Jeanne Crain


Actor
Jeanne Crain

About

Birth Place
Barstow, California, USA
Born
May 25, 1925
Died
December 14, 2003
Cause of Death
Died Of A Heart Attack

Biography

With her natural beauty and unaffected charm, the young Jeanne Crain was a breath of fresh air in 20th Century-Fox films of the 1940s. Her looks and manner became somewhat brittle as she matured, but she remained a top leading lady at Fox into the early '50s. The high point of her career was an Oscar® nomination as Best Actress for Pinky (1949), in which she plays a light-skinned b...

Photos & Videos

The Tattered Dress - Movie Poster
Pinky - Movie Poster
A Letter to Three Wives - Lobby Cards

Family & Companions

Paul Brinkman
Husband
Executive, former actor. Married on December 31, 1945; was sued for divorced in August 1956; reconciled in December 1956; former Warner Bros. and RKO contract player as Paul Brooks; executive with missile parts manufacturing company and later at helicopter concern.

Biography

With her natural beauty and unaffected charm, the young Jeanne Crain was a breath of fresh air in 20th Century-Fox films of the 1940s. Her looks and manner became somewhat brittle as she matured, but she remained a top leading lady at Fox into the early '50s. The high point of her career was an Oscar® nomination as Best Actress for Pinky (1949), in which she plays a light-skinned black woman who can "pass" for white. Although director Eliza Kazan later wrote that he found her emotionally impassive as an actress, her performance remains a movingone.

She was born Elizabeth Jeanne Crain in Barstow, California on May 25, 1925, and grew up in Los Angeles. She studied drama at UCLA and signed with Fox at the age of 18, making her debut in an uncredited bit in The Gang's All Here (1943). She first attracted favorable attention as Lon McCallister's tomboyish love interest in Home in Indiana (1944), a horseracing story that became a big hit. After achieving star billing she had an even bigger success in State Fair (1945), a musical with an original Rodgers and Hammerstein score. Dubbed by Louanne Hogan (who would regularly provide her singing voice in Fox films), Crain performed "It Might as Well Be Spring" and other songs.

She was the "good girl" to Gene Tierney's evil schemer in another hit, the classic melodrama Leave Her to Heaven (1945), and was dubbed again by Hogan in the Jerome Kern musical Centennial Summer (1946). She gave an especially engaging performance in Apartment for Peggy (1948) as the pregnant bride of an ex-GI played by William Holden. 1949 was a good year for Crain; in addition to Pinky she acted in A Letter to Three Wives, with Oscar®-winning script and direction by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and played Lady Windermere in The Fan, an adaptation of a comedy of manners by Oscar Wilde, with a script co-written by no less than Dorothy Parker.

Among Crain's 23 films under her Fox contract, other notable entries included the nostalgic comedy Cheaper by the Dozen (1950) and its sequel, Belles on Their Toes (1952), in both of which she is the eldest daughter of a very large family; People Will Talk (1951), a thoughtful comedy of manners in which she is again directed by Mankiewicz and sparkles opposite Cary Grant; and The Model and the Marriage Broker (1951), in which she is at her most beautiful and, under the sensitive direction of George Cukor, enjoys charming byplay with outstanding character actress Thelma Ritter. Crain's final film before leaving the studio was Vicki (1953), a remake of the 1941 mystery I Wake Up Screaming.

Crain's follow-up films included two Westerns, Universal's Man Without a Star (1955), opposite Kirk Douglas; and MGM's The Fastest Gun Alive (1956), opposite Glenn Ford; and a pair of 1955 musicals, the well-received The Second Greatest Sex for Universal and the poorly received Gentlemen Marry Brunettes for United Artists. In the MGM biopic The Joker Is Wild (1957), she is one of the women in the life of singer/comedian Joe E. Lewis as played by Frank Sinatra. Crain's final feature film was Skyjacked (1972).

