Little did anyone know when Harlean Carpenter was born on March 3, 1911 in Kansas City, Missouri that she’d go on to become one of the biggest movie stars of all time. While “Harlean Carpenter” may not be a household name, the name she took for herself…. Jean Harlow… certainly is.
As I often tell people (Twitter people, family people…. any people who will listen or even just pretend to listen), If you only “know” Jean Harlow from her photographs or from things you’ve read about her… you don’t “know” Jean Harlow at all.
Heck, you’re barely even familiar with her!
It’s when you delve into her quotes and, more importantly, into her films, that you find the magical, magnetic star that she was. Trust me, it’s a delve worth taking.
As you may know, I have watched old movies (as well as classic television) all of my life. Every decade, every genre, every actor, every actress. And yet… I still can’t put my finger on what makes Jean Harlow so special. To this day, I have no idea what trait or feature it was that sets her apart from the rest. She wasn’t necessarily better than other actresses of her time (not all of them, anyway!), but she did have a certain charisma that made her stand out like a beautiful sunset that makes it impossible to look away.