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Jean Parker Profile

Jean Parker
Jean Parker
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(Lois Mae Green / Luis Stephanie Zalinska)
11 August 15 is born in Deer Lodge, Montana, to Lewis Andrew Green, and his wife Pearl Mildred, nee Burch
c. 19 her sister La Vona M. is born in Colorado
? moves to Pasadena, California, at age 8
? is discovered for the movies while attending Pasadena High School. Her picture is placed on a float publicizing the Olympic Games. The poster catches the eye of a film company executive, and she is called in for a screen test.
c. 32 poses as a flower girl / living poster on one of the many floats in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena. Her picture is seen in the papers by Ida Koverman, Louis B. Mayer's assistant. The following day the studio calls her on the phone and invites her for a screen test.
Beginning 33 begins her movie career
February 33 columnist Dan Thomas knows: "The first time she was asked to take a screen test, Jean Parker declined because she had a date to go to the mountains. She took it later, however, and got a contract."
April 33 she and Mary Carlisle are pictured as Easter bunnies "with a cargo of ponderous eggs"
May 33 Thomas is back to her: "During the recent visit of a group of Japanese naval officers here, Jean Parker, young MGM actress, received an autograph from one which read: ‘Have faced powder for 30 years but never before in such a beautiful background.’"
June 33 graduates from Pasadena High School
? attends Muir Tech in Pasadena
July 33 is noted attending a musical with her mother wearing "a black around the high neck and three-quarters length sleeves." Her tiny hat is also a black satin.
November 33 meets Tom Brown while the two film Dark Sunlight
she and fledging actor Tom Brown are reported having "signed a pledge that neither will be married before five years. Whoever fails to the agreement forfeits $1000. Even stranger than this, Jean has signed another pledge that she will marry Pancho Lucas at the end of the five years. He's the former Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer office boy who was picked to play the bandit Pancho Villa as a boy. The termination of the pledge will find Jean 22 and Brown 25."
December 33 is noted partying with Brown
April 34 on the set of Lazy River she tells: "My first big thrill was the instruction I received from the Barrymores when I played with them in Rasputin and the Empress. Lionel Barrymore coached me carefully in camera angles and the proper 'direction' of my voice during our scenes. John Barrymore furthered my interest in art by presenting me with a book of sketches by George Budhgman, which I value more than any book in my small library."
July 34 is reported having taken up astronomy. "Much of her spare time now is being occupied with a study of the planets, her chief pet being the moon..."
August 34 is noted driving out to lonely spots on the beach to watch sunsets...
the press tells: "Before Jean Parker went in movies and became famous, she had to work her way through school in Pasadena, California. So Francis Lucas, son of wealthy parents, used to take her out and treat her. Now the tables are turned, the Lucas family has lost its fortune and Jean does all the treating. Jean says they are more than childhood friends, they're sweethearts."
December 34 confesses that she "found her romantic ideal five years ago, and he is still her ideal, whether or not she ever marries him"
she, Virginia Bruce, and Maureen O'Sullivan are hailed the "few well-dressed girls among the younger actresses"
March 35 is noted at the terrace of Santa Anita's Track clubhouse in "pure white and looking as angelic as possible"
28 May 35 is awarded a $249 judgment in municipal court because she found two horses in the rumble seat of her car. She testifies that the horses became frightened during the filming of a motion picture and jumped into the back of her automobile. She seeks $349, but Judge Thurmond Clarke thinks $249 is sufficient to repair the damage.
June 35 is noted out on the town with Robert Taylor
agrees to make eight original sketches a month for a Beverly Hills shop
July 35 is reported aboard a transcontinental plane en route to New York to catch a boat for England where she will do a screen role for Alexander Korda. "The youthful actress is expected to be away more than two months. This is the first time she had been east of Denver and also her first airplane trip."
August 35 she and fellow actress are "combining business with pleasure in London, where they are making movies...."
September 35 plans a bicycle tour of Scandinavia with English friends
October 35 the press tells that she received 30 marriage proposals in her fan mail during the last 12 months. "Those fellows certainly know how to pick a girl, all right."
makes her own Christmas cards and begins the task four months before the season
7 November 35 "I'm no gigolo," Francis Lucas, young Los Angeles bank clerk, announces, telling his romance with her would have to be ended. "Jean is a swell girl, but you can't compare a bank clerk's $65 a month existence with the somewhat hectic life of a screen star earning more than fifty times that amount, and produce a smooth running matrimonial situation. Jean has been having to run around with this studio pet and that studio pet and I didn't like it, and I know for a fact that Jean was told she would have to shelve me or shelve her career. Besides, I'm interested in another girl."
Early November 35 arrives in New York after six months in London and tells reporters that she is still in love with Francis Lucas, her childhood sweetheart whom she met while they attended Muir Tech in Pasadena "There is only one love ion my life, and that's Francis Lucas, and there isn't much I can do about it," she says.