She fleshed out her later career on television, landing the choice role of Daisy Buchanan in a Playhouse 90 production of The Great Gatsby before settling in to make appearances in various series. Sprinkled in were a couple of minor film epics made in Europe. Crain was married to Paul Brinkman and they had seven children together. She died a few months after Brinkman's death in 2003.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Night God Screamed (1974)
Skyjacked (1972)
Mrs. Clara Shaw
Hot Rods to Hell (1967)
Peg Phillips
Invasion 1700 (1965)
Elena
Queen of the Nile (1964)
Tanit/Nefertiti
Madison Avenue (1962)
Peggy Shannon
Twenty Plus Two (1961)
Linda
Guns of the Timberland (1960)
Laura Riley
The Joker Is Wild (1957)
Letty Page
The Tattered Dress (1957)
Diane Blane
The Fastest Gun Alive (1956)
Dora Temple
Man Without a Star (1955)
Reed Bowman
The Second Greatest Sex (1955)
Liza [McClure]
Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955)
Connie Jones/Mitzi Jones
Duel in the Jungle (1954)
Marian Taylor
Dangerous Crossing (1953)
Ruth Stanton Bowman
City of Bad Men (1953)
Linda Culligan
Vicki (1953)
Jill Lynn
Belles on Their Toes (1952)
Anne Gilbreth
O. Henry's Full House (1952)
Della Young
The Model and the Marriage Broker (1952)
Christina "Kitty" Bennett
Take Care of My Little Girl (1951)
Elizabeth Ericson
People Will Talk (1951)
Deborah Higgins
I'll Get By (1950)
Herself
Cheaper by the Dozen (1950)
Ann Gilbreth
The Fan (1949)
Lady Margaret Windermere
Pinky (1949)
Patricia "Pinky" Johnson
A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
Deborah Bishop
Apartment for Peggy (1948)
Peggy Taylor
You Were Meant for Me (1948)
Peggy Mayhew
Margie (1946)
Margie McDuff
Centennial Summer (1946)
Julia Rogers
Leave Her to Heaven (1946)
Ruth Berent
State Fair (1945)
Margy Frake
Home in Indiana (1944)
[Charlotte] "Char" [Bruce]
In the Meantime, Darling (1944)
Margaret Ferguson
Winged Victory (1944)
Helen
The Gang's All Here (1943)

Life Events

1926

Family moved to Los Angeles (date approximate)

1941

While in high school, tested by Orson Welles for Lucy (the Anne Baxter role) in "The Magnificent Ambersons"

1941

Named Miss Long Beach (the Miss California contest) and became runner-up in Miss America finals

1941

Won Interscholastic Shakespearean Contest held at Occidental College

1942

Named 'Camera Girl of 1942'

1943

Screen debut (posing in a bathing suit) in "The Gang's All Here"

1944

Screen acting debut, "Home in Indiana"

Photo Collections

The Tattered Dress - Movie Poster
The Tattered Dress - Movie Poster
Pinky - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Pinky (1949), starring Jeanne Craine and Ethel Waters. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
A Letter to Three Wives - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Fox's A Letter to Three Wives (1949). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Leave Her to Heaven - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release movie posters from Fox's Leave Her to Heaven (1946), starring Gene Tierney. This is an Insert poster, measuring 14 x 36 inches.
The Fastest Gun Alive - Ad Art
Here are several pieces of art created for use in advertisements for The Fastest Gun Alive (1956), starring Glenn Ford.
Hot Rods to Hell - Publicity Stills
Here are several Publicity Stills from Hot Rods to Hell (1967). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Hot Rods to Hell - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Hot Rods to Hell (1967), starring Dana Andrews. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Hot Rods to Hell - Uncropped Scene Stills
Here are a few stills taken of driving scenes in MGM's Hot Rods to Hell (1967), starring Dana Andrews. Since the stills are uncropped, they reveal the type of cutaway vehicles and rear projection screens often used to film such scenes.
The Joker is Wild - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The Joker is Wild (1957), starring Frank Sinatra. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

