Felix In Hollywood

A Blog for the Smart Set

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

An Xmas Libation from Bill and Jean





4 comments:

kabuki zero said...

talk about your happy hour

Ask the Cool Cookie said...

I think that one of the great tragedies of Hollywood was Jean Harlow's mother's faith in Christian Science. The faith is the responsible for Jean's premature death, and I despise it and its tenants for leading to the deaths of one too many people. Jean's mother should have been brought up on murder charges.

FelixInHollywood said...

Cookie I have great news for you then...

That story was a bunch of malarky that was perpetrated by Irving Shulman in his '64 book "Harlow". Shulman was a novelist (The Amboy Dukes) not a biographer and instead of filling in holes with research, he used imagination.

The far better source would be David Stenn's "Bombshell". By the time Stenn started his book, medical files had been made available and two important points were brought to light:

1. She had lots and lots of medical attention (some of which, unfortunately provided mis-diagnosis) both before her illness and during it. and...

2. She died of kidney failure the onset of which was likely a bout of scarlet fever in her teens. But the bottom line is as her kidneys failed in this day before dialysis, transplants and antibiotics, no doctor, no hospital and probably no prayer could have saved her.

Her mother was not a nice person but she was in now way responsible for her death.

Anonymous said...

Jean's smile, and indeed her whole facial expressions as a whole in these casual-type photos was always so genuine and so wonderful. The studio portraits are nice as well, but when looking at these candid photos you can see she had a genuine charm.