November 35 she and the Marquis of Queensberry, grandson of the author of the Queensberry rules, are shown around New York
meets George McDonald, New York socialite newspaperman, in New York City. McDonald is the nephew of James Mooney, of Oyster Bay, Long Island, an executive of General Motors.
c. December 35 gets engaged to George E. McDonald, New York socialite newspaperman. They will keep it secret for four months.
21 March 36 elopes with McDonald to Las Vegas Nevada. She's 20. Justice of the Peace Marion B. Earl performs the ceremony early in the morning.
March 36 upon their return to Beverly Hills, McDonald says their future plans are "undecided"
May 36 as Mrs. George McDonald, she's reported "a busy little housewife. They just moved into their honeymoon apartment. Jean is letting her hair grow and is going to pin it up she says."
July 36 learns shorthand "so she can work with her writer-husband"
August 36 is reported suffering from makeup poisoning and has to relinquish her part in King of the Mounted
September 36 catches her first fish, "a shark weighing nearly two hundred pounds. She has photos to prove it."
February 37 is quoted: "Long after Jean Parker, the actress, is forgotten, I hope people will be talking about Jean Parker, the artist."
March 37 actress Frances Drake rents the apartment Jean lived in
June 37 the press tells: "Though she's happily married, Jean Parker's fan mail brought her a wedding proposal engraved on the head of a pin..."
July 37 columnist Louella Parsons tells that "Tom Neal is keeping Jean Parker company at La Conga while her husband is east..."
April 39 she and MacDonald separate
June 39 Parsons knows that "the reports of coolness between Jean Parker and George MacDonald are apparently all wrong. He flew into town to spend the weekend with her..."
9 November 39 graces the opening of the Downtown Theater in Oakland, California
22 November 39 says she will file for divorce from McDonald within the next ten days. "The fact that Mr. MacDonald must necessarily remain in New York and I must stay in Hollywood has ruined our marriage," she says. Papers covering a property settlement have been air mailed to MacDonald, she adds.
23 January 40 is awarded an uncontested interlocutory decree of divorce from MacDonald in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming her husband refused "to become a part of Hollywood" and that he had been cruel to her and had caused her "grievous mental suffering." Afterwards, she leaves for Palm Springs "looking for a little sunshine."
March 40 Parsons tells that "the Jean Parker-Captain Douglas Dawson romance is hotter than pepper..."
April 40 owns a mountain lion cub
May 40 her press agent is reported flooding "the country with stills of Miss Parker baking biscuits, clutching Christmas packages and splashing in the surf"
June 40 signs a one-picture deal with Warners "which may develop into a term contract"
July 40 Walter Winchell knows: "Gale Drexel, the model, and George MacDonald (Jean Parker's ex) are victims of their own humidity..."
August 40 is seen at the Victor Hugo with Captain Dawson
25 January 41 is legally free to marry Douglas Dawson, Los Angeles radio commentator, after receiving her final decree of divorce from George MacDonald the day before.
27 January 41 she and Dawson apply for a marriage license. They are expected to marry in San Diego on Valentine's Day.
Early February 41 she and Dawson will have a honeymoon ranch next to Bette Davis’ home in Glendale, California
14 February 41 marries Henry Dawson Sanders, known professionally as Doug Dawson, in San Diego. She's 25. It's the second marriage for each.
Late February 41 she and Dawson name their new "valley ranch Sands Park - the Park after her and the Sands after him..."
June 41 columnist Jimmy Fiedler knows that "Jean Parker's mare is a mama; Jean officiated at the birth..."
makes her own still-picture tests for the Maria role in For Whom the Bell Tolls
September 41 advertises for Hollywood Bread
December 41 smashes the champagne bottle at the opening of the Orinda Theater, Contra County's newest movie house. Her new husband's with her.
23 April 42 makes a personal appearance in the Spring Swing show of the Fresno State College
July 42 her "attractive husband," Douglas Dawson, has to leave for active Coast Guard duty
Early September 42 she and Dawson separate
25 September 42 announces to have parted from Henry Dawson Sanders, her "sportsman husband, “ and that she will institute divorce proceedings immediately charging extreme cruelty
Late October 42 Parsons notes her and Dawson "lovey-dovey as you please at the Mocambo..."
Early November 42 she and Dawson may reconcile
November 42 she and Evelyn Ankers campaign for a canteen for the Merchant Mariners who, "they feel, have been neglected"
December 42 columnist Edith Gwynn reports that "Jean Parker now has a bonafide baron on her string..."
January 43 is noted with Dawson "forgetting their troubles, dining out..."
