Jean Harlow Facts

Birth name: Harlean Harlow Carpenter
Nickname: Baby
Height: 5′ 2″

Birthday: March 3, 1911
Born at 5:40pm-CST

Harold Rosson (1933 – 1935) (divorced)
Paul Bern (1932 – 1932) (suicide)
‘Charles Fremont McGrew’ (1927 – 1929) (divorced)

Was the godmother of Millicent Siegel, daughter of the notorious mobster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel.

Dated the notorious mobster Abner “Longy” Zwillman who secured a two-picture deal for Harlow with Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures by loaning Cohn $500,000 in cash. He also purchased her a jeweled charm bracelet and a red Cadillac.

Refused the blond female lead in King Kong (1933), as well as the female lead in the Todd Browning cult-classic Freaks (1932)

Was photographed nude at age 17 by Hollywood photographer Edward Bower Hesser in Griffith Park in 1928.

In the 1933 Hollywood satire Bombshell (1933) Harlow is known as “the ‘if’ girl” — a spoof loosely based on 1920’s sex symbol and “It girl” Clara Bow.

Went on a salary strike from MGM in 1934, in which time, she devised the novel “Today is Tonight.” The book was not released until 1965.

Her final film Saratoga (1937) became the highest grossing film of 1937 and set all-time house records, due almost entirely to Harlow’s untimely death.

Was the idol of Marilyn Monroe, who backed out of a bio-pic on Harlow’s life. After reading the script, Monroe reportedly told her agent: “I hope they don’t do that to me after I’m gone.”

The premiere of her first feature film Hell’s Angels (1930) on May 27, 1930 drew an estimated crowd of 50,000 people at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. The film also has an expensive eight-minute two-color technicolor sequence-the only color footage of Jean Harlow that exists.

Ranked #22 on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years, 100 Legends” list in June 1999.

She was the very first film actress to grace the cover of LIFE magazine in May 1937.

Jean Harlow’s funeral wasn’t your average funeral. ‘Louis B. Mayer’ (qv) head of MGM, took charge and made a Hollywood Event. He had Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy sing his favorite song, “Oh, Sweet Mystery of Life'” in the church chapel, followed by a huge banquet with an orchestra.

Jean was at a dinner party and kept on addressing Margot Asquith (wife of prime minister Herbert Asquith) as MargoT (pronouncing the ‘T’). Margot finally had enough and said to her “No Jean, the T is silent, as in Harlow”.

Had two famous superstitions: She always wore a “lucky” ankle chain on her left leg (visible in some films if you look closely), and had a “lucky” mirror in her dressing room. She wouldn’t leave the room without first looking at it.

Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Great Mausoleum, Sanctuary of Benediction, at the end of the corridor, on the left side, second to the last private room marked “Harlow.”

Favorite brand of cigarette – Fatima.

Never wore any underwear ever and always slept in the nude.

She had to stick to a strict diet to keep thin, eating mostly vegetables and salads.

Harlow used to put ice on her nipples right before shooting a scene in order to appear sexier.

A new musical called “In Hell With Harlow” about an after death meeting between Jean Harlow and Protestant WWII martyr Dietrich Boenhoffer never reached the stage. The production written by best selling author Paul L. Williams, was to star Dawn Winarski and Greg Korin.