Known for movies

Short Info

DiedJune 7, 1937, Los Angeles, California, United States
SpouseHarold Rosson, Paul Bern, Charles McGrew
MarkOften played the wisecracking platinum blonde
FactWhen she died in 1937, her estate was valued at over $1 million and left entirely to her mother.
PaymentsEarned $1,250 /week from Red-Headed Woman (1932)

Jean Harlow was born on March 3, 1911, in Kansas City, Missouri. Her parents were Mont Clair Carpenter and Jean Poehlman. Harlow had two siblings, a brother named Mont Clair Jr. and a sister named Marie. Harlow’s father worked as a dentist and her mother was a housewife. Harlow’s early education took place at the Horace Mann School in New York City. Harlow’s family then moved to Los Angeles, California, where she attended the Hollywood School for Girls.

Harlow’s career began when she was signed by MGM Studios in 1930. Harlow’s first film was The Public Enemy, which was released in 1931. Harlow’s career took off after she starred in the film Red Dust, which was released in 1932. Harlow became one of the most popular actresses of the 1930s. She starred in a number of films, including Dinner at Eight, Bombshell, and China Seas. Harlow’s career came to an abrupt end when she died of kidney failure on June 7, 1937, at the age of 26.

Harlow’s net worth was estimated to be $5 million at the time of her death. Her salary was $1 million per year. Harlow’s significant earnings came from her film roles and endorsement deals.

Harlow was married to Paul Bern from 1932 to his death in 1932. Harlow was then married to William Powell from 1933 to 1937. Harlow did not have any children.

Harlow was known for her platinum blonde hair and her voluptuous figure.

General Info

Full NameJean Harlow
DiedJune 7, 1937, Los Angeles, California, United States
Height1.55 m
EducationFerry Hall School


SpouseHarold Rosson, Paul Bern, Charles McGrew
ParentsMont Carpenter, Jean Poe Harlow


MoviesRed Dust, Dinner at Eight, Hell's Angels, Saratoga, Bombshell, China Seas, Libeled Lady, Wife vs. Secretary, Red-Headed Woman, Hold Your Man, The Public Enemy, Reckless, The Girl from Missouri, The Secret Six, Personal Property, Suzy, Double Whoopee, Riffraff, The Beast of the City, The Saturday Nig...

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#Marks / Signs
1Often played the wisecracking platinum blonde


Saratoga (1937)$4,000 /week
The Girl from Missouri (1934)$3,000 /week
Red-Headed Woman (1932)$1,250 /week
Hell's Angels (1930)$1,500
Honor Bound (1928)$7 / day


1Men like me because I don't wear a brassiere. Women like me because I don't look like a girl who would steal a husband. At least not for long.
2I was not a born actress. No one knows it better than I. If I had any latent talent, I have had to work hard, listen carefully, do things over and over and then over again in order to bring it out.
3[on Hell's Angels (1930)] When I was making a personal appearance, I'd always sneak in the back of the house to watch the zeppelin airplane attack. I never failed to get a tremendous thrill out of it. I probably saw that scene hundreds of times.


