Before the days of Madonna and Marilyn Monroe, the "Original Blonde Bombshell" made her mark on Hollywood and the world, leaving behind a new image of the Hollywood sex goddess.
Harlean Carpenter, later known as Jean Harlow, was born on March 3, 1911 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Although she would sadly only live to age 26, Jean achieved a great deal of success during her lifetime.
In an acting career that lasted 10 short years, Jean made 36 movies. Some of her other achievements included being voted No. 22 on the American Film Institute's list of the "Greatest American Screen Legends" (female), and becoming the first movie actress to appear on the cover of Life magazine.
Jean displayed talent in both her sensual and comedic performances, but she initially captivated fans with her trendsetting platinum blonde hair.
As she gained fame, peroxide sales in the United States skyrocketed. Botched attempts to look like Jean forced thousands of women to cut their hair.
Hollywood producers of the past had consistently cast dark-haired women to play the parts of vixens, but Jean emerged as the first star to incorporate the platinum blonde look into her acting.
Jean was born the daughter of a successful dentist and his wife. Jean's mother, known as Mother Jean, had dreams of becoming an actress, which led her to divorce her husband and move to Hollywood with her young daughter.
Jean's mother never allowed her to see her father, however Jean would sneak visits with him throughout her life.
Mother Jean soon remarried a man named Marino Bello and the family moved to Chicago, where Jean attended high school.
Poor health afflicted Jean throughout her childhood. At age five, she contracted meningitis and suffered from scarlet fever at age 15.
Jean left home at age 16 to marry 23-year-old Charles McGrew. Shortly after the wedding the couple left Chicago and moved to Beverly Hills.
Jean's true aspiration in life was to be a wife and mother, however she sought work as an extra in films to please Mother Jean.
Although at first Jean was not interested in making films, she received her first role in Why is a Plumber? in 1927. She and McGrew divorced after two years, but her big career break was about to occur.