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Jean Peters Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 15 October 1926Canton, Ohio, USA
Date of Death 13 October 2000Carlsbad, California, USA  (leukemia)
Birth NameElizabeth Jean Peters
Height 5' 5½" (1.66 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Green-eyed beauty Jean Elizabeth Peters flashed across the screen as a bright star during her relatively brief tenure in Hollywood. After just seven years under contract to 20th Century-Fox (1947-54), she joined in the reclusive lifestyle of her eccentric billionaire husband, Howard Hughes, and all but vanished from public view.

Jean was born in Canton, Ohio, in October of 1926. Her father died when she was ten years old. Her mother owned a tourist camp on the outskirts of town and there was enough money around to send Jean to college. She received the latter part of her tertiary education at Ohio State University and graduated with a diploma qualifying her as an English teacher. A campus popularity contest she won ended her plans as an English teacher because it came with a trip to Hollywood and a screen test. In short order, "Miss Ohio State University" was offered a seven-year contract at 20th Century-Fox with a starting salary of $150 a week.

After being picked by Darryl F. Zanuck to co-star opposite Tyrone Power in the studio's splashy big-budget swashbuckler Captain from Castile (1947), Jean came to the attention of Howard Hughes. She discreetly dated him for the remainder of the decade and continued to live an unpretentious lifestyle, rarely seen in public and eschewing the Hollywood nightlife and parties. A self-confessed tomboy, she rarely wore make-up in private and preferred to dress in jeans rather than glamorous gowns. She and her mother lived in a smallish bungalow in Bel-Air, paid for by Hughes. After relative success in her second feature, Deep Waters (1948), she became increasingly dissatisfied with the prissy roles she was assigned in her subsequent efforts. She was no shrinking violet when it came to defending her interests: she refused outright to appear in Yellow Sky (1948) (a part she thought as "too sexy") and Sand (1949), and her contract was consequently terminated. She returned to farm life in Ohio, but was back in New York in 1951 to be screen-tested by Elia Kazan for the epic biopic of Mexican revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata in Viva Zapata! (1952), shot on location in Mexico with Marlon Brando in the lead.

Fox wisely used Jean during the next few years for similarly unglamorous outdoor roles, notably as the titular heroine of Anne of the Indies (1951), a tempestuous girl living in the Georgia swamps in Lure of the Wilderness (1952), a gum-chewing dame innocently involved in espionage in Samuel Fuller's Pickup on South Street (1953) and as Burt Lancaster's Indian squaw in the hard-hitting western Apache (1954). She got good notices in all of these films and was now recognized as a major star. As a result, she was cast in the prestigious film noir Niagara (1953), opposite Joseph Cotten and Marilyn Monroe (both of whom she befriended) and the Spencer Tracy western Broken Lance (1954). Under a new contract with Fox, Jean was now no longer in a position to refuse an assignment and, though basically unhappy with her part in Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), the picture proved to be one of her most popular pictures to date. Her next film, A Man Called Peter (1955), was to be her swan song. Following a 33-day marriage to a Texan oilman which ended in a whirlwind divorce, Jean finally married Howard Hughes in a secret ceremony and left public life for the next 13 years. She never gave interviews and retreated to an isolated hilltop mansion above the Santa Monica Mountains. In 1969 she resurfaced, studying for a degree in sociology at UCLA under an assumed name.

When Jean's marriage to Hughes ended in June 1971, the actress settled for the relatively modest sum of $70,000 a year and happily waived any further claims on the estate. That same year she got married for the third time, to 20th Century-Fox vice-president Stanley Hough. Her screen career was briefly resuscitated when she was cast in the miniseries Arthur Hailey's the Moneychangers (1976) and she was last seen in an episode of Murder, She Wrote (1984). She devoted her final years to charitable causes and never spoke in public about her years with Howard Hughes.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (3)

Stanley Hough (28 August 1971 - 23 February 1990) (his death)
Howard Hughes (12 January 1957 - 18 June 1971) (divorced)
Stuart Warren Cramer III (29 May 1954 - 9 December 1955) (divorced)

Trivia (21)

Got the role of Polly Cutler in Niagara (1953) after Anne Baxter withdrew.
In Italy her films were often dubbed by Lidia Simoneschi. She was occasionally dubbed by Dhia Cristiani, Micaela Giustiniani, and Andreina Pagnani.
Is of Welsh heritage.
She was considered for the female leads in Samson and Delilah (1949), Portrait of Jennie (1948), Designing Woman (1957), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), and The Gift of Love (1958).
For her last acting role of Siobhan O'Dea on Murder, She Wrote (1984) she modeled her character after Greta Garbo as she was portraying a reclusive foreign actress who goes into seclusion following the demise of her lover.
Is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California.
Was a 1944 graduate of East Canton High School in East Canton, Ohio.
She had such a determination to obtain a college degree in literature that when she wasn't making movies she went back to her roots to study at Ohio State University.
Was crowned Miss Ohio 1945.
She was a financial supporter of the psychology and anthropology studies at the UCLA.
She would never talk about Howard Hughes in an interview.
She was originally meant to make her film debut in I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now (1947) but refused her part because it required her to look ugly.
She was a staunch Republican who gave much of her time and money to a host of conservative political causes. She also attended several Republican fund-raisers and galas and was active in the campaigns of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Although she died in October 2000 she was still able to vote for George W. Bush for president in that year's presidential election by means of absentee ballot.
Was Max Factor's Star of the Year in 1950.
She considered Christopher Plummer to be one of the greatest actors she ever worked with.
Until her death she felt her work in Winesburg, Ohio (1973) to be the biggest career mistake she ever made. because she believed her role to be mundane.
A feminist, she refused to be typecast as a glamor girl or sex symbol, feeling it was too degrading.
When she divorced Howard Hughes in 1971 she agreed to an alimony payment of $70,000 per year (which was later adjusted to a lower amount during the inflation period of the late 1970s).
She was a fan of the TV shows Father Dowling Mysteries (1989) and Frasier (1993).
Sister of Arlen Stuart.

Personal Quotes (1)

[in 1972] My life with Howard Hughes was and shall remain a matter on which I will have no comment.

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