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Jeanne Crain

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Cause of death
heart attack

Jeanne Crain

Roman Catholic

Years active



Jeanne Crain Luis

Full Name
Jeanne Elizabeth Crain

May 25, 1925 (
Barstow, California, U.S.

December 14, 2003, Santa Barbara, California, United States

Paul Brinkman (m. 1945–2003)

Paul F. Brinkman Jr., Michael Brinkman

Loretta Carr, George A. Crain

Pinky, Leave Her to Heaven, State Fair, A Letter to Three Wives, Margie

Similar People
Gene Tierney, Linda Darnell, Jean Peters, Cornel Wilde, Ann Sothern

Jeanne Crain Tribute: Try To Remember

Jeanne Elizabeth Crain (May 25, 1925 – December 14, 2003) was an American actress whose career spanned from 1943 to 1975. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in the 1949 film Pinky, in which she played the leading role. She was also noted for her ability in ice skating.


Jeanne Crain Margie Jeanne Crain 1946 by Everett

Jeanne crain

Early life

Jeanne Crain Picture of Jeanne Crain

Crain was born in Barstow, California, to George A. Crain, a school teacher, and Loretta Carr, Irish Catholic parents. By 1930, the family was living in the City of Inglewood at 822 S. Walnut Avenue. After her parents divorced in 1934, the family of three moved to 5817 Van Ness Ave in Los Angeles.

Jeanne Crain Luis

An excellent ice skater, Crain first attracted attention when she was crowned Miss Pan Pacific at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles. Later, while still in high school, she was asked to make a screen test opposite Orson Welles. She did not get the part, but in 1943, at age 18, she appeared in a bit part in the film The Gang's All Here.


Jeanne Crain wwwdoctormacrocomImagesCrain20JeanneAnnexA

The Gang's All Here was produced by 20th Century Fox, who cast Crain in her first sizeable role, in the romantic drama Home in Indiana (1944) with Walter Brennan, playing the love interest of Lon McAllister. The film, shot in Technicolor, was popular at the box office and established Crain as a film name.

Jeanne Crain Jeanne CrainAnnex

A delighted Darryl F Zanuck, head of Fox, gave Crain top billing in In the Meantime, Darling (1944), playing a war bride, directed by Otto Preminger. 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 made with Betty Grable as the star.

Jeanne Crain Jeanne Crain Wikipedia

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.

State Fair was a huge hit. So too was Leave Her to Heaven (1945), where Crain was the "good" sister of "bad" Gene Tierney, both in love with Cornel Wilde. Crain was now established as one of Fox's biggest stars - so much so that Zanuck refused to let her play the comparative small part of "Clementine" in My Darling elementine (1946)

Crain and Wilde were reunited in Centennial Summer (1946), directed by Preminger, Fox's attempt to match the success of Meet Me in St Louis (1944). More popular was Margie (1946). Her ice skating ability was on display in this film, in which she and Conrad Janis danced around the ice rink as her boyfriend, Alan Young, slipped and stumbled his way along the ice.

She made two films in 1948, You Were Meant for Me, a musical with Dan Dailey, that might have been Marilyn Monroe's first appearance on film, and Apartment for Peggy, with William Holden. The latter film, a romantic and endearing piece with veteran Edmund Gwenn, examined the very real problems faced by millions of returning vets and their wives. After the tumult of war, and eager for better lives, many former GI's flooded college campuses, taking advantage of opportunities now available to them, under the new GI Bill. However, jobs and housing were both in very short supply, as the film portrays in a humorous and gentle light, with scenes of wives left behind by their husbands' new-found knowledge, and the communal experiences at the laundromat. Gwenn provided comic relief in his usual understated way, as Professor Henry Barnes, a curmudgeon set in his ways, until he encounters the force-of-nature Peggy, played by Crain, in desperate need of a place to live. In short order, she has the Professor wrapped around her little finger, with husband, dog and cat ensconced in his attic, and even gets him to help the wives understand the topics their husbands are studying. The film is a tour de force for Crain, as she cracks wise, in rapid-fire patter, and quotes statistics she makes up out of whole cloth, to substantiate whatever point she is trying to make.

In 1949, Crain appeared in three film. A Letter to Three Wives (1949), in which Crain was one of several stars, quickly became established as a classic, winning Joseph L. Mankiewicz two Oscars and being a solid box office hit. The Fan, directed by Preminger and based on Lady Windemere's Fan by Oscar Wilde, was poorly received. However Pinky, earned Crain a nomination the Academy Award for Best Actress and was one of the most popular films of the year. 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, producer Darryl F. Zanuck chose to cast a white actress for fear of racial backlash.