1Had appeared with Clark Gable in six films: The Secret Six (1931), Red Dust (1932), Hold Your Man (1933), China Seas (1935), Wife vs. Secretary (1936) and Saratoga (1937).
2Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer originally purchased the rights to the Horace McCoy novel "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" and studio executives planned to cast Harlow and Clark Gable in the lead roles. However, due to Harlow's sudden death, the film project was put on hold for many years. When it was finally made in the late 1960s, it eventually starred Jane Fonda and Michael Sarrazin.
3Early in her career, Lee Remick was scheduled to portray Harlow in film. A few years later in 1965, two competing films entitled "Harlow" were released, one starring Carol Lynley and the other with Carroll Baker.
4Originially, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer planned to have Harlow star as the female lead in the "Maisie" film franchise but was replaced by Ann Sothern two years following her sudden death.
5Was considered for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939), which went to Vivien Leigh.
6She was honored as Turner Classic Movie's Star of the Month for March 2011.
7On the situation comedy Night Court (1984), a black and white portrait of her on a bearskin rug in front of a roaring fire was seen displayed in the office of Judge Harry T. Stone (played by Harry Anderson) which was see through the entire series run.
8She was a devoted Democrat and in the year of her death she visited Franklin D. Roosevelt on his birthday at a dinner party being thrown at the White House. A small clip of the event, with her at the microphone, can be found on YouTube with her only words being, "Good evening.".
9At the time of her death, Jean Harlow was suffering from kidney failure that was causing her limbs to swell up with water, making her considerably heavier. Co-star Clark Gable noticed this when they filmed a scene for her last film, Saratoga (1937), that required him to lift her into the upper berth in a Pullman car. Gable complained that she weighed more and was therefore harder for him to lift than she had been in their previous films together.
10When Jean Harlow died with about one week's worth of shooting left to go on Saratoga (1937), her stand-in, Mary Dees, replaced her in the remaining footage.
11She was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6910 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
12Along with Hedy Lamarr, they were the primary inspirations for Batman creator Bob Kane's Catwoman character.
13When entombed at Glendale's Forest Lawn Cemetery in 1937, she was dressed in the same gown she wore in Libeled Lady (1936).
14Harlow is interred at Glendale's Forest Lawn Cemetery in a private crypt purchased by William Powell for $25,000. The crypt and sanctuary room contained marble from France, Italy and Spain, and was a tribute to the woman he then loved and planned to marry.
15When she died in 1937, her estate was valued at over $1 million and left entirely to her mother.
16Of her final performance in Saratoga (1937), critic Graham Greene wrote "Her technique was the gangster's technique - she toted a breast like a man totes a gun.".
17Attended the 1936 Oscars with her then-lover William Powell, her close friend and co-star Clark Gable, and his new lover Carole Lombard, who was Powell's ex-wife. Harlow was so sick during the evening, Lombard had to help her to the powder room to recover and reapply her make-up.
18Everyone on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot called her "The Baby" with the exception of Clark Gable. A very close friend, he always called her "Sis".
19One of the last photos taken of Jean showed her carrying a copy of Gone with the Wind. She was determined to read it, but as her illness progressed, couldn't get past more than the first few pages. When she was admitted to hospital, she reminded one of her nurses to pack it. The nurse, realizing how serious Harlow's illness was, remarked "She'll never finish it." Her words came true when Harlow died later that week.
20Once lived in Chateau Marmont, the famous Los Angeles, Calfornia hotel.
21She spent the night of April 6, 1933 - the day when Prohibition was set to expire at midnight - at the Los Angeles Brewing Co. with fellow movie star Walter Huston. A maker of "near-beer" and denatured alcohol (the alcohol was subtracted from the full-strength beer the company continued to brew during Prohibition, but could not legally market), the company was ready to immediately supply the Los Angeles area's demand for beer. Skipping the denaturing process, they had made a huge consignment of the genuine stuff to be marketed as Eastside Beer in bottles and kegs. The brewery's trucks were loaded and ready to roll out of the brewery the minute when suds could be legally shipped and sold. Two treasury agents and many guards were there that night to ensure things went smoothly, safely and legally. At 12:01 AM on April 7, 1933, when the sale and consumption of intoxicating beverages was once again legal in the United States, Huston gave a short speech and Harlow broke a bottle of beer over the first truck lined up and ready to deliver its now-legal load of liquid refreshment, thus christening the reborn brewery. The trucks rolled out, many staffed with armed guards riding shotgun lest the thirsty multitude get too frisky along the delivery routes. When the night was over, the brewery had done over $250,000 in business (approximately $3,387,000 in 2005 dollars) and had collected a stack of cash 18 inches high. Harlow has stayed the night, partying with brewery employees.
22Is one of the many movie stars mentioned in Madonna's 1990 song "Vogue".
23Is portrayed by Gwen Stefani in The Aviator (2004), by Carroll Baker in Harlow (1965), by Susan Buckner in The Amazing Howard Hughes (1977), by Lindsay Bloom in Hughes and Harlow: Angels in Hell (1977) and by Carol Lynley in Harlow (1965)
24On the day Hollywood canine superstar Rin Tin Tin died at age 16, Harlow, who lived across the street from his master, Lee Duncan, went over to cradle the dog's head in her lap as the famous canine died.
25For many years, it was a widely-held belief that she died because her mother, a Christian Scientist, refused to let doctors operate on her after she became sick. Christian Scientists prefer prayer to drugs and surgery. This story was even reprinted in David Shipman's famous book, "The Great Movie Stars", but it has been repeatedly shown to be completely untrue.
26Following the end of her third marriage she met actor William Powell. They were engaged for two years (due to minor differences and Jean's belief that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer would not approve), but Jean became sick and died before they could marry.
27She was voted the 49th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
28Her birth name was Harlean Carpenter - the first name an amalgam of her mother's maiden name, Jean Harlow, which she later took as her stage name. At the height of her career, it came out that this wasn't her real name, and the insatiable public wanted to know what her real name was. The studio released her "real" name as Harlean Carpentier. Harlow had added the extra "i" herself before her career began to make it sound more exotic.
29A new musical called "In Hell with Harlow" about an after-death meeting between her and Protestant World War II martyr Dietrich Boenhoffer never reached the stage. The production, written by bestselling author Paul L. Williams, was to star Dawn Winarski and Greg Korin.
30She used to put ice on her nipples right before shooting a scene in order to appear sexier.
31She had to stick to a strict diet to keep thin, eating mostly vegetables and salads.
32Never wore any underwear and always slept in the nude.
33Favorite brand of cigarette: Fatima.
34Following her untimely death, she was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California in the Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Benediction.
35Had two famous superstitions: She always wore a lucky ankle chain on her left leg, which is visible in some films if you look closely, and had a lucky mirror in her dressing room. She would not leave the room without first looking in it.
36She was at a dinner party and continuously addressed Margot Asquith (wife of British prime minister Herbert Asquith) as "Margot", pronouncing the "T". Margot finally had enough and said to her, "No, Jean, the 'T' is silent, like in 'Harlow'.".
37Her funeral was not the average funeral. Louis B. Mayer, head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, took charge and made it a Hollywood event. Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy sang his favorite song "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life" in the church chapel, followed by a huge banquet with an orchestra.
38Born at 5:40pm-CST
39She was the very first motion picture actress to grace the cover of Life magazine. [May 1937]
40Ranked #22 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Legends" list. [June 1999]
41The premiere of her first feature film, Hell's Angels (1930), on May 27, 1930, drew an estimated crowd of 50,000 at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. The film also has an expensive eight-minute two-color Technicolor sequence - the only color footage of Harlow that exists.
42Was the idol of Marilyn Monroe, who backed out of a biographical picture on her life. After reading the script, Monroe reportedly told her agent, "I hope they don't do that to me after I'm gone." Both Harlow and Monroe co-starred in their last films with Clark Gable, Harlow in Saratoga (1937) and Monroe in The Misfits (1961).
43Her final film, Saratoga (1937), became the highest grossing film of 1937 and set all-time house records, due almost entirely to her untimely death.
44Went on a salary strike from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1934, during which she wrote a novel, "Today is Tonight". The book was not published until 1965.
45In the Hollywood satire Bombshell (1933), Harlow is known as "the If girl" -- a spoof loosely based on 1920s sex symbol and "It girl" Clara Bow.
46Was photographed nude at age 17 by Hollywood photographer Edward Bower Hesser in Griffith Park in 1928.
47Refused the lead in King Kong (1933), as well as the lead in the Tod Browning classic Freaks (1932).
48Dated the notorious mobster Abner "Longy" Zwillman, who secured a two-picture deal for Harlow with Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures by loaning Cohn $500,000 in cash. He also purchased her a jeweled charm bracelet and a red Cadillac.
49Was the godmother of Millicent Siegel, daughter of the notorious mobster Benjamin Bugsy Siegel.




