American actress Jean Arthur was regarded as one of the best of the 1930s and 1940s. She was a character that was frequently referred to as “the ultimate humorous leading lady,” and she was intimately associated with the screwball comedy subgenre. Frank Capra’s “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town,” “You Can’t Take It With You,” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” are three of her most well-known movies. She was a tomgirl in her younger years and the daughter of a photographer. She grew up with her older brothers. She also took many trips during her formative years and resided in a number of locations in Florida, New York, and Manhattan. She started out as a model after serving as a stenographer in World War I. She began an acting career after becoming recognized for her beauty and grace throughout her modeling career. Her early acting career was mediocre, and it wasn’t until “Husband Hunters” came out that she started to become well-known. She finally found the success she so desperately desired with the introduction of talkies, which brought her significant roles thanks to her throaty, high-pitched voice that was ideal for comedic performances. She developed a reputation as a big screwball comedy leading lady over time. In her most recent movie, “Shane,” she played one of her notably noncomedic characters.
Early Childhood & Life
Her parents, Johanna Augusta Nelson and Hubert Sidney Greene welcomed her into the world on October 17, 1900, as Gladys Georgianna Greene in Plattsburgh, New York, America. Her three older brothers totaled three. Her father was a photographer at Lamson Studios in Portland, Maine.
She spent various times during her younger years living in Florida, New York, and Manhattan as she traveled often as a child. In 1915, the family moved to New York City. She was a student at George Washington High School when she left, citing a “change in family circumstances.” When she was a teen, she was a tomboy who yearned for an exciting life for herself.
Jean Arthur’s Career
During World War I, she started her career as a stenographer, which she continued through the early 1920s. She started doing commercial modeling in New York City at this time, and Fox Film Studios saw her and offered her a one-year contract.
She made her cinematic debut in supporting roles in silent comedy. At this time, she chose Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) and King Arthur as the inspirations for her stage names. In the early stages of her career, she battled a lot and even drew harsh criticism.
After portraying a gold-digging chorus girl in the 1927 film “Husband Hunters,” she attained considerable notoriety. Her same-year movie, “Horse Shoes,” was a box office and critical triumph, and her subsequent role in “The Poor Nut” brought her to a broader audience.
The opportunity to display her best quality—her throaty, high-pitched, squeaky voice—which was ideal for the humorous roles she was used to playing—came with the talkies’ rising popularity in the late 1920s. Despite her early lack of enthusiasm for sound pictures, she soon started to have increasing career success.
She had a very productive decade in the 1930s. She starred in a number of important films from this era, including “The Past of Mary Holmes” (1933), “The Whole Town’s Talking” (1935), and “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” (1936). She became a global celebrity because to the highly praised film “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.” She also dabbled in acting at this time.
She kept having achievements up until the late 1930s. She co-starred in the 1936 movie “You Can’t Take It with You,” which also starred Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart, and Edward Arnold. It was a huge success and the year’s highest-grossing film.
She had a successful start to the 1940s. Early in the decade, she had two major successes with The Talk of the Town (1942) and “The More the Merrier” (1943). She was a reclusive individual who took on fewer movie roles during the ensuing years. One of her notable non-comedic roles was that of a homesteader’s wife in the classic Western “Shane” (1953).
After a lengthy absence of more than ten years, she briefly made a comeback to the entertainment industry. The North Carolina School of the Arts and Vassar College were the first two places she taught drama before starting out. One of her Vassar students was the young Meryl Streep.
Jean’s Bigger Works
She portrayed prominent journalist Louise “Babe” Bennett alongside Gary Cooper in the romantic comedy “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.” The film won the “Best Picture of 1936” award from the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics, solidifying Arthur’s status as a well-liked leading lady.
Both fans and reviews praised her depiction of Constance Milligan in the comedy “The More the Merrier,” who rents out her apartment to a millionaire and an army soldier. The film, which mocks the lack of housing during World War II, was a big success.
Recognition & Achievements
For her work in “The More the Merrier,” Jean Arthur was nominated for an Academy Award in 1944 for Best Actress.
She has a star honoring her service to the film business on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6333 Hollywood Boulevard.
Personal Legacy & Life
In 1928, Julian Anker, a photographer, became Jean Arthur’s first husband. After only a single day, it was canceled.
In 1932, she wed the producer Frank Ross, Jr. In 1949, the couple got a divorce. There were no kids born to them.
She was a very private person who preferred to keep her private affairs out of the spotlight. She avoided conversation and detested doing interviews. She had a long life and passed away on June 19, 1991, at the age of 90, from heart failure.
Estimated Net Worth
One of the wealthiest and most well-known movie actresses is Jean. Our study of Jean Arthur’s net worth from sources including Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider indicates that it is roughly $1.5 million.