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Definition: Arthur, Jean from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US film actor. Arthur made her cinematic debut in Cameo Kirby in 1923, but did not find her true screen persona until 1935 when she appeared in The Whole Town's Talking. Her last major role was in the 1953 film Shane, but she went on to appear in occasional television and theatre productions, securing her own television comedy show in 1956.

Summary Article: Arthur, Jean
From Chambers Biographical Dictionary


Gladys Georgianna Greene


US actress

Born in Plattsburgh, New York, the daughter of a photographer, she left school at the age of 15 to become a model, and later an actress. She made her film debut in Cameo Kirby (1923), followed by several unremarkable roles. A husky-voiced, vivacious actress, she survived the transition to sound, became adept at comedy and co-starred with some of Hollywood's most prominent actors. Her best films include Mr Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939) and The More the Merrier (1943, Academy Award nomination). She retired from the screen after Shane (1953) and later taught drama at Vassar College. Her infrequent stage appearances included a highly regarded Peter Pan (1950) and The First Monday in October (1975), and she was the star of the television series The Jean Arthur Show.

  • Oller, John R Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew (1997).
© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

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