Saratoga1937Carol Clayton
Personal Property1937Crystal Wetherby
Libeled Lady1936Gladys
Suzy1936Suzy Trent
Wife vs. Secretary1936Whitey
Riffraff1936Hattie Muller
China Seas1935China Doll
Reckless1935Mona Leslie
The Girl from Missouri1934Eadie
Bombshell1933Lola Burns
Dinner at Eight1933Kitty Packard
Hold Your Man1933Ruby
Red Dust1932Vantine
Red-Headed Woman1932Lillian 'Lil' / 'Red' Andrews Legendre
Scarface1932Blonde at Paradise Club - Cameo appearance in nightclub (uncredited)
The Beast of the City1932Daisy
Three Wise Girls1932Cassie Barnes
Beau Hunks1931ShortJeanie Weenie - in Photo (uncredited)
Platinum Blonde1931Ann Schuyler
Iron Man1931Rose Mason
The Public Enemy1931Gwen Allen
The Secret Six1931Anne Courtland
City Lights1931Diner in Restaurant Scene (uncredited)
Hell's Angels1930Helen
New York Nights1929Party Guest (uncredited)
Weak But Willing1929ShortBlonde Night Club Patron (uncredited)
This Thing Called Love1929Bit Part (uncredited)
The Love Parade1929Woman in Opera Box (uncredited)
The Saturday Night Kid1929Hazel (uncredited)
Bacon Grabbers1929ShortMrs. Kennedy
Masquerade1929Spectator (unconfirmed, uncredited)
Thundering Toupees1929Short
Double Whoopee1929ShortSwanky Blonde
The Unkissed Man1929Short uncredited
Close Harmony1929uncredited
Why Is a Plumber?1929Short
Why Be Good?1929Blonde on Rooftop Bench at Junior's Second Party (uncredited)
Fugitives1929Bit Part (uncredited)
Liberty1929ShortWoman in Cab (as Harlean Carpenter)
Chasing Husbands1928ShortBathing Beauty (uncredited)
Moran of the Marines1928Bit Part (uncredited)
Honor Bound1928Extra (unconfirmed, uncredited)


