Jean Arthur

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    There are 4 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.

    • Jean Arthur


      Information from IMDb

      Date of Birth
      17 October 1900, Plattsburgh, New York, USA

      Date of Death
      19 June 1991, Carmel, California, USA (heart failure)

      Birth Name
      Gladys Georgianna Greene

      5' 3" (1.60 m)

      Frank Ross (11 June 1932 - 14 March 1949) (divorced)
      Julian Ancker (1928 - 1928) (annulled)

      Mini Biography
      This marvelous screen comedienne's best asset was only muffled
      during her seven years' stint in silent films.
      That asset? It was, of course, her squeaky, frog-like voice,
      which silent-era cinema audiences had simply no way of perceiving,
      much less appreciating. Jean Arthur, born Gladys Georgianna Greene
      in upstate New York, 20 miles south of the Canadian border,
      has had her year of birth cited variously as 1900, 1905 and 1908.
      Her place of birth has often been cited as New York City!
      (Herein we shall rely for those particulars on Miss Arthur's obituary
      as given in the authoritative and reliable New York Times.
      The date and place indicated above shall be deemed correct.)
      Following her screen debut in a bit part in John Ford's Cameo Kirby (1923),
      she spent several years playing unremarkable roles as ingénue
      or leading lady in comedy shorts and cheapie westerns.
      With the arrival of sound she was able to appear in films
      whose quality was but slightly improved over that of her past silents.
      She had to contend, for example, with the consummately evil likes
      of Dr. Fu Manchu (played by future "Charlie Chan" Warner Oland).
      Her career bloomed with her appearance in Ford's Passport to Fame (1935),
      in which she played opposite Edward G. Robinson,
      the latter in a dual role as a notorious gangster and his lookalike,
      a befuddled, well-meaning clerk. Here is where her wholesomeness
      and flair for farcical comedy began making themselves plain.
      The turning point in her career came when she was chosen by
      Frank Capra to star with Gary Cooper in the classic social comedy
      Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936).
      Here she rescues the hero - thus herself becoming heroine! -
      from rapacious human vultures who are scheming to separate him from his wealth.
      In Capra's masterpiece Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939),
      she again rescues a besieged hero (James Stewart),
      protecting him from a band of manipulative and cynical politicians
      and their cronies and again she ends up as a heroine of sorts.
      For her performance in George Stevens' The More the Merrier (1943),
      in which she starred with Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn,
      she received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination,
      but the award went to Jennifer Jones in The Song of Bernadette (1943)
      (Coburn, incidentally, won for Best Supporting Actor).
      Her career began waning toward the end of the 1940s.
      She starred with Marlene Dietrich and John Lund in Billy Wilder's
      fluff about post-World War II Berlin, A Foreign Affair (1948).
      Thereafter, the actress would return to the screen but once,
      again for George Stevens but not in comedy.
      She starred with Alan Ladd and Van Heflin in Stevens' western Shane (1953),
      playing the wife of a besieged settler (Heflin) who accepts help
      from a nomadic gunman (Ladd) in the settler's effort to protect his farm.
      It was her silver-screen swansong.
      She would provide one more opportunity for a mass audience to appreciate her craft.
      In 1966 she starred as a witty and sophisticated lawyer,
      Patricia Marshall, a widow, in the TV series "The Jean Arthur Show" (1966).
      Her time was apparently past, however; the show ran for only 11 weeks.
      IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs

      Ashes scattered off of Point Lobos, California, USA.

      Wore her natural brunette hair color throughout the silent film portion of her career, then began bleaching her hair blonde shortly after she started making talkies.

      Department of Strange Coincidences: Jean Arthur's former spouse, producer Frank Ross, next married the actress Joan Caulfield. On the very day following Caulfield's death on 18 June 1991, Arthur died.

      Marriage to Julian Anker was annulled after 1 day.

      After retiring from films she taught Drama at Vassar.

      Was a leading contender for the coveted role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).

      As her star began to decline, she was replaced by Rita Hayworth as Columbia Pictures' top female star. Coincidentally, the two stars share the same birthday (October 17).

      Turned down the role of the lady missionary in Lost Horizon (1973), the unsuccessful musical remake of the 1937 classic of the same name.

      Director George Stevens famously called her "one of the greatest comediennes the screen has ever seen" while Frank Capra credited her as "my favorite actress".

