What an odd headline for our Monday Quiz.
Of course, you say, Jean Peters was an actress.
But, remember, she was also once married to the richest and oddest of all classic movie moguls, Howard Hughes. The point is, we are talking here of Peters the actress, not the wife.
In 1957, Peters wed the mogul via a hush-hush ceremony — the second marriage for both and the final one for Hughes. It lasted 13 years, and after the breakup Peters never spoke in public about her reclusive husband — the RKO studio head renowned, among other things, for being Hollywood’s busiest ladies man. Her career, put on hold, was jump started via tv thereafter.
Peters came out of the American Midwest (born in Canton, Ohio) and parlayed a beauty contest win at college (Ohio State, naturally) into a seven-year contract at 20th Century Fox. Her career overall was relative brief (just 23 movie and tv credits) but packed plenty of punch. She worked with the leading players of the Fifties, often receiving equal billing
She was a sultry brunette, with passing resemblances to both Hedy Lamarr and Jane Russell. Yet, she was careful NOT to take roles that played up her sex appeal. She considered herself a tomboy at heart, reflected in the down-home blue jeans she favored rather than the glamorous outfits stars were expected to sport then.
Ok, let’s see how much you remember about this Fifties star. As usual, questions today with the answers following tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: Peters played a principal role in 1953 thriller, Niagara, and became close friends with her female costar. Who is she? a) Bette Davis; b) Dorothy Maguire; c) Marilyn Monroe; or d) Maggie McNamara.
2) Question: Peters’ marriage to Howard Hughes was a calculated movie on her part to lay her hands on a substantial portion of the mogul’s assets. a) True; or b) False.
3) Question: Which one of her movies was the most disliked by Peters but nonetheless the most popular? a) 1953’s Pickup On South Street; 1954’s Apache; c) 1954’s Three Coins in the Fountain; or d) 1952’s Viva Zapata.
4) Question: Which one of the following male stars did Peters NOT work with? a) Marlon Brando; b) Joseph Cotten; c) Tyrone Power; or d) Clark Gable.
5) Question: Peter was picky about her movies and turned down leading roles in some pretty big pictures, including the following four titles. Can you name the actress who wound up starring each? a) 1948’s Portrait of Jennie; b) 1949’s Samson and Delilah; c) 1953’s How To Marry A Millionaire; and d) 1957’s Designing Woman.