Crain had another big success when she starred opposite Myrna Loy and Clifton Webb in the 1950 biographical film Cheaper by the Dozen, although her part was more of a supporting role. She had a cameo as herself in I'll Get By (1951) and starred in a mildly popular musical about college, Take Care of My Little Girl (1951).

Next, Crain paired with Cary Grant in the Joseph L. Mankiewicz film 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, Crain starred in Charles Brackett's production 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, getting top billing this time.

While still at 20th Century Fox, Crain played a young wife quickly losing her mind amidst high-seas intrigue in Dangerous Crossing (1953), co-starring Michael Rennie. She starred in Vicki (1953), a remake of I Wake Up Screaming. Fox tried her in a Western City of Bad Men (1954). The box office performance of these last few films were mild and Crain left the studio.

Crain made Duel in the Jungle (1954) in Britain then made a Western with Kirk Douglas at Universal, Man Without a Star (1955).

Crain showed her dancing skills in 1955's Gentlemen Marry Brunettes co-starring Jane Russell, Alan Young, and Rudy Vallee. The production was filmed on location in Paris. The film was based on Anita Loos' novel, a sequel to Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Gentlemen Marry Brunettes was popular throughout Europe at the time and was released in France as A Paris Pour les Quatre (To Paris for the Four), and in Belgium as Cevieren Te Parijs. Later in the 1950s, Crain, Russell, and another actress formed a short-lived singing and dancing lounge act on the Las Vegas Strip.

Crain made another at Universal, the Western comedy The Second Greatest Sex (1956) then starred opposite Glenn Ford, Russ Tamblyn, and Broderick Crawford in the Western film The Fastest Gun Alive directed by Russell Rouse. It was a big hit. At Universal she was in the thriller The Tattered Dress (1957).

In 1957, she played a socialite who helps a floundering singer and comedian (Frank Sinatra) redeem himself in The Joker Is Wild. She was working extensively in TV including an adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

In 1959, Crain appeared in a CBS special television production of Meet Me in St. Louis. Also starring in the broadcast were Loy, Walter Pidgeon, Jane Powell, and Ed Wynn, with top billing going to Tab Hunter.

Film roles became fewer in the 1960s as Crain went into semiretirement. She appeared as Nefertiti in the Italian production of Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile (1961) with Edmund Purdom and Vincent Price. During this period, Crain appeared—for the second time—as one of the mystery guests on the CBS game show What's My Line?, and made guest appearances on the NBC Western series, Riverboat, with Darren McGavin, and the ABC detective series, Burke's Law, starring Gene Barry.

She starred again with Dana Andrews in Hot Rods To Hell (1967). Her last films were Skyjacked (1972) and The Night God Screamed (1975).

Personal life

At the height of her stardom, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Crain was nicknamed "Hollywood's Number One party girl", and she was quoted as saying that she was invited to at least 200 parties a year.

Against her mother's wishes, on December 31, 1945, Crain married Paul Brinkman, a former RKO Pictures contract player credited as Paul Brooks. Crain and Brinkman had seven children: Paul Brinkman Jr. was born in April 1947, followed by Michael (1949-1992), Timothy (b. 1950), Jeanine (b. 1952), Lisabette (b. 1958), Maria (b. 1961), and Christopher (1965–1997).

During the early 1950s, Crain was earning about $3,500 per week. Crain and her husband bought a large home for their growing family on Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills. The home can be seen and is described by Bette Davis in candid footage of a driving sequence in the film The Star (1952).

The marriage was rocky for some years. In the mid-1950s, Crain obtained an interlocutory divorce decree, each spouse claiming the other had been unfaithful (she also claimed Brinkman had been abusive), but the couple reconciled on December 31, 1956.

In the early 1960s, she was one of many conservative actors who spent their time fervently fighting for the Republican cause.

Crain and her husband remained married, although they lived separately in Santa Barbara until Brinkman's death in October 2003.

Crain died a few months later and the cause was later confirmed as a heart attack. Crain's funeral mass was held at the Old Santa Barbara Mission. She is buried in the Brinkman family plot at Santa Barbara Cemetery. The Brinkmans were survived by five adult children, including Paul Brinkman Jr., a television executive, most known for his work on the television series JAG.


Crain's career is fully documented by a collection of memorabilia about her assembled by Charles J. Finlay, a longtime publicist at 20th Century Fox. The Jeanne Crain Collection resides at the Cinema Archives at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. These archives also hold the papers of Ingrid Bergman, Frank Capra, Clint Eastwood, and others.