      On the completion of her Columbia contract in 1944, she reportedly ran through the studio's streets, shouting "I'm free, I'm free!".

      As a result of being in the doghouse with studio boss Harry Cohn, her fee for starring in The Talk of the Town (1942) was only $50,000 while her male co-stars (Ronald Colman, Cary Grant) received upwards of $100,000 each.

      Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. pg. 30-31. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387

      Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 15-16. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

      Allegedly took her stage name from two of her greatest heroes: Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) and King Arthur.

      Quit movies at the height of her career in 1944, following an Oscar nomination and while still Columbia Pictures' top female box-office attraction. She appeared in only two more films, for Oscar-winning directors Billy Wilder (A Foreign Affair (1948)) and George Stevens (Shane (1953)). According to John Oller's biography "Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew" (1997), Arthur was a shy person who came to loathe making movies, having developed a kind of stage fright (something not uncommon in even great and accomplished actors; Laurence Olivier said he developed stage fright in 1964, while playing in "Othello," after 40 years on stage) that made acting in movies agony for her. After she quit movies, she tried to make a go at a stage career, being part of the original cast of "Born Yesterday," but she dropped out during previews and was replaced by Judy Holliday. She later gave television a crack in the mid-'60s, but the "The Jean Arthur Show" (1966) was canceled after half a season.

      At the Yale Law School Film Society weekend with Frank Capra in 1972, she attended a small afternoon symposium on Saturday, February 5, at Capra's invitation. He urged her to stay for the screening that night, and assured her the audience would be delighted and overwhelmingly enthusiastic. She declined because, she said, she had to go home and feed her cats.

      Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 3, 1991-1993, pages 29-31. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.

      Gary Cooper was her favorite leading man.

      Even though Jean and James Stewart never bonded off-screen, Jimmy called Jean "the finest actress I ever worked with. No one had her humor, her timing".

      She was teaching at Vassar at the same time that Meryl Streep was studying there in her junior year. Upon seeing the young drama major rehearsing August Strindberg's play "Miss Julie," Arthur remarked it was "just like watching a movie star".

      Turned down Donna Reed's role in It's a Wonderful Life (1946) because she didn't want to work with James Stewart again.

      Profiled in book "Funny Ladies" by Stephen Silverman. [1999]

      She enjoyed working with Cary Grant greatly, due in no small part to his looks.

      Rita Hayworth said Arthur didn't speak to her when they worked together on Only Angels Have Wings (1939), a snubbing Arthur later said she would regret.

      Personal Quotes
      It's a strenuous job every day of your life to live up to the way you look on the screen.

      I guess I became an actress because I didn't want to be myself.

      I am not an adult, that's my explanation of myself. Except when I am working on a set, I have all the inhibitions and shyness of the bashful, backward child . . . unless I have something very much in common with a person, I am lost. I am swallowed up in my own silence.

      The fact that I did not marry George Bernard Shaw is the only real disappointment I've had.

      [on Hollywood] I hated the place - not the work, but the lack of privacy, those terrible prying fan magazine writers and all the surrounding exploitation.

      If people don't like your work, all the still pictures in the world can't help you and nothing written about you, even oceans of it, will make you popular.

      (on doing interviews) Quite frankly, I'd rather have my throat slit.

      I bumped into every kind of disappointment, and was frustrated at every turn. Roles promised me were given to other players, pictures that offered me a chance were shelved, no one was particularly interested in me, and I had not developed a strength of personality to make anyone believe I had special talents. I wanted so desperately to succeed that I drove myself relentlessly, taking no time off for pleasures, or for friendships - yet aiming at the stars, I was still floundering.

      First I played ingénues and western heroines; then I played western heroines and ingénues. That diet of roles became as monotonous as a diet of spinach. The studio wouldn't trust me with any other kind of role, because I had no experience in any other kind. And I didn't see how I was ever going to acquire any other experience if I couldn't get any other kind of role. It was a vicious circle.

      It's hardly fair for women to do the same things at the same hours every day of their lives, while men have new experiences, meet new people every day. I felt that way as a little girl, with two older brothers around the house. It seemed to me that they led adventurous lives, compared with mine. I felt cheated and frustrated. I became a tomboy in self-defense. I decided that I was going to do things that were exciting, or at least interesting.

      [speaking in in the 1930s] I've never had a single close intimate girlfriend in all my life. I never had a chum to whom I could confide my secrets. I suppose that accounts for the fact that now it is so painfully difficult for me to open my heart and confide in people who are, so often, almost strangers. You have to learn so very young to open your heart.

