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Platinum Girl: The Life and Legends of Jean Harlow

Platinum Girl The Life and Legends of Jean Harlow In after the public had seen Jean Harlow in Howard Hughe s World War I air ace epic Hell s Angels the nation s beauty parlors were jammed with women demanding to be transformed into platinum b

  • Title: Platinum Girl: The Life and Legends of Jean Harlow
  • Author: Eve Golden
  • ISBN: 9781558592148
  • Page: 429
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In 1930, after the public had seen Jean Harlow in Howard Hughe s World War I air ace epic, Hell s Angels, the nation s beauty parlors were jammed with women demanding to be transformed into platinum blondes The phrase was invented by a studio press agent, and the look was the work of Hollywood s newest, most explosive bombshell.Her birth and upbringing were prosaic enouIn 1930, after the public had seen Jean Harlow in Howard Hughe s World War I air ace epic, Hell s Angels, the nation s beauty parlors were jammed with women demanding to be transformed into platinum blondes The phrase was invented by a studio press agent, and the look was the work of Hollywood s newest, most explosive bombshell.Her birth and upbringing were prosaic enough Born into the pleasant middle class world of Kansas City, Missouri, in 1911, Harlow nee Harlean Carpenter was the daughter of a solid, if dull, dentist, whose wife had unfulfilled aspirations to a career in films The family was hardly prepared for what came next Jean became a bride at sixteen, was separated at eighteen, a film goddess at twenty, a wife again at twenty one, and a widow within a few months of the wedding Her husband, top MGM executive Paul Bern, committed suicide it was widely and mistakenly believed out of despair over impotence.Bern s suicide threatened to plunge Jean Harlow into a scandal that might have ended her career But, driven by her irresistible sparkle, glamour, and sensuality, the young star s fortunes continued to skyrocket in unforgettable films like Red Dust, Dinner at Eight, Bombshell, Reckless, China Seas, and Libeled Lady as she appeared with the likes of Clark Gable, John and Lionel Barry, Mary Astor, Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Rosalind Russell, Spencer Tracy, and William Powell.She married a third time in 1933, was divorced a year later, only to become engaged to her sometime costar William Powell Noting that the extremely well paid Blonde Bombshell was perpetually on the ragged edge of bankruptcy, Powell hired a private detective to investigate Harlow s stepfather, Marino Bello, who it turned out had long been defrauding her Despite this and the on again, off again engagement to Powell, Harlow seemed unstoppable Then, in the midst of filming Saratoga in 1937, the twenty six year old Platinum Girl succumbed to kidney failure.In this, the first biography of Harlow since Irving Shulman s sensationalistic and often inaccurate 1964 book, Eve Golden explores the woman behind the legends and the scandals The world evoked here is at once glamorous, nostalgic, poignant, and tragic Yet, in its way, the brief life of Jean Harlow is a story of success, of a triumphal struggle with Hollywood and the consequences of rapid fame Golden s deeply researched narrative is lavishly illustrated with rare film stills, posters, and exclusive photographs from family archives Harlow emerges not as an oversexed mannequin, but as a vulnerable, hard working, and tremendously likable woman who molded herself into a remarkable actress This is an important book about one of Hollywood s most extraordinary personalities.

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      Published :2019-09-18T16:39:31+00:00

    1 thought on “Platinum Girl: The Life and Legends of Jean Harlow

    1. A wonderful, even handed biography of the woman and the star, not the salacious made up version responsible for tainting her reputation for generations. Her all too short life was interesting and compelling enough, without the need for any embellishment. Harlean is treated here with respect and yes, at times, the reader can see the author's love of her subject sneaking onto the pages. Golden shows us a woman before her time, comfortable in her own skin, able to make fun of her blonde bombshell i [...]

    2. Jean Harlow was a bright star at MGM in the 1930s, a sex symbol who starred in some of the best films of the period. She was loved by her co-workers and she lived a busy life, with three husbands, one whose life ended in scandal, and a complicated relationship with her mother and step-father. She died suddenly at age 26 due to uremic poisoning from kidney failure.I had read David Stenn's Bombshell prior to reading this, and while they have similar information, I felt that this book was superior [...]

    3. Much more sympathetic towards Jean Harlow than the inferior Irving Shulman book. Recreates the tensions surrounding the actress in her dealings with the MGM Studio sytem and an over-bearing mother at times pushing her too hard. Inspired me to watch the films which although dated are an interesting insight to the themes and ideals of Hollywood cinema in the 1930s.

    4. Interesting bio--quite different from the first one I read. Each writer seems to have their own take on Jean. It's a bit difficult to sort through it all and figure out the truth about some of the rumors about her. But I think this bio is less jaded, perhaps, than the other two I've read. It's worth a read.

    5. Clears away rumors and misconceptions about Jean Harlow and provides a fresh look at her career and life.

    6. Possibly the best biography I've read on someone in the entertainment field. The author clearly loves her subject, but still pulled back the curtain to show every angle possible on Jean Harlow. Eve Golden also did a better job in providing sources and footnotes than ANY entertainment biography I have read. She clearly had access at a level most biographers only dream of when it comes to researching her subject and it shows in the personal letters, postcards, and more that she quoted.If you like [...]

    7. Second in a trio of film biographies I am reading (see Robinson's Chaplin: His Life and Art I just finished, McGilligan's Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast up next), this life of Harlow is similar to Chaplin's bio in its gentle handling of the subject.Based on general cultural background I knew of Harlow, and on the author's review of the innuendo and rumor published on Harlow since her untimely death (1937 at age 26 from kidney failure), this gentle treatment was apparently overdue.Harlow in [...]

    8. Jeannie's graves' a mirror tooIf there's a reflection it's out of trueBurn color film if the snow don't debutWe want your pills, virtue, the booze pas de deux.The worlds a set piece but Jeannie knew"It's time to die in bed with the flu"& when the men cried, the girls just "achoo"The mirror's a weapon, oh Jeannie, I'm through.

    9. This book is a gem! Ms.Golden researched Harlean's (Jean) life for 10 years before writing this. Her early life is detailed, her family, upbringing, her relationships, etc. Included are photos, conversations she had, and most importantly, her rise to fame. Jean Harlow comes alive on these pages a must read for anyone interested in Jean Harlow, and old Hollywood.

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