3 July 43 obtains an interlocutory divorce from Dawson on her testimony that he had criticized her work and her friends
April 43 her St. Bernard, Doctor, is among the blue ribbon winners at the Los Angeles Kennel Club show
8 July 43 is in Los Angeles Superior Court to get a divorce from Dawson. She and Dawson reached a property settlement out of court.
September 43 advertises for Royal Crown Cola
May 44 is chosen "the girl we'd like to play post office with" by a group of army mail clerks in the Italian theater
29 July 44 gets her final decree of divorce from Dawson in Los Angeles
24 August 44 marries Dr. Kurt "Curtis" Arthur Grotter immediately after picking up their marriage license in Los Angeles. He's about 34; she's 29. Superior Judge Stanley Mosk performs the courthouse ceremony. Grotter, a "Hollywood insurance broker" and former correspondent for a group of Czechoslovakian newspapers, who formerly lived in Vienna, Austria, is a native of Czechoslovakia and a naturalized U. S. citizen. The press notes that it "was Miss Parker's third marriage in five years."
February 46 Winchell notes her at the Greenwich Village Inn
October 46 Winchell tells: "Loco, a Jed Harris offering, made Jean Parker of Hollywood the darling of B'way playgoers. La Parker winning all the nods..."
June 47 her husband is heralded a new producer on the horizon, having "his hands on a play called Six by Muriel Bolton"
will make a tour of the straw-hat circuit in Dream Girl
November 47 columnist Earl Wilson tells that she "will get three grand a week when the Greenwich Village Inn starts its big name policy on November 20..."
February 48 her husband will head a movie company in New York
18 July 48 her grandmother, Alice Burch, dies at age 80 in Deer Lodge, Montana
August 48 is expected to star with Lon Chaney, Jr., in the road company of Born Yesterday, which will open in September
September 48 - February 49 tours the country in Born Yesterday but won't be in Harry Cohn's big movie version of the play
Early June 49 columnist Dorothy Kilgallen wonders: "Jean Parker checked in and out of the Waldorf over the weekend. Even her best friends don't know why she made such a quick visit to town..."
10 June 49 she and Grotter separate
29 June 49 announces that she and Grotter have embarked on a trial separation after five years of married life. She explains that because of her stage work "we have both been forced to be apart a great deal since our marriage" and that "I don't know actually where this separation will lead." Grotter confirms the move and says that they are living apart for the time being.
1 July 49 files for divorce from Grotter, "a financial adviser to movie studios," charging cruelty
September 49 the press tells that she and Grotter are on the verge of a trial reconciliation
November 49 she and actor Bob Lowery "have discovered each other and it looks like wedding bells..."
29 December 49 divorces Grotter in an uncontested suit in Los Angeles Superior Court. The press gives his age as 37 and hers as 31. She says that her husband's "unfounded accusations" made her so ill she lost stage and screen jobs and that he "herded me about between matinee and evening" shows. She tells Superior Judge Otto J. Emma that Grotter kept her awake all night "accounting for every second" of her day, forcing her "to live almost in complete isolation during our seven years of marriage."
January 50 columnist Harrison Carroll meets her soon-to-be-ex, Grotter, at the Desi Arnaz opening with glamazon Dorothy Ford. "Kurt tells me that, after Jean receives her California decree this week, he plans to get another divorce in Mexico. Denies any early wedding plans, though, and so did Jean when I called her."
columnist Jimmy Fidler tells that "Robert Lowery, currently estranged from his wife, is telling pals that he'll marry just-divorced Jean Parker when they're both free to swap 'I do's'..."
June 50 returns to screen after five years as a bit player in Gregory Peck's upcoming The Gunfighter. Her costume is so tightly corseted in the scenes that at regular intervals she has to be unlaced to take a few untroubled breaths.
July 50 Earl Wilson reports her "released from Gotham Hospital..."
August 50 she and Robert Lowery are reported to "have agreed to accept only plays in which they can appear together..."
January 51 Dorothy Kilgallen tells that "Jean Parker and Bob Lowery have taken their romance to Miami Beach for the winter..." There are rumors they might marry there.
Early February 51 Kilgallen tells: "Robert Lowery and his sweetie-pie, Jean Parker, flew to New York a fortnight ago so he could read for the new musical drama, Sodom Tennessee. So what happened? SHE just signed to play the feminine lead!..."
she and Lowrey join Sidney Morton "in his tongue-twisting Gilbert and Sullivan satires" at Don and Elsie's Music Box
Late February 51 Kilgallen asks: "Aren't the producers of Peter Pan trying to talk Jean Parker into staying past the April 1 deadline, when she's scheduled to leave the company for Hollywood...?"
29 May 51 secretly marries Robert Larkin Hanks, a.k.a. Robert Lowery, at the home of a friend in Miami, Florida. He's 37; she's 35. Lowery was formerly married to actresses Vivian Wilcox and Rusty Farrell.