      [on her early acting days] My very "naturalness" was my undoing. I had to learn that to appear natural on the screen requires a vast amount of training, that is the test of an actor's art. It would be more spectacular if I could say that out of the hurt and humiliation of that failure was born a determination to success, to prove I had the makings of an actress. But it wouldn't be true. That urge came later.

      [on her first marriage, which only lasted a day] Julian [Julian Anckner] looked a lot like Abraham Lincoln, and that's probably why I fell in love with him. One day we were out driving and he suddenly said, "Hey, why don't we get married?" So we lied about our ages and got married in a sheriff's office. You should have heard our families' reactions - all sorts of screaming and shouting and carrying on about suicide. Well, neither Julian nor I had enough income to make it possible for us to live together, so our marriage lasted one day.

      [on making Only Angels Have Wings (1939)] I loved sinking my head into Cary Grant's chest.

      [1977 comment on Gary Cooper] I loved working with Gary Cooper. Gary was my favorite. He was so terrific-looking, and so easy to work with.

      [on director George Stevens] George Stevens started out as a cameraman with Laurel and Hardy, and he learned so many wonderful tricks, like having us walk forward while looking backward and then bumping into something. George was a darling man, so great with comedy. It's too bad he got serious.

      The More the Merrier (1943) $2,500/week
      The Talk of the Town (1942) $50,000
      Horse Shoes (1927) $700

      1966 The Jean Arthur Show (TV series)
      – The Lady and the Gangster (1966) … Patricia Marshall
      – Along Came a Spider (1966) … Patricia Marshall
      – With This Hood I Thee Wed (1966) … Patricia Marshall
      – A Slight Case of Music (1966) … Patricia Marshall
      – Rocky, Take a Letter (1966) … Patricia Marshall
      In all 12 episodes
      1965 Gun Law (TV series)– Thursday's Child (1965) … Julie Blane
      1953 Shane...Marian Starrett
      1948 A Foreign Affair...Congresswoman Phoebe Frost
      1944 The Impatient Years...Janie Anderson
      1943 A Lady Takes a Chance...Molly J. Truesdale
      1943 The More the Merrier...Connie Milligan
      1942 The Talk of the Town...Miss Nora Shelley
      1941 The Devil and Miss Jones...Mary Jones
      1940 Arizona...Phoebe Titus
      1940 My Two Husbands...Vicky Lowndes
      1939 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington...Clarissa Saunders
      1939 Only Angels Have Wings...Bonnie Lee
      1938 You Can't Take It with You...Alice Sycamore
      1937 Easy Living...Mary Smith
      1937 History Is Made at Night...Irene Vail
      1936 More Than a Secretary...Carol Baldwin
      1936 The Plainsman...Calamity Jane
      1936 Manhattan Madness...Claire Peyton
      1936 The Ex-Mrs. Bradford...Paula Bradford
      1936 Mr. Deeds Goes to Town...Babe Bennett
      1935 If You Could Only Cook...Joan Hawthorne
      1935 The Public Menace...Cassie
      1935 Diamond Jim...Jane Matthews/Emma
      1935 Public Hero #1..Maria Theresa 'Terry' O'Reilly
      1935 Party Wire...Marge Oliver
      1935 Passport to Fame...Wilhelmina 'Bill' Clark
      1934 The Defense Rests...Joan Hayes
      1934 The Most Precious Thing in Life...Ellen Holmes, aka Biddy, Babe
      1934 Whirlpool...Sandra Rankin Morrison
      1933 Get That Venus...Margaret Rendleby
      1933 The Past of Mary Holmes...Joan Hoyt
      1931 His Temporary Affair...Ethel Simmons
      1931 The Lawyer's Secret...Beatrice Stevens
      1931 The Virtuous Husband..Barbara Olwell
      1931 The Gang Buster...Sylvia Martine
      1930 The Silver Horde...Mildred Wayland
      1930 Galas de la Paramount...Sweetheart - Episode 'Dream Girl'
      1930 Danger Lights...Mary Ryan
      1930 The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu...Lia Eltham
      1930 Paramount on Parade..Sweetheart (Dream Girl/In a Hospital)
      1930 Young Eagles...Mary Gordon
      1930 Street of Chance...Judith Marsden
      1929 Halfway to Heaven...Greta Nelson
      1929 The Saturday Night Kid...Janie Barry
      1929 The Greene Murder Case...Ada Greene
      1929 The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu...Lia Eltham
      1929 Stairs of Sand...Ruth Hutt
      1929 The Canary Murder Case...Alice LaFosse
      1928 Sins of the Fathers...Mary Spengler
      1928 Brotherly Love...Mary
      1928 Warming Up...Mary Post
      1928 Easy Come, Easy Go
      1928 Wallflowers...Sandra
      1927 Flying Luck...The Girl
      1927 The Masked Menace...Faith
      1927 The Poor Nut...Margie Blake
      1927 Bigger and Better Blondes (short)
      1927 Horse Shoes...Miss Baker
      1927 The Broken Gate...Ruth Hale
      1927 Hello Lafayette (short)
      1927 Winners of the Wilderness...Bit Role (uncredited)
      1927 Husband Hunters...Lettie Crane
      1926 The Block Signal...Grace Ryan
      1926 The College Boob...Angela Boothby
      1926 Twisted Triggers...Ruth Regan
      1926 The Cowboy Cop...Virginia Selby
      1926 Lightning Bill...Marie Denton
      1926 Double Daring...Marie Wells
      1926 Ridin' Rivals (short)...Ruth Burroughs
      1926 The Mad Racer (short)
      1926 Eight-Cylinder Bull (short)
      1926 The Fighting Cheat...Ruth Wells
      1926 Born to Battle...Eunice Morgan
      1926 The Roaring Rider...Mary Watkins (as Miss Jean Arthur)
      1926 Under Fire...Margaret Cranston
      1925 A Modern Knight...Ruth Burroughs
      1925 The Hurricane Horseman...June Mathews
      1925 A Man of Nerve...Loria Gatlin
      1925 Tearin' Loose...Sally Harris
      1925 The Fighting Smile...Rose Craddock
      1925 The Drug Store Cowboy...Jean
      1925 Seven Chances...Receptionist at Country Club (uncredited)
      1924 Travelin' Fast...Betty Conway
      1924 Thundering Romance...Mary Watkins
      1924 Bringin' Home the Bacon...Nancy Norton
      1924 Biff Bang Buddy...Bonnie Norton
      1924 Fast and Fearless...Mary Brown
      1924 The Iron Horse...Reporter (uncredited)
      1924 Wine of Youth...Flapper (uncredited)
      1924 The Powerful Eye (short)
      1924 Case Dismissed (short)
      1923/II Spring Fever (short)
      1923 Somebody Lied (short)
      1923 The Temple of Venus...Bit Part (uncredited)
      1923 Cameo Kirby...Ann Playdell
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Profile) Pals Of The Saddle- Jean Arthur

