Jean Peters once said that she had hoped NOT to be known as “Mrs. Howard Hughes,” defined exclusively as the second and final wife of Hollywood’s legendary studio head and all-around eccentric.
She wedded him in 1957, following a quickie (33 days) marriage to a Texas oil man. Hughes had had his eye on her — as well as on many other promising and unpromising starlets — during the previous decade that Peters, a fresh-faced former “Miss Ohio State,” had been in the movies. The marriage surprised more than a few, especially by how relatively long it lasted, 13 years.
It was, typically, a reclusive union with Peters quitting a flourishing career in the movies to reside in a remote hilltop mansion in California’s Santa Monica Mountains. How did it go? We don’t know. We may never know.
Peters never went public on how exactly it was to live as Mrs. Howard Hughes. But a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, Jack Anderson, claimed after the breakup that she was the only woman (Hughes) ever loved.
Be that as it may, Peters was gracious in the divorce — settling for a $70,000 annual payment for life — financial peanuts to Hughes. She then went about reviving her career, this time on tv.
Now that we’ve gotten Hughes out of the way, let’s see how much you know about Jean Peters, movie actress. As usual, to review out Quiz questions just scroll down to the blog below. Here we go:
1) Answer: c) Marilyn Monroe, who was also a contract player at 20th Century Fox when Peters worked at the studio. She and MM hit it off, and solidified a lengthy friendship during the filming of Niagara. Peters was also close friends with actress Jeanne Crain.
2) Answer: b) False. See introduction above.
3) Answer: Peters was never particularly fond of (c) Three Coins in the Fountain, the 1954 romantic melodrama set in Rome and involving the various love tangles involving Peters, Dorothy McGuire and Maggie McNamara. Clifton Webb and Rosanno Brazzi are also on hand. Peters dismissed her role as lightweight. (After all, she had costarred with Marlon Brando in 1952’s Viva Zapata!, directed by Elia Kazan.) The “Fountain” of the movie’s title refers to the Fountain of Trevi in Rome, the same spot that Anita Eckberg took her famous early-morning frolic in 1960’s La Dolce Vita. Anyway, Three Coins proved to be a popular hit, probably the biggest of Peters’ career.
4) Answer: d) Clark Gable. Peters appeared with Marlon Brando in Viva Zapata!, with Joseph Cotten in Niagara and with Tyrone Power in the 1947 swashbuckler Captain From Castile.
5) Answer: a) Jennifer Jones; b) Hedy Lamarr; c) and d) Lauren Bacall.