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Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. pg. 30-31. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387 (imdb.com)

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 3, 1991-1993, pages 29-31. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001. (imdb.com)

Quit movies at the height of her career in 1944, following an Oscar nomination and while still Columbia Pictures' top female box-office attraction. She appeared in only two more films, for Oscar-winning directors Billy Wilder (A Foreign Affair (1948)) and George Stevens (Shane (1953)). According to John Oller's biography "Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew" (1997), Arthur was a shy person who came to loathe making movies, having developed a kind of stage fright (something not uncommon in even great and accomplished actors; Laurence Olivier said he developed stage fright in 1964, while playing in "Othello," after 40 years on stage) that made acting in movies agony for her. After she quit movies, she tried to make a go at a stage career, being part of the original cast of "Born Yesterday," but she dropped out during previews and was replaced by Judy Holliday. She later gave television a crack in the mid-'60s, but the "The Jean Arthur Show" (1966) was canceled after half a season. (imdb.com)

At the Yale Law School Film Society weekend with Frank Capra in 1972, she attended a small afternoon symposium on Saturday, February 5, at Capra's invitation. He urged her to stay for the screening that night, and assured her the audience would be delighted and overwhelmingly enthusiastic. She declined because, she said, she had to go home and feed her cats. (imdb.com)

Allegedly took her stage name from two of her greatest heroes: Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) and King Arthur. (imdb.com)

As a result of being in the doghouse with studio boss Harry Cohn, her fee for starring in The Talk of the Town (1942) was only $50,000 while her male co-stars (Ronald Colman, Cary Grant) received upwards of $100,000 each. (imdb.com)

Marriage to Julian Anker was annulled after 1 day. (imdb.com)

Even though Jean and James Stewart never bonded off-screen, Jimmy called Jean "the finest actress I ever worked with. No one had her humor, her timing". (imdb.com)

She was teaching at Vassar at the same time that Meryl Streep was studying there in her junior year. Upon seeing the young drama major rehearsing August Strindelberg's play "Miss Julie," Arthur remarked it was "just like watching a movie star". (imdb.com)

Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 15-16. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. (imdb.com)

Hollywood Walk of Fame 6331 Hollywood Blvd.

Director Frank Capra`s favorite actress.

Remains: Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea off Point Lobos, CA

Gary Cooper was her favorite leading man.

On the completion of her Columbia contract in 1944, she reportedly ran through the studio`s streets, shouting "I`m free, I`m free!".

Director George Stevens famously called her "one of the greatest comediennes the screen has ever seen" while Frank Capra credited her as "my favorite actress".

Turned down the role of the lady missionary in Lost Horizon (1973), the unsuccessful musical remake of the 1937 classic of the same name.

As her star began to decline, she was replaced by Rita Hayworth as Columbia Pictures` top female star. Coincidentally, the two stars share the same birthday (October 17).

Was a leading contender for the coveted role of Scarlett O`Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939).

After retiring from films she taught Drama at Vassar.

Department of Strange Coincidences: Jean Arthur`s former spouse, producer Frank Ross, next married the actress Joan Caulfield. On the very day following Caulfield`s death on 18 June 1991, Arthur died.

Wore her natural brunette hair color throughout the silent film portion of her career, then began bleaching her hair blonde shortly after she started making talkies.

Ashes scattered off of Point Lobos, California, USA.


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