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Jean Hagen Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (13)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 3 August 1923Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 29 August 1977Los Angeles, California, USA  (throat cancer)
Birth NameJean Shirley Verhagen
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jean Shirley Verhagen (later shortened to Hagen) was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 3, 1923. Her father was a Dutch immigrant. Hagen and her family moved to Elkhart, Indiana when she was twelve; she subsequently graduated from Elkhart High School. Afterwards, she graduated from Northwestern University, where she studied drama and was a roommate of fellow actress Patricia Neal.

Hagen began her show business career in the late 1940s, performing in radio programmes. She also dabbled in Broadway plays. She made her film debut in 1949 with a role as a comical femme fatale in the Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy pairing Adam's Rib (1949). She had her first leading role the following year, when she starred opposite Sterling Hayden in the film noir classic The Asphalt Jungle (1950), a performance which gained her considerable attention and praise.

The performance for which Hagen is best remembered today came about in 1952, when she lent her support to the classic musical Singin' in the Rain (1952). Hagen's portrayal of the helium-voiced silent film star Lina Lamont earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress; she lost to Gloria Grahame for The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).

Following her 'Singin' in the Rain' success, Ms. Hagen joined the cast of the television sitcom Make Room for Daddy (1953). She was nominated for three Emmys for her role as Margaret Williams, but grew tired of the role after three seasons and subsequently left the show.

For the rest of her career, Hagen mostly made guest appearances on numerous television shows, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955), The Andy Griffith Show (1960), Wagon Train (1957), and Starsky and Hutch (1975). She also had supporting roles in Sunrise at Campobello (1960) and Dead Ringer (1964).

Sadly, by the 1960s, Ms. Hagen's health had declined and she spent many years under medical care. She died of esophageal cancer on August 29, 1977 at the age of 54.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Tom Seidel (12 June 1947 - 1 November 1965) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (13)

Best remembered as Lina Lamont, the silent-film star in Singin' in the Rain (1952), who could not manage the transition to talkies. That is, not without Debbie Reynolds's help.
In Singin' in the Rain (1952), Debbie Reynolds character lip-synced to Jean's spoken voice for film-within-the-film, The Dancing Cavalier . Ironically, for the speaking part, it was Debbie Reynolds lip-syncing to Jean Hagen . For the singing, it was Reynolds lip-syncing to Betty Noyes in the dubbing scene, in which Noyes had earlier dubbed Hagen.
A prolonged illness necessitated her early retirement in the mid-60s with her entering a convalescent home for the rest of her life. A desire to act one more time happened in 1977 when she appeared briefly as a landlady in the TV-movie Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn (1977). She died shortly after of throat cancer.
Jean seemed a shoo-in to win the best supporting actress Academy Award for her hilarious performance as Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain (1952), but was beaten out for the award by Gloria Grahame for The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).
Though nominated twice for an Emmy Award as Danny Thomas' first TV wife on his popular comedy series, Make Room for Daddy (1953), Jean became disenchanted with the rather colorless wife-and-mother role and left the series after four seasons. Marjorie Lord replaced her as Danny's perky second wife.
Profiled in "Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames" by Ray Hagen and Laura Wagner (McFarland, 2004).
Friend of Robert Osborne.
Began her career on 1940s radio serials 'Light of the World' and 'Hollywood Story'. Became acquainted with writers Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur who cast her in their play 'Swan Song'. Had further notable roles on Broadway in 'Another Part of the Forest' (1946-1947) and 'The Traitor' (1949) and was consequently signed to a contract by MGM.
Shared an apartment with Patricia Neal in New York City whilst working on Broadway.
Was 2 months pregnant with her son Aric when she completed filming Singin' in the Rain (1952).
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 27, a daughter Christine Patricia Seidel on August 26, 1950. Child's father was her [later ex] husband, Tom Seidel.
Gave birth to her 2nd child at age 29, a son Aric Phillip Seidel on August 19, 1952. Child's father was her [later ex] husband, Tom Seidel.
Her son Aric died on September 9, 2012 at age 60 in Nuevo, California.

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