Jean Arthur

Jean Arthur - Actresses, Career and Family

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Jean Arthur's Personal Details

Jean Arthur was an American actress counted amongst the topmost actresses of the 1930s and 1940s

InformationDetail
BirthdayOctober 17, 1900
Died onJune 19, 1991
NationalityAmerican
FamousFilm & Theater Personalities, Actresses
SpousesFrank Ross Jr. (m. 1932; div. 1949), Julian Anker (m. 1928–28)
Known asGladys Georgianna Greene
Birth PlacePlattsburgh, New York, U.S.
GenderFemale
FatherHubert Sidney Greene
MotherJohanna Augusta Nelson
Sun SignLibra
Born inPlattsburgh, New York, U.S.
Famous asActress
Died at Age90

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Jean Arthur's photo

Who is Jean Arthur?

Jean Arthur was an American actress counted amongst the topmost actresses of the 1930s and 1940s. Popularly referred to as "the quintessential comedic leading lady,” she was someone closely identified with the genre of screwball comedy. Among her highly popular films are ‘Mr. Deeds Goes to Town’, ‘You Can't Take It With You’, and ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’, all directed by Frank Capra. The daughter of a photographer, she grew up with her elder brothers and was a tomboy in her younger days. She also travelled widely during her childhood and lived at several places in Florida, New York, and Manhattan. After working as a stenographer during the World War I, she proceeded to become a model. Over the course of her modeling career, she got noticed for her beauty and grace, which led her to an acting career. Her initial years as an actress were unremarkable, and it was only after the release of ‘Husband Hunters’ that she began to gain prominence. The advent of the talkies brought her the success she so desperately craved—her throaty, high-pitched voice which was perfectly suited for comedic performances brought her substantial roles. Over the years she earned a reputation of a major leading lady of screwball comedy. One of her distinctly non-comedic roles was in her last film, ‘Shane.’

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Childhood & Early Life

She was born as Gladys Georgianna Greene on October 17, 1900, in Plattsburgh, New York, U.S. to Johanna Augusta Nelson and Hubert Sidney Greene. She had three older brothers. Her father worked at Lamson Studios in Portland, Maine, as a photographer.

She travelled extensively as a child and lived in Florida, New York, and Manhattan at different periods during her younger years. The family relocated to New York City in 1915. A student at that time, she dropped out of George Washington High School citing a "change in family circumstances". She was a tomboy as a teenager, interested in seeking out an adventurous life for herself.

Career

She began working as a stenographer during the World War I, an occupation she continued in the early 1920s as well. During this time she also began to do commercial modeling in New York City where she was noticed by the Fox Film Studios and offered a one-year contract.

She began her film career appearing in silent comedies in minor roles. During this time she adopted her stage name from two of her greatest heroes, Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) and King Arthur. She struggled a lot in the beginning of her career and even received scathing reviews from critics.

She finally received some prominence after playing a gold digging chorus girl in ‘Husband Hunters’ in 1927. Her film, ‘Horse Shoes,’ released the same year, was both a commercial and critical success and her appearance in ‘The Poor Nut’ soon after exposed her to wider audiences.

With the growing popularity of the talkies in the late 1920s, Jean Arthur received the chance to showcase her best asset—her throaty, high-pitched squeaky voice—which was perfectly suited for the comedic roles she was used to playing. Even though she was initially not very enthusiastic about sound films, she soon began to enjoy greater success in her career.

The 1930s was a highly productive time for her. She played major roles in movies such as ‘The Past of Mary Holmes’ (1933), ‘The Whole Town's Talking’ (1935), and ‘Mr. Deeds Goes to Town’ (1936) which were notable films from this era. ‘Mr. Deeds Goes to Town’ was critically acclaimed and propelled her to international stardom. She also ventured into theater during this time.

Her string of successes continued throughout the late 1930s. Her film ‘You Can't Take It with You’ (1936) in which she starred along with Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart, and Edward Arnold was a super hit and the highest-grossing picture of the year.

She began the 1940s on a high note. Two of her films: The Talk of the Town’ (1942) and ‘The More the Merrier’ (1943), released early on in the decade, were big hits. A reclusive person, she took up fewer movie roles over the following years and appeared as a homesteader's wife in the classic Western ‘Shane’ (1953) in what was one of her prominent non-comedic roles.