O. Henry's Full House (1952) - The Gift Of The Magi The first scene for the stars of the last story, Jeanne Crain and Farley Granger as impecunious New Yorkers Della and Jim Young, directed by Henry King in probably the author’s most famous work, The Gift Of The Magi, from O. Henry’s Full House, 1952.
Apartment For Peggy (1948) - I Play Mental Leapfrog Professor Barnes (Edmund Gwenn), whom we know is happily planning to commit suicide, meets bubbly young Peggy (Jeanne Crain, her first scene), whose husband is at school on the G-I Bill, in Apartment For Peggy, 1948, also starring William Holden, from George Seaton and William Perlberg.
Apartment For Peggy (1948) - Tinker To Evers to Chance Professor Barnes (Edmund Gwenn) who, as far as we know, is still secretly planning to take his own life, is welcomed to his attic, where grateful G-I Bill student Jason (William Holden) and wife Peggy (Jeanne Crain) have just moved in, in Apartment For Peggy, 1948.
People Will Talk (1951) - The Cadaver And I From the first scene for Dr. Praetorius (Cary Grant), filling in for tardy Professor Elwell (Hume Cronyn), who's busy plotting against him, student Deborah (Jeanne Crain) stealing the scene, early in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's People Will Talk, 1951.
Cheaper By The Dozen (1950) - Family Council At the new Gilbreth family home in New Jersey, father Frank (Clifton Webb) chairs a meeting, wife Lillian (Myrna Loy) in support, eldest Ann (Jeanne Crain) and young Frank (Norman Ollestad) particularly interested, in 20th Century Fox's Cheaper By The Dozen, 1950.
Cheaper By The Dozen (1950) - Local Anesthetic Montclair, NJ, 1921, efficiency expert and father of 12 Frank (Clifton Webb) overseeing tonsil removal at home for the whole family, filming for training purposes, wife Lillian (Myrna Loy) and doc (Edgar Buchanan) not quite on board, daughter (Jeanne Crain) narrating, in Cheaper By The Dozen, 1950.
Cheaper By The Dozen (1950) - This Is Providence Jeanne Crain narrating in the voice of the original co-author Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, introducing first her father (and co-author) Frank (Clifton Webb) then the whole brood especially Myrna Loy as mother Lillian, in the 20th Century Fox hit Cheaper By The Dozen, 1950.
Fan, The (1949) - What Most Other Men Are Lord and Lady Windermere (Richard Greene, Jeanne Crain) attend a fencing match to watch Darlington (George Sanders) and Graham (John Sutton) compete, as evil Mrs. Erlynne (Madeleine Carroll), with Augustus (Hugh Dempster), alarms the duchess (Martita Hunt), in Otto Preminger's The Fan, 1949.
Fan, The (1949) - Women Like You Have No Heart Lady Windermere (Jeanne Crain), at the home of the man for whom she plans to leave her husband, is confronted by Mrs. Erlynne (Madeleine Carroll) who is blackmailing that husband but is not his mistress and who, she does not know, is her own mother, in The Fan, 1949, from Oscar Wilde's play.
Fan, The (1949) - Everything Except Temptation Resuming Otto Preminger's flashback device with geriatric Madeleine Carroll and George Sanders as amorous Lord Darlington, meeting Lady Windermere (Jeanne Crain) then the duchess and daughter (Martita Hunt, Virginia McDowell), in The Fan, 1949, the famous line from Oscar Wilde's play.
Letter To Three Wives, A -- (1948) - Women Are So Silly Opening scene from writer and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, leading with sublime narration by Celeste Holm, and introducing first wife Deborah (Jeanne Crain) and husband Brad (Jeffrey Lynn), in A Letter To Three Wives, 1948.
Letter To Three Wives, A -- (1948) - One Of Your Husbands First scene for third wife Lora (Linda Darnell), joined by friends Rita (Ann Sothern) and Deborah (Jeanne Crain) for the charity picnic, receiving the key note, as read by Celeste Holm, in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's A Letter To Three Wives, 1948.

Trailer

Letter to Three Wives, A - (Original Trailer) In A Letter to Three Wives (1949), a woman claims to have run off with one of their husbands. But which?
State Fair (1945) - (Original Trailer) Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews star in Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical version of State Fair (1945).
O. Henry's Full House - (Original Trailer) Five stories reveal O. Henry's gift for the surprise ending with the help of five directors and a host of stars in O. Henry's Full House (1952).
Dangerous Crossing - (Original Trailer) When a bride (Jeanne Crain) goes on a ocean liner with her new husband, he goes into hiding, and she becomes the target of a murder conspiracy in Dangerous Crossing (1953).
Model and the Marriage Broker, The - (Original Trailer) A marriage broker can't resist meddling in the life of a model (Jeanne Crain), with disastrous results in The Model and the Marriage Broker (1952).
Joker Is Wild, The - (Original Trailer) The true story of comedian Joe E. Lewis (Frank Sinatra) who fights to rebuild his life after gangsters slash his vocal cords.
People Will Talk - (Original Trailer) A controversial doctor (Cary Grant) gets mixed up with an unwed mother in People Will Talk (1951).
Cheaper By The Dozen - (Black-and-white trailer) Clifton Webb stars as a pioneering efficiency expert who tests his theories on his large family in Cheaper By The Dozen (1950).
Pinky - (Original Trailer) A light-skinned black woman (Jeanne Crain) returns home after passing for white in nursing school in Eliz Kazan's Pinky (1949).
Fastest Gun Alive, The -- (Original Trailer) Glenn Ford is The Fastest Gun Alive (1956), a reformed gunslinger whose past keeps catching up with him.
Gentlemen Marry Brunettes -- (Original Trailer) Jane Russell and Jeanne Crain in Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955), the sequel to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).

Family

George Crain
Father
Teacher. Became head of English department at Inglewood High School in Los Angeles.
Loretta Crain
Mother
Rita Marie Crain
Sister
Born in January 1927; served as Jeanne's stand-in during the mid-1940s.
Paul Frederick Brinkman
Son
Born in April 1947.
Michael Anthony Brinkman
Son
Born in January 1949.
Timothy Peter Brinkman
Son
Born in August 1950.
Jeanine Cherie Brinkman
Daughter
Born in March 1952.
Lisabett A Brinkman
Daughter
Born in November 1957.
Maria J Brinkman
Daughter
Born in January 1960.
Christopher Brinkman
Son
Born on May 25, 1965.

Companions

Paul Brinkman
Husband
Executive, former actor. Married on December 31, 1945; was sued for divorced in August 1956; reconciled in December 1956; former Warner Bros. and RKO contract player as Paul Brooks; executive with missile parts manufacturing company and later at helicopter concern.

Bibliography