Monday, December 5, 2011

Featured Icon: Jeanne Crain (1925 – 2003)

Jeanne Elizabeth Crain (May 25, 1925 – December 14, 2003) was an American actress.

In 1944 Crain starred in Home in Indiana and In the Meantime, Darling. Her acting was critically panned, but she gained nationwide attention. It resulted in landing the leading role in The Shocking Miss Pilgrim in October 1944, a musical film which was eventually shelved and made with Betty Grable.

Crain first received critical acclaim when she starred in Winged Victory (1944). She co-starred in 1945 with Dana Andrews in the musical film State Fair, in which Louanne Hogan dubbed Crain's singing numbers. After that, Crain often had singing parts in films, and they were invariably dubbed, in most cases by Hogan. Also in 1945, Crain starred in Leave Her to Heaven with Gene Tierney.

In 1949, Crain appeared in three films — A Letter to Three Wives, The Fan and Pinky, the latter earning her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Pinky was controversial, since it told the story of a light-skinned African-American woman who passes for white in the Northern United States. Although Lena Horne and other black actresses were considered, Darryl F. Zanuck chose to cast a white actress for box-office reasons.

Crain starred opposite Myrna Loy and Clifton Webb in the 1950 biographical film Cheaper by the Dozen. Next, Crain paired up with Cary Grant for the Joseph L. Mankiewicz production of the offbeat drama People Will Talk (1951). Despite Jeanne heavily campaigning for the female lead, Anne Baxter was initially cast in the part, but when she had to forfeit due to pregnancy, Crain was given the role after all. Shortly after, she starred in Charles Brackett's first film The Model and the Marriage Broker (1951). Cast in May 1951, Crain was Brackett's first choice for the role. Crain was reunited with Loy for Belles on Their Toes (1952), the sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen.


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VIDEO: Movie Legends - Jeanne Crain




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