Skyjacked as
Mrs. Clara Shaw
Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (TV Series) as
Lily MacMurdy
- Run, Carol, Run (1972) - Lily MacMurdy
The Night God Screamed as
Fanny Pierce
The Name of the Game (TV Series) as
Mrs. McKendricks
- Fear of High Places (1968) - Mrs. McKendricks
The Danny Thomas Hour (TV Series) as
Frances Merrill
- My Pal Tony (1968) - Frances Merrill
Men Against Evil (TV Movie) as
Betty Stone
Hot Rods to Hell as
Peg Phillips
Valentine's Day (TV Series) as
Louise Brooks
- A Muffin Is Not a Tart (1965) - Louise Brooks
Burke's Law (TV Series) as
Lorraine Turner / Polly Martin / Amy Booth
- Who Killed the Strangler? (1965) - Lorraine Turner
- Who Killed the Eleventh Best Dressed Woman in the World? (1964) - Polly Martin
- Who Killed Madison Cooper? (1964) - Amy Booth
Insight (TV Series) as
- The Boy and the Bomb (1963) - Jane
The Dick Powell Theatre (TV Series) as
- Last of the Private Eyes (1963) - Elsie
The Christophers (TV Series)
- Think Creatively (1963)
The Comedy Spot (TV Series)
- His Model Wife (1962)
His Model Wife (TV Movie) as
Jeanne Lauren
Invasion 1700 as
The United States Steel Hour (TV Series) as
Alice Bradmore / Jill Gardner
- The Other Woman (1962) - Alice Bradmore
- The Man Who Knew Tomorrow (1960) - Jill Gardner
General Electric Theater (TV Series) as
Marion Miller / Hope
- My Dark Days: Part 2 (1962) - Marion Miller
- My Dark Days: Part 1 (1962) - Marion Miller
- Journal of Hope (1960) - Hope
Pontius Pilate as
Claudia Procula
Queen of the Nile as
Twenty Plus Two as
Linda Foster
Madison Avenue as
Peggy Shannon
Guns of the Timberland as
Laura Riley
Riverboat (TV Series) as
Laura Sutton
- Escape to Memphis (1959) - Laura Sutton
Goodyear Theatre (TV Series) as
Lila Babrek
- Wait Till Spring (1959) - Lila Babrek
Meet Me in St. Louis (TV Movie) as
Rose Smith
Schlitz Playhouse (TV Series) as
Ruth Elliot
- The Trouble with Ruth (1958) - Ruth Elliot
Playhouse 90 (TV Series) as
Daisy Buchanan
- The Great Gatsby (1958) - Daisy Buchanan
The Joker Is Wild as
Letty Page
The Tattered Dress as
Diane Blane
The Fastest Gun Alive as
Dora Temple
The Ford Television Theatre (TV Series) as
Joyce Randall
- Airborne Honeymoon (1956) - Joyce Randall
Star Stage (TV Series) as
- The Girl Who Wasn't Wanted (1955) - Nancy
The Second Greatest Sex as
Liza McClure
Gentlemen Marry Brunettes as
Connie Jones / Mitzi Jones
Man Without a Star as
Reed Bowman
Duel in the Jungle as
Marian Taylor
City of Bad Men as
Linda Culligan
Vicki as
Jill Lynn
Dangerous Crossing as
Ruth Stanton Bowman
O. Henry's Full House as
Della Young (segment "The Gift of the Magi")
Belles on Their Toes as
Ann Gilbreth
The Model and the Marriage Broker as
Kitty Bennett
People Will Talk as
Deborah Higgins
Take Care of My Little Girl as
Liz Erickson
I'll Get By as
Jeanne Crain (uncredited)
Cheaper by the Dozen as
Anne Gilbreth
Pinky as
Patricia 'Pinky' Johnson
The Fan as
Lady Margaret 'Meg' Windermere
A Letter to Three Wives as
Deborah Bishop
Apartment for Peggy as
Peggy Taylor
You Were Meant for Me as
Peggy Mayhew
Margie as
Marjorie 'Margie' MacDuff
Centennial Summer as
Julia Rogers
Leave Her to Heaven as
Ruth Berent
State Fair as
Margy Frake
Winged Victory as
In the Meantime, Darling as
Margaret 'Maggie' Preston
Home in Indiana as
'Char' Bruce
The Gang's All Here as
Chorus Girl / Pool Party Guest (uncredited)
Fred Astaire Salutes the Fox Musicals (TV Movie documentary) (performer: "It Might As Well Be Spring")
Meet Me in St. Louis (TV Movie) (performer: "Meet Me In St. Louis", "Skip To My Lou" - uncredited)
The Second Greatest Sex (performer: "LYSISTRATA")
Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (performer: "You're Driving Me Crazy", "Have You Met Miss Jones", "My Funny Valentine", "I Wanna Be Loved by You", "Daddy", "Ain't Misbehavin'")
Belles on Their Toes (performer: "Lazy", "Love's Old Sweet Song (Just a Song at Twilight)", "Beans, Beans, Beans", "Doin' the Raccoon", "Sweet Georgia Brown", "When You Wore a Tulip (and I Wore a Big Red Rose)")
