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Jeanne Crain Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 25 May 1925Barstow, California, USA
Date of Death 14 December 2003Santa Barbara, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameJeanne Elizabeth Crain
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jeanne Crain was born in Barstow, California, on May 25, 1925. The daughter of a high school English teacher and his wife, Jeanne was moved to Los Angeles not long after her birth after her father got another teaching position in that city. While in junior high school, Jeanne played the lead in a school production which set her on the path to acting. When she was in high school Jeanne was asked to take a screen test to appear in a film by Orson Welles. Unfortunately, she didn't get the part, but it did set her sights on being a movie actress.

After her high school career, Jeanne enrolled at UCLA to study drama. At the age of 18, Jeanne won a bit part in Fox Studio's film entitled The Gang's All Here (1943) and a small contract. Her next film saw Jeanne elevated to a more substantial part in Home in Indiana (1944) the following year, which was filmed in neighboring Kentucky. The movie was an unquestionable hit. On the strength of that box-office success, Jeanne was given a raise and star billing, as Maggie Preston, in the next film of 1944, In the Meantime, Darling (1944). Unfortunately, the critics not only roasted the film, but singled out Jeanne's performance in particular. She rebounded nicely in her last film of the year, Winged Victory (1944). The audiences loved it and the film was profitable.

In 1945, Jeanne was cast in State Fair (1945) as Margie Frake who travels to the fair and falls in love with a reporter played by Dana Andrews. Now, Jeanne got a bigger contract and more recognition. Later that year, Jeanne married Paul Brooks on New Year's Eve. Although her mother wasn't supportive of the marriage, the union lasted until her husband's death and produced seven children. The year 1947 was an off year for Jeanne, as she took time off to bear the Brooks' first child.

In 1949, Jeanne appeared in three films, A Letter to Three Wives (1949), The Fan (1949), and Pinky (1949). It was this latter film which garnered her an Oscar nomination as Best Actress for her role as Pinky Johnson, a nurse who sets up a clinic in the Deep South. She lost to Olivia de Havilland for The Heiress (1949). Jeanne left Fox after filming Vicki (1953) in 1953, with Jean Peters. She had made 23 films for the studio that started her career, but she needed a well-deserved change. As with any good artist, Jeanne wanted to expand her range instead of playing the girl-next-door types.

She went briefly to Warner Brothers for the filming of Duel in the Jungle (1954) in 1954. The film was lukewarm at best. Jeanne, then, signed a contract, that same year, with Universal Studios with promises of better, high profile roles. She went into production in the film Man Without a Star (1955) which was a hit with audiences and critics. After The Joker Is Wild (1957) in 1957, Jeanne took time off for her family and to appear in a few television programs. She returned, briefly, to film in Guns of the Timberland (1960) in 1960. The films were sporadic after that. In 1967, she appeared in a low-budget suspense yarn called Hot Rods to Hell (1967). Her final film was as Clara Shaw in 1972's Skyjacked (1972).

Jeanne died of a heart attack in Santa Barbara, California, on December 14, 2003. Her husband Paul Brooks had died two months earlier.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson

Spouse (1)

Paul Brooks (31 December 1945 - 1 October 2003) (his death) (7 children)

Trivia (21)

Although frequently cast in musicals, she herself was not a singer. Louanne Hogan was specifically under contract so that she could dub the singing in all her musicals.
Devoutly Catholic mother of 7.
Long-time husband, Paul Brooks, was an RKO contract player at one time, briefly appearing in the movie Those Endearing Young Charms (1945). He went by the stage name of Paul Brooks, but gave it all up to become a highly successful businessman.
Children with Paul Brooks: Paul Brinkman (b. 6 April 1947), Michael (b. 21 January 1949), Timothy (b. 2 August 1950), Jeanine (b. 5 March 1952), Lisabette (b. 21 November 1958), Maria (b. 10 January 1961), Christopher (b. 5 May 1965).
Crain obtains an interlocutory divorce decree, each spouse claiming the other has been unfaithful. Crain also claims Brooks has been abusive (6 August 1956).
On the eve of their 11th anniversary, the couple reconciled, but the marriage remained rocky for some time (30 December 1956).
Won the "Miss Camera Girl of 1942" title in Long Beach, Florida, and given a contract by Fox.
By the time she left Fox studios in 1956, she was making $3,500 a week (equivalent to $30,000 a week in 2014).
Two of her children, Michael and Christopher, predeceased her.
In her retirement years, she and her husband spent most of their time working at two of their ranches.
Crain, who starred in the original 1950 film version of Cheaper by the Dozen (1950) sadly passed away just twelve days before the release of the remake of the same film starring Steve Martin.
Played a character named Deborah in two Joseph L. Mankiewicz films: A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and People Will Talk (1951). Mankiewicz, who did not particularly care for Crain, once remarked, "I don't like the name Deborah, and I don't like Jeanne Crain."
In the book "More About All About Eve", Joseph L. Mankiewicz states in an interview that the studio wanted her for the part of Eve Harrington, but he refused to cast her, saying she was a pretty and hard-working young woman, but not much of an actress.
Died ten years to the day after Cheaper by the Dozen (1950) co-star, Myrna Loy.
In Italy, most of her films were dubbed by either Dhia Cristiani or Rosetta Calavetta. She was occasionally dubbed by Renata Marini, most notably in A Letter to Three Wives (1949); and once by Lidia Simoneschi in The Joker Is Wild (1957).
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 108-109. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Her youngest child, son Christopher Brinkman, was the original lead guitarist for the rock group Jane's Addiction (1985-1986). He died of a drug overdose in 1997.
Loved to ice skate.
Was pregnant with her 2nd child (son Michael) during the filming of A Letter to Three Wives (1949).
Her parents divorced when she was quite young. Having never been legally recognized as an annulment in the Roman Catholic Church, neither one ever married again. However, her parents breakup let to a lifelong strain between Jeanne and her mother, whom she rarely saw. In interviews, she rarely even talked about her mother.

Personal Quotes (1)

I loved being at the studio [20th Century-Fox]. After all, I started at 15, and I grew up there. But there comes a time when an actress stays too long in the same place. People get used to having you around, and they can't think of you in a different light.

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