Following a long hiatus of more than a decade, she returned to show business for a short while. Eventually she began teaching drama, first at Vassar College and then at the North Carolina School of the Arts. The young Meryl Streep was one of her students at Vassar.

Major Works

She played star reporter Louise "Babe" Bennett in the romantic comedy, ‘Mr. Deeds Goes to Town’, starring opposite Gary Cooper. The New York Film Critics and the National Board of Review named the movie the "Best Picture of 1936,” establishing Arthur as a popular leading lady.

Her portrayal of Constance Milligan, who rents out her apartment to a millionaire and an army man, in the comedy ‘The More the Merrier,’ was much appreciated by audiences and critics alike. The movie, which makes fun of the housing shortage during World War II, was a huge hit.

Awards & Achievements

Jean Arthur was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1944 for her performance in ‘The More the Merrier.’

She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6333 Hollywood Blvd in recognition of her contribution to the motion picture industry.

Personal Life & Legacy

Jean Arthur’s first marriage was to photographer Julian Anker in 1928. It was annulled after just one day.

She married producer Frank Ross, Jr., in 1932. The couple divorced in 1949. They did not have any children.

She was a very reclusive person who preferred to guard her personal life from the media glare. She kept to herself and hated giving interviews. She lived a long life and died from heart failure on June 19, 1991, at the age of 90.

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Jean Arthur biography timelines

  • // 17th Oct 1900
    She was born as Gladys Georgianna Greene on October 17, 1900, in Plattsburgh, New York, U.S. to Johanna Augusta Nelson and Hubert Sidney Greene. She had three older brothers. Her father worked at Lamson Studios in Portland, Maine, as a photographer.
  • // 1915
    She travelled extensively as a child and lived in Florida, New York, and Manhattan at different periods during her younger years. The family relocated to New York City in 1915. A student at that time, she dropped out of George Washington High School citing a "change in family circumstances". She was a tomboy as a teenager, interested in seeking out an adventurous life for herself.
  • // 1927
    She finally received some prominence after playing a gold digging chorus girl in ‘Husband Hunters’ in 1927. Her film, ‘Horse Shoes,’ released the same year, was both a commercial and critical success and her appearance in ‘The Poor Nut’ soon after exposed her to wider audiences.
  • // 1928
    Jean Arthur’s first marriage was to photographer Julian Anker in 1928. It was annulled after just one day.
  • // 1932 To 1949
    She married producer Frank Ross, Jr., in 1932. The couple divorced in 1949. They did not have any children.
  • // 1936
    Her string of successes continued throughout the late 1930s. Her film ‘You Can't Take It with You’ (1936) in which she starred along with Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart, and Edward Arnold was a super hit and the highest-grossing picture of the year.
  • // 1936
    She played star reporter Louise "Babe" Bennett in the romantic comedy, ‘Mr. Deeds Goes to Town’, starring opposite Gary Cooper. The New York Film Critics and the National Board of Review named the movie the "Best Picture of 1936,” establishing Arthur as a popular leading lady.
  • // 1944
    Jean Arthur was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1944 for her performance in ‘The More the Merrier.’
  • // 19th Jun 1991
    She was a very reclusive person who preferred to guard her personal life from the media glare. She kept to herself and hated giving interviews. She lived a long life and died from heart failure on June 19, 1991, at the age of 90.

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Jean Arthur's FAQ

  • What is Jean Arthur birthday?

    Jean Arthur was born at 1900-10-17

  • When was Jean Arthur died?

    Jean Arthur was died at 1991-06-19

  • Where was Jean Arthur died?

    Jean Arthur was died in Carmel, California, U.S.

  • Which age was Jean Arthur died?

    Jean Arthur was died at age 90

  • Where is Jean Arthur's birth place?

    Jean Arthur was born in Plattsburgh, New York, U.S.

  • What is Jean Arthur nationalities?

    Jean Arthur's nationalities is American

  • Who is Jean Arthur spouses?

    Jean Arthur's spouses is Frank Ross Jr. (m. 1932; div. 1949), Julian Anker (m. 1928–28)

  • Who is Jean Arthur's father?

    Jean Arthur's father is Hubert Sidney Greene

  • Who is Jean Arthur's mother?

    Jean Arthur's mother is Johanna Augusta Nelson

  • What is Jean Arthur's sun sign?

    Jean Arthur is Libra

  • How famous is Jean Arthur?

    Jean Arthur is famouse as Actress