Before Marilyn Monroe there was Jean Harlow and like Monroe her all too brief life was full of incredible highs and lows.
Born in 1911 Harlow became the biggest sex symbol in 1930’s Hollywood thanks to a series of starring roles in MGM movies, quite a few made before the rise of the Hays code when juicy dialogue and flowing, bra-less silk gowns were the order of the day.
Starring alongside the likes of William Powell, Spencer Tracy, and Clark Gable in movies with titles like Red Dust, Reckless and Libeled Lady, Harlow was known as The Platinum Blonde or The Blonde Bombshell.
Sadly her life had always been dogged by ill health and at the height of fame she died of kidney failure on 7 June 1936. She was just 26.
In 1932 Harlow had been at the heart of a major Hollywood scandal when, during the making of Red Dust, her husband Paul Bern was found dead at their home. He had been shot and whilst gossip mongerers claimed that Bern had been shot by Harlow a verdict of suicide was the official one.