Apartment for Peggy (performer: "I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls" - uncredited)
Margie (performer: "I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS", "APRIL SHOWERS")
Centennial Summer (performer: "The Right Romance", "Up with the Lark", "All Through the Day", "In Love in Vain" - uncredited)
State Fair ("That's For Me") / (performer: "It Might As Well Be Spring", "It's A Grand Night For Singing")
All-Star Party for 'Dutch' Reagan (TV Special) as
Self (uncredited)
Women I Love: Beautiful But Funny (TV Special) as
The Merv Griffin Show (TV Series) as
- Millionaires (1973) - Self
- Glamour Girls (1973) - Self
- Richard Crenna, Glenn Ford, Dennis Weaver, Terry Moore, Jeanne Crain, Jan Murray, Rubin Carson, Lydia Lane, Gayelord Hauser (1971) - Self
It's Your Bet (TV Series) as
- Jeanne Crain and Peter Marshall (1971) - Self
The Virginia Graham Show (TV Series) as
- Episode dated 5 October 1971 (1971) - Self
The Irv Kupcinet Show (TV Series) as
- Episode dated 1 June 1970 (1970) - Self
The Movie Game (TV Series) as
Self - Guest
- Episode dated 27 December 1969 (1969) - Self - Guest
You Don't Say (TV Series) as
- Macdonald Carey and Jeanne Crain (1967) - Self
- Jeanne Crain and Allan Sherman (1966) - Self
- Jeanne Crain and Allan Sherman (1966) - Self
- Jeanne Crain and Richard Long (1964) - Self
- Jeanne Crain and Alan Young (1964) - Self
- Jeanne Crain and Richard Long - day 5 (1963) - Self
- Jeanne Crain and Richard Long - day 4 (1963) - Self
- Jeanne Crain and Richard Long - day 3 (1963) - Self
- Jeanne Crain and Richard Long - day 2 (1963) - Self
- Jeanne Crain and Richard Long (1963) - Self
Monsters and Madonnas: The World of William Mortensen (Documentary short) as
Self - Narrator
The Object Is (TV Series) as
- Herschel Bernardi, Jeanne Crain, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (1964) - Self
Stump the Stars (TV Series) as
Self - Guest Panelist
- Ed Begley vs. Jeanne Crain (1963) - Self - Guest Panelist
Password (TV Series) as
Self - Celebrity Contestant
- Jeanne Crain vs. Richard Boone - evening show (1963) - Self - Celebrity Contestant
Celebrity Talent Scouts (TV Series) as
- Episode dated 19 September 1960 (1960) - Self
I've Got a Secret (TV Series) as
Self - Guest
- Episode dated 22 April 1959 (1959) - Self - Guest
What's My Line? (TV Series) as
Self - Mystery Guest
- Jeanne Crain (2) (1959) - Self - Mystery Guest
- Jeanne Crain (1954) - Self - Mystery Guest
You Bet Your Life (TV Series) as
Self - 1958 DeSoto Ad / Self - 1957 DeSoto Ad
- Episode #8.9 (1957) - Self - 1958 DeSoto Ad
- Episode #7.19 (1957) - Self - 1957 DeSoto Ad
Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (TV Series) as
- William Holden, Jeanne Crain, Dave Barry, Jan Peerce, Julius La Rosa (1956) - Self
The Bob Hope Show (TV Series) as
- Betty Hutton, Jeanne Crain, Lassie (1955) - Self
Stage Show (TV Series) as
- Jeanne Crain/Jackie Miles (1955) - Self
The Ed Sullivan Show (TV Series) as
- Episode #8.53 (1955) - Self
Dateline: Disneyland (TV Special documentary) as
The All-Star Bond Rally (Short) as
Self - Pinup Girl
California Beauties Pose for Title of 1942 Camera Girl (Documentary short) as
Archive Footage
Classified X (TV Movie documentary) as
The 76th Annual Academy Awards (TV Special) as
Self - Memorial Tribute
10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (TV Special) as
Self - Memorial Tribute
Rodgers & Hammerstein: The Sound of Movies (TV Movie documentary) as
Self - costume test
Biography (TV Series documentary) as
Pinky Johnson
- Darryl F. Zanuck: 20th Century Filmmaker (1995) - Pinky Johnson (uncredited)
Kolossal - i magnifici Macisti (Documentary) as
Nefertiti (as J. Crain)
Fred Astaire Salutes the Fox Musicals (TV Movie documentary) as
Hollywood Without Make-Up (Documentary) as
The Ed Sullivan Show (TV Series) as
- Episode #8.35 (1955) - Self


Jeanne Crain Wikipedia

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