Darrell Rooney and Mark Vieria want the world to remember one star from Hollywood’s past: Jean Harlow. Jean was an actress in the ’30s, who faced a tragic death in 1937 at the age of 26. Years later, the iconic Marilyn Monroe was very much a fan of Jean and truly admired her.
Darrell and Mark want to tell Jean’s story and set the record straight on some of the rumors about her. They teamed up to write the book Harlow in Hollywood which they recently updated with new, rare images of her.
Jean Harlow was Marilyn Monroe’s idol
Darrell said, “Why is Jean Harlow relevant today? First, I want to put her in the timeline of Hollywood history. Sound came in 1929. Jean Harlow was the very first blonde bombshell who spoke and made sound on screen. She exploded on the screen in Howard Hughes’ movie ‘Hell’s Angels.’ And the moniker that the studio gave her at the time was the ‘Platinum Blonde,’ something that became a worldwide craze at the time. When she went over to MGM, they gave her a different name, ‘The Blonde Bombshell,’ because she was just this otherworldly blonde, and she was very funny.”
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He continued, “… Ultimately, Marilyn Monroe came along. Jean Harlow was Marilyn Monroe’s idol. If there hadn’t been a Jean Harlow, there never would’ve been a Marilyn Monroe in that way. She’s very important today. She’s important because she had an incredible humanity about her. And what she wanted to do in films was have people sympathize with her. And the events that happened in her life made her accessible to people.”
He hopes that new audiences can learn about Jean and Marilyn and know more than just their tragic stories. He concluded, “She was a beautiful woman who had an extraordinary life, an extraordinary adventure. And it was taken away too soon.”
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