Baby Jean, Rest In Peace

Yes, for the lucky few who know, totally duplicated blog!

Today, in 1937, was the day Jean Harlow died, at the very young age of 26. Kidney failure, which was fatal back then. So lets take this big opportunity to quash one of those total fallacies believed by so many, about this event.

The story that her mother didnt allow any nurses, nor doctors near Jean, at this time, is total rubbish. Yes, she was a Christian Scientist, but no, that didnt stop her getting people in, to look after her daughter. Just not the doctors that Louis B Mayer wanted to get in, because she didnt trust him, and who could blame her?

Fact: Unless she found a surgeon who time travelled a minimum of 10 years on, learnt how to do dialysis, or a kidney transplant for her, nothing could be done. I’m not saying her mother was a saint, she wasnt, to any degree, but she’s not the villain some see her to be, either.

There were several things Jean wasn’t. An angel, a natural actress, and a few other things beside, probably. She smoked, though of course it was seen as a cool thing to do back then. She drank, though how much of that was down to her nerves while acting, or down to her family life, who knows?

Jean also openly stated she was no great actress, and if you see her early talkies, it shows. Her acting was wooden, her speech not a lot better, but then… they let her play herself!

Well, not strictly, but in Red Headed Woman, Red Dust, Bombshell (especially this one), and to a lesser degree, Dinner At Eight, Jean blossomed. Yes, pre code, pretty much playing herself, she became a star. Then films were ‘tamed’ by the code, and things had to change. They tried Jean in a musical, but given she couldnt sing (dubbed in movie, but I have heard her, and it isnt good), or really dance, it didnt work.

She held her own decently in romantic comedies, but was never going to win an Oscar for her acting skills, all the same. Then, while making Saratoga, her kidneys finally cried enough, she fell critically ill, and died, so young.

What caused her kidneys to fail? Oh my, there are plenty of crazy stories re this too!

Certainly the Scarlet Fever she suffered as a teenager was a major culprit. But yes, all the smoking, drinking, and everything else wouldnt have helped her fragile organs. Botched abortion, I’ve seen no good evidence for this happening, after all, she wanted to be a mother, not an actress, and her words tended to suggest that she hadnt been pregnant, up till then. Doesnt mean she hadnt, just no good evidence in my eyes.

Even better, the bleach, and everything else she used to get her platinum blonde look wrecked them. Given the acid that might create, its a just maybe, but I suspect the problem would have shown before the end, given she wasnt colouring it by then! Me, I’ll stick with the weakened kidneys, from her illness, just seeing that alcohol intake, and bailing out!

Whatever it was, she was dead, at just 26.

Wonderfully for me, just under 2 months ago, I managed to spend over half an hour with Jean. Well, not literally, but a gate, and the length of her mausoleum at Forest Lawn was all that separated us. I talked much of the time, funnily enough, she never replied, but all the same, I felt in her presence. A magical experience.

And I have no idea if her spirit led me to it, but of course, later that afternoon was the time I discovered a lot more about my past life self, Clara Johnson. Were the events related, no idea? Especially as I’d heard it was hard to get close to Jean’s resting place, and I just walked up to it! Did she arrange it, hmm?

OK, fine, the video, and yes, unsurprisingly, its a tribute to Jean Harlow. A Bobby Goldsboro song, titled Jean accompanies the images.

Rest In Peace, Baby!

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