2 November 51 hits the international news when ordered off fashionable Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, for wearing a Bikini bathing suit described by police as "below all decency." Police Inspector Bill Willis tells her, "You are making an exhibition of yourself. Please go.” Dozen of sunbathers cluster to witness the police action. She says demurely: "I'm sorry, I thought in such a sunny, healthy country, these suits would be just the thing." Her husband makes no attempt to interfere.
November 51 later, she comments that "Bikini suits are worn everywhere at home and I naturally thought they would be allowed here"
mails her Bikini to New York as an engagement gift for Jan Nelson, the upcoming bride of Joe Kaplan, vice-president of the Sterling ad agency
25 June 52 she and Lowery announce in Hollywood that they have been married since May 29, 1951, and that they expect a baby in October
August 52 columnist Edith Gwynn expects the Lowerys to welcome "their first-born right this minute..."
September 52 her son, Robert, is born
January 53 Jimmy Fidler assumes she and Lowery are "on the verge of a marital crackup. Lowery has been telling his old cronies that he spends little time at home, preferring instead, to pass his evenings in Hollywood night spots. Jean, I understand, has been tolerating his neglect only for the sake of their six-month-old baby..."
April 54 columnist Erskine Johnson heralds: "Jean Parker, the Liz Taylor of the '30s, is headed for a big movie comeback. Drama coach Eda Edson is her mentor..."
July 54 Parsons tells: "Jean Parker has kept her looks and figure. I saw Jean in a beauty parlor. She looked just a bit older than she did 20 years ago at MGM. Can't say I'm surprised that redheaded Miss Parker has picked up a screen job after seven years. She'll be with Edward G. Robinson in Black Tuesday for Leonard Goldstein. This comes at a time when Jean can stand a lift. Hear she and her husband Bob Lowery are at the end of the matrimonial rope."
Late August 54 the Lowery's marriage is reported "to wobble, with sporadic separations and reconciliations..."
9 August 56 Lowery tells the press that they will embark upon a trial separation after five years of marriage
August 57 columnist Jim Mahoney tells. "Artistic temperament for the second time appears to be the villain in the marriage of Jean Parker and Bob Lowery, who last year tried to salvage the possible wreckage of their life together with a trial separation. After a year's return under the same roof, I'm sorry to say, both parties are seeking legal advice for divorce. Bob himself, who is working on the Circus Boy set at Columbia, tells me it's all over. 'Neither one of us knows exactly what will happen,' he says, 'but it appears final this time. We're consulting attorneys.' Bob confides that Jean is going to San Francisco soon to appear in the stage play, Candida. Jean wasn't available for comment."
columnist Lee Mortimer reports: "Actress Jean Parker separated from Robert Lowery, going into theatrical agency business in Hollywood. Also became a devout student of Yoga, but will that help?..."
September 57 she and Lowery file for divorce
May 58 Lowery and Pat Dane, the ex of Tommy Dorsey, are reported to be "in a nuptial mood..."
December 59 meets her estranged spouse Lowery while filming a segment of "77 Sunset Strip." Lowery will die at age 58 in 1971 from a heart attack in Los Angeles.
May 61 is reported having become a dramatic coach
72 resides in Eagle Rock, California
98 moves into the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California
30 November 05 as Jean S. Lowery, she dies at age 90 in Woodland Hills, California, from a stroke
Sources:
Edwardsville Intelligencer, Lincoln Sunday Journal and Star, Screen & Radio Weekly, The Newark Advocate and American Tribune, The Burlington Daily Times-News, Syracuse Herald, Indiana Evening Gazette, The Arcadia Tribune, The Ogden Standard-Examiner, The Lowell Sun, The Hammond Times, Twin City News, The Kingston Daily Freeman, The Lima News, Woodland Daily Democrat, Oakland Tribune, The Austin American, Stevens Point Daily Journal, The Port Arthur News, The Daily Independent, The Evening Tribune, Reno Evening Gazette, Ironwood Daily Globe, The Gettysburg Times, The Modesto Bee, The Fresno Bee, Van Wert Times-Bulletin, The Times and Daily News Leader, Syracuse Herald-Journal, Nevada State Journal, The Hayward Daily Review, Nevada State Journal, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, Lincoln Journal, The Salisbury Times, The Port Arthur News, The Zanesville Signal, The Galveston Daily News, The Times Recorder, The Oneonta Star, The Independent-Record, Record-Eagle, Long Beach Independent, The Abilene Reporter-News, The Herald-Press, Fitchburg Sentinel, The Charleston Gazette, The Era, Valley Morning Star, The Post-Standard, News-Tribune, Pottstown Mercury, The Daily Review, Dixon Evening Telegraph, The Vidette-Messenger, Mansfield News-Journal, Star-News, www.Ancestry.com
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Filmography