubinsky
FactHer first stage experience was at age 11 playing Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Jeanne Eagels was an American stage and film actress. She was born in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 26, 1894, to Edward and Louise Eagels. Her father was a German immigrant and her mother was of Irish descent. Jeanne had two older sisters, Emma and Louise.

Jeanne Eagels began her stage career in 1912, when she was just 18 years old. She made her Broadway debut in the play “The New York Idea” in 1916. She quickly became a leading lady on Broadway, starring in such hits as “The Letter” (1917), “The Shanghai Gesture” (1918), and “Rain” (1922).

In 1923, Jeanne Eagels made her film debut in the silent movie “The Warrens of Virginia”. She went on to appear in a number of successful films, including “The Ten Commandments” (1923), “The Scarlet Letter” (1926), and “The Devil Dancer” (1927).

Jeanne Eagels was one of the first actresses to successfully make the transition from silent films to “talkies”. In 1929, she starred in the first all-talking feature film, “The Jazz Singer”.

Tragically, Jeanne Eagels died of a drug overdose in 1929, at the age of just 35. She was posthumously nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in the film “The Letter”.

General Info

Full NameJeanne Eagels
DiedOctober 3, 1929, New York City, New York, United States


SpouseTed Coy, Morris Dubinsky
ParentsJulia Sullivan Eagles, Edward Eagles
SiblingsGeorge Eagles, Paul Eagles, Helen Eagles, Edna Eagles, Leo Eagles


NominationsAcademy Award for Best Actress

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1I'm the greatest actress in the world and the greatest failure. And nobody gives a damn.


1Although Eagels claimed to be born in Boston, both the 1900 and 1910 United States Federal Censuses state that she was born in Missouri.
2On the 1900 and 1910 United States Federal Censuses for Kansas City, Missouri, Eagels is listed as "Eugenia Eagles" as her given name. Also, the 1910 Census, listed actress as her occupation.
3She had a son with first husband Dubinsky, but his fate is not known.
4Her two sound films, The Letter (1929) and Jealousy (1929), were remade with Bette Davis (the Davis version of "Jealousy" was retitled Deception (1946)). Davis also played a character loosely based on Eagels in Dangerous (1935).
5Though not known to the public at the time Eagles had a long history of drug and alcohol problems. The studio heads did their best to keep this information out of the press and continually reported that her frequent trips to the sanitarium was due to a hereditary illness. When she died, her manager insisted that she had died of a stroke but the truth wasn't discovered until many years later.
6Her Academy Award nomination for The Letter (1929) made her the first ever posthumous Oscar nominee.
7Changed the spelling of her last name when she became famous from Eagles to Eagels because she thought it would look better in lights. It is the original spelling, not the stage spelling that is engraved on her headstone in Kansas City, Missouri.
8Had an affair during the early 1920s with the young Arthur Fiedler, later the long-time music director of the famous Boston "Pops" concerts. Fiedler would always describe Eagels as the one great love of his life, and kept her autographed picture on his desk until his death.
9Best known on Broadway for her role of Sadie Thompson in "Rain."
10Her first stage experience was at age 11 playing Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."




The Letter1929Leslie Crosbie
Man, Woman and Sin1927Vera Worth
The Madonna of the Slums1919Short
The Cross Bearer1918Liane de Merode
Under False Colors1917Countess Olga
The Fires of Youth1917Billy's Sister (as Jeanne Eagles)
The World and the Woman1916A Woman of the Streets
The House of Fear1915/IGrace Cramp
A Lesson in Bridge1914ShortMrs. Willis
The Bride of the Sea1913Short
The Ace of Hearts1913Short

Archive Footage

Hollywood1980TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself


Nominated Awards

1930OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actress in a Leading RoleThe Letter (1929)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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