Harlow: The Blonde Bombshell1993TV Movie documentary performer: "Hear What My Heart Is Saying" 1935
That's Entertainment!1974performer: "Reckless" 1935, "Did I Remember" 1936 - uncredited
Suzy1936"Did I Remember To Tell You I Adore You?" 1936 / performer: "When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose" 1914 uncredited, "The Wedding March" 1842 uncredited, "Did I Remember To Tell You I Adore You?" 1936, "Under the Bamboo Tree" 1902 uncredited
Riffraff1936performer: "You Are My Lucky Star" 1935 - uncredited
Reckless1935"Reckless" 1935 / performer: "Reckless" 1935, "Trocadero" 1934 uncredited, "Ev'rything's Been Done Before" 1935, "Hear What My Heart Is Saying" 1935
Hold Your Man1933"Hold Your Man" 1933, uncredited
Red Dust1932"There's No Place Like Home Home, Sweet Home" 1823, uncredited


The Candid Camera Story (Very Candid) of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures 1937 Convention1937Documentary shortHerself (uncredited)
Hollywood on Parade No. B-11934ShortHerself (uncredited)
Hollywood on Parade No. B-61934ShortHerself
Screen Snapshots1932/IIDocumentary shortHerself

Archive Footage

Clara Bow: Discovering the It Girl1999TV Movie documentaryHerself (from The Saturday Night Kid [1929]) (uncredited)
Intimate Portrait1999TV Series documentaryHerself
E! Mysteries & Scandals1998TV Series documentaryHerself
Judy Garland's Hollywood1997Video documentary
Sports on the Silver Screen1997TV Movie documentaryHerself (uncredited)
The Good, the Bad & the Beautiful1996TV Special documentaryHerself
Betty Boop: Queen of the Cartoons1995DocumentaryHerself
The Casting Couch1995Video documentary
That's Entertainment! III1994DocumentaryPerformer in Clip from 'Dinner at Eight' (uncredited)
Harlow: The Blonde Bombshell1993TV Movie documentaryHerself
A Tribute to the Boys: Laurel & Hardy1992TV Special documentarySwanky blonde (uncredited)
MGM: When the Lion Roars1992TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Only in Hollywood1991TV Series documentaryHerself
Death Scenes1989Video documentaryHerself (uncredited)
Two Tragic Blondes1989Video documentaryHerself
Marilyn Monroe: Beyond the Legend1987DocumentaryHerself
The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn1986TV Special documentaryHerself
Going Hollywood: The '30s1984Documentary
Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage1983DocumentaryHerself (uncredited)
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter1982TV Movie documentaryActress - 'Dinner at Eight' (uncredited)
Hollywood Greats1978TV Series documentary
America at the Movies1976DocumentaryKitty Packard
That's Entertainment, Part II1976DocumentaryClips from 'Dinner at Eight' & 'Reckless' etc.
Hooray for Hollywood1975DocumentaryHerself
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975DocumentaryHerself
That's Entertainment!1974Clips from 'Reckless' & 'Suzy'
Hollywood: The Dream Factory1972TV Movie documentary
Hollywood: The Selznick Years1969TV Movie documentaryActress 'Dinner at Eight' (uncredited)
The Further Perils of Laurel and Hardy1967Documentary
Hollywood My Home Town1965DocumentaryHerself
The Love Goddesses1965DocumentaryHerself
The Big Parade of Comedy1964DocumentaryRuby in 'Hold Your Man'
The Judy Garland Show1964TV SeriesHerself
Hollywood: The Great Stars1963TV Movie documentaryHerself (uncredited)
The DuPont Show of the Week1962TV SeriesHerself
The Golden Age of Comedy1957Documentary
Screen Snapshots Series 25, No. 1: 25th Anniversary1945Documentary shortHerself
Some of the Best1943DocumentaryKitty Packard in Dinner at Eight (uncredited)
Screen Snapshots Series 21, No. 21941Short
Personality Parade1938Documentary shortHerself (uncredited)
Hollywood on Parade No. A-121933ShortHerself (uncredited)
Arena2012TV Series documentary
American Masters2004-2009TV Series documentaryHerself
Spisok korabley2008DocumentaryChina Doll
Thou Shalt Not: Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood2008TV Movie documentaryVarious Roles
Paris Hilton Inc.: The Selling of Celebrity2007TV Movie documentaryHerself
Why Be Good? Sexuality & Censorship in Early Cinema2007DocumentaryHerself
Girl 272007DocumentaryHerself
History vs. Hollywood2004TV Series documentaryHerself
Checking Out: Grand Hotel2004Video documentary shortHerself - At the premiere
Complicated Women2003TV Movie documentaryHerself (uncredited)
American Experience2002TV Series documentaryThe Public Enemy
History's Mysteries: Infamous Murders2001TV Series documentaryHerself
Biography1993-2001TV Series documentaryHerself
Howard Hughes: His Women and His Movies2000TV Movie documentaryHerself


Won Awards

1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 6910 Hollywood Blvd.

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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