Jean Harlow

The Early Years of Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow was born on March 3, 1911, in Kansas City, Missouri. Her real name was Harlean Harlow Carpenter, and she was the daughter of a successful dentist and his wife. Her parents divorced when she was young, and her mother moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. Harlow eventually followed her mother to Hollywood and began taking acting lessons.

Harlow’s big break came when she was discovered by Howard Hughes, who cast her in his film, “Hell’s Angels.” The film was a huge success, and Harlow quickly became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

The Rise of Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow

Harlow’s career continued to soar throughout the 1930s. She starred in a number of successful films, including “Dinner at Eight,” “Red Dust,” and “Bombshell.” Her unique combination of beauty and wit made her a favorite among audiences, and she quickly became known as the “Platinum Blonde.”

Despite her success, Harlow’s personal life was tumultuous. She was married three times, and her second husband, Paul Bern, committed suicide after just two months of marriage. Harlow was also plagued by health problems, including a kidney ailment that would eventually lead to her untimely death.

The Tragic Death of Jean Harlow

On June 7, 1937, Jean Harlow died at the age of 26. Her death was caused by cerebral edema, which was likely the result of kidney failure. Harlow’s death was a shock to the Hollywood community, and fans around the world mourned the loss of the beloved actress.

After her death, rumors circulated that Harlow had been poisoned by her third husband, Charles McGrew. However, an autopsy revealed that there was no evidence of foul play. To this day, the cause of Harlow’s kidney failure remains a mystery.

The Legacy of Jean Harlow

Despite her short life, Jean Harlow left an indelible mark on Hollywood. Her unique beauty and talent made her a star, and her tragic death only added to her mystique. Harlow’s films continue to be beloved by audiences around the world, and her influence can be seen in the work of countless actresses who have followed in her footsteps.

Today, Jean Harlow is remembered as one of the greatest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Her legacy lives on through her films, her iconic image, and the countless fans who continue to be inspired by her talent and beauty.

Interesting Facts About Jean Harlow

1. She was discovered by Howard Hughes while working as an extra on one of his films.

2. Harlow was the first actress to appear on the cover of Life magazine.

3. She was known for her trademark platinum blonde hair, which she achieved by bleaching it with peroxide and ammonia.

4. Harlow was friends with many famous actors, including Clark Gable and James Cagney.

5. She was only 26 years old when she died.


Jean Harlow was a true Hollywood icon, whose talent and beauty continue to captivate audiences to this day. Despite her tragic death, her legacy lives on through her films, her image, and the countless fans who continue to be inspired by her work. Whether you’re a fan of classic Hollywood cinema or simply appreciate the artistry of a great performer, Jean Harlow is a name that will always be remembered.

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