She was the first “blonde bombshell” She was the first “platinum blonde” She was also a pretty decent actress despite her protestations to the contrary.
She made her mark in Hollywood quickly and strongly.
Often belittled by her contemporaries as an actress, she was so far ahead of her time that her best work still seems fresh and arousing, wrote British critic David Thomson.
Jean Harlow — a truly classic Hollywood actress. How much did you know about her? Let’s check the answers to our Monday Quiz and find out. As usual, to review the questions scroll down to the blog below.
Here we go:
1) Answer: b) Harlow packed in a lot of living and a spectacular career into just 26 years.
2) Answer: d) The statue of Libido. Another siren, Mae West, earned that designation.
3) Answer: a) True. Harlow had few inhibitions about showing off her body, and her first nude shot was circulated when she was just 17. And, yes, she was acquainted with Hollywood mobsters of the day including Bugsy Siegel.
4) Answer: c) 1930’s Hell’s Angels in which Harlow’s lusty presence nearly upstaged all the movie’s much vaunted aerial action. As for the movie’s spectacular opening night, need we say that it was produced by Howard Hughes.
5) Answer: c) Harlow and Clark Gable costarred in six movies.
6) Answer: For our money, the Gable-Harlow matchup in 1932’s Red Dust justifiably remains perhaps the pair’s most heralded picture. Harlow firmly established herself in the movie as a “man’s woman.” She is wonderful in it.
7) Answer: b) False. Harlow died of kidney failure on June 7, 1937.
8) Answer: d) William Powell. He and Harlow were engaged for a couple of years, but she died before the knot could be tied.
9) Answer: b) False. Harlow was known as a genuinely “good guy” on the movie set, even serving coffee to the technicians. She was affectionately known as “Baby,” although Gable preferred “Sis.”
10) Answer: False. Harlow was “discovered” in the Fox studio parking lot, leaning against a convertible in a largely see-through dress. (She had driven a friend to the location for an audition.) The execs were impressed with what they saw.