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Jean Brooks

Fluent in Spanish, Jean Brooks began professionally by singing with Enric Madriguera and Orchestra in New York. She had a small role in the New York City-filmed The Crime of Doctor Crespi (1935) and the second lead in a Broadway play, "Name Your Poison" (1938), with Lenore Ulric, all under her real name of Jeanne Kelly. She was signed by an independent film production company that had gone under by the time she got to Hollywood. She spent several years at Universal as a leading lady in "B" pictures, including several Johnny Mack Brown westerns, but her option was dropped in late 1941. By this time she had married writer (later director) Richard Brooks and, with a certain Broadway hoofer having just signed at MGM, dropped the Kelly and became Jean Brooks. She signed with RKO, where film buffs know her for her three appearances for cult producer Val Lewton, particularly her stunning performance as a haunted devil worshiper in The Seventh Victim (1943). Her clipped delivery and intense, forceful acting style made her a promising bet for stardom, but RKO lost interest in her by mid-'44 and her roles got gradually smaller until she was dropped in 1946. She and Brooks divorced (his later studio biographies omitted her name as one of his ex-wives). For many years she was listed as a "Lost Player" championed in several magazine articles by writer Doug McClelland. She was eventually located in San Francisco, where she had moved after her film career petered out, and was employed as a classified ad solicitor on the "San Francisco Examiner" newspaper. She had married a printer called Leddy. Her death at the Kaiser Hospital in Richmond, California, in 1963 was due to nutritional problems caused by alcoholism, a sad ending for a stylish and talented performer who didn't get the breaks she deserved, both personally and professionally. Date of Death 25 November 1963, Richmond, California  (extreme malnutrition & alcoholism)

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Dec 23, 1915 In Houston, Texas
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Tango Bar 1935-02-22
Latest Project:
Movie Women in the Night 1948-01-02
Known For
Poster of Two O'Clock Courage
Poster of The Seventh Victim
Poster of The Leopard Man
Poster of Meet the Chump
Movie Women in the Night Maya 1948-01-02
Movie The Falcon's Alibi Baroness Lena 1946-04-12
Movie The Bamboo Blonde Marsha 1946-07-15
Movie Two O'Clock Courage Barbara Borden 1945-04-13
Movie The Falcon in San Francisco Woman in Hotel Hall Accosted by Goldie (uncredited) 1945-07-20
Movie Youth Runs Wild Mary Hauser Coates 1944-09-01
Movie A Night of Adventure Julie Arden 1944-06-02
Movie The Falcon in Hollywood Roxanna Miles 1944-12-08
Movie The Leopard Man Kiki Walker 1943-05-19
Movie The Seventh Victim Jacqueline Gibson 1943-08-21
Movie Klondike Fury Rae Langton 1942-03-20
Movie Boot Hill Bandits May Meadows 1942-04-24
Movie Riders of Death Valley Mary Morgan (as Jeanne Kelly) 1941-07-01
Movie Meet the Chump Madge Reilly (as Jeanne Kelly) 1941-02-14
Movie Buck Privates Camp Hostess 1941-01-31
Movie Man from Montana Linda Thompson 1941-09-05
Movie A Dangerous Game Anne Bennett (as Jeanne Kelly) 1941-08-21
Movie Fighting Bill Fargo Linda Tyler (as Jeanne Kelly) 1941-12-09
Movie Badlands Of Dakota Bella Union Girl 1941-09-15
Movie Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe Olga, Ming's Henchwoman 1940-04-09
Movie The Invisible Man Returns Minor Role (uncredited) 1940-01-12
Movie Son of Roaring Dan Eris Brooke (as Jeanne Kelly) 1940-07-25
Movie The Devil's Pipeline Laura Larson (as Jeanne Kelly) 1940-10-31
Movie The Green Hornet Strikes Again! Gloria Manning 1940-12-24
Movie Junior G-Men Waitress 1940-11-01
Movie The Invisible Killer Gloria Cunningham 1939-11-14
Movie Miracle on Main Street Nina 1939-12-19
Movie Frankie and Johnnie Cabaret Girl 1936-04-30
Movie Tango Bar Young Ship's Passenger on Lower Deck (uncredited) 1935-02-22
Movie The Crime of Doctor Crespi Miss Gordon (as Jeanne Kelly) 1935-09-23
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