      Jean Arthur was an American actress and a major film star of the 1930s and 1940s.
      She remains arguably the epitome of the female screwball comedy actress.

      As James Harvey wrote in his recounting of the era,
      "No one was more closely identified with the screwball comedy than Jean Arthur. So much was she part of it, so much was her star personality defined by it, that the screwball style itself seems almost unimaginable without her."
      Arthur has been called "the quintessential comedic leading lady."
      Jean Arthur is best known for her feature roles in three Frank Capra films:
      Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), You Can't Take It With You (1938),
      and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), films that championed the everyday heroine.
      Her last performance was the memorable—and distinctly non–comedic—role
      as the rancher's wife in George Stevens' Shane (1953).

      Jean was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1944
      for her performance in The More the Merrier (1943).

      Jean Arthur sadly only made 1 movie with Duke:-

      A Lady Takes a Chance 1943...Molly J. Truesdale

      Jean was a very popular and brilliant comedy actor,
      who as Molly was the perfect foil for Duke.
      She was lighter in comedy than Marlene Dietrich
      and Duke excelled in her company.
      His comedic delivery and timing much improved, with this pairing.

      This really, was a Jean Arthur film,
      that became one of RKO's top grossers.

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 4 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Profile) Pals Of The Saddle- Jean Arthur

      Jean Arthur was a great actress but, I thought she was wrong for her role in Shane. She was 53 yrs old and way too old to play a mother of a young boy. But, that's how Hollywood did it back then. My couldn't stand listening to her voice. Said it was like fingernails on a blackboard to her. I thought her absolute best role was opposite James Stewart in You Can't Take It With You. A super flick if there ever was one.