Jean Harlow would have turned 100 this month. Since she only lived 26 years, it’s hard to think of her as old.
A couple of years ago, while researching INFAMOUS, Harlow was everywhere. In 1933, she was Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s, Madonna in the 1980s.
I ran across a piece in the Kansas City Star — the same week as the big train station massacre — with the news that Harlow was back home. She’d been born and partially raised in Kansas City and the news that the movie star was around town was front page stuff.
Her soft white skin and platinum locks made her the ideal subject for the hundreds of movie star magazines. Her easy comedic style and confident voice made her a sensation in the new sound pictures. How many actresses could have held their own with Gable and Powell?
She’d later fall in love with Powell — as you’ll learn in this month’s TCM profile — when she was hit with kidney failure brought on by a childhood illness. This month, TCM is running Harlow films every Tuesday night. And it’s easy to see why she’s one of the best remembered actresses of all time.
Tonight kicks off with Red-Headed Woman at 8 p.m. Eastern.