Jean Peters

Active - 1947 - 1981  |   Born - Oct 15, 1926 in East Canton, Ohio, United States  |   Died - Oct 13, 2000   |   Genres - Drama, Thriller, Adventure, Comedy, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

A onetime schoolteacher, Jean Peters was brought to Hollywood in 1946 upon winning a popularity contest in her home state of Ohio. She was signed to a 20th Century Fox contract and given star billing in her first film, Captain From Castile. With rare exceptions, Peters seldom played conventional ingénues; most of her characters were peppery, combative, and doggedly independent. After 1955's A Man Called Peter, Peters completely retired from films, having recently married billionaire Howard Hughes in a secret ceremony. The union was as bizarre as anything else in Hughes' life; he and Peters lived separately and rarely saw each other, conducting most of their tête-à-tête by telephone or through intermediaries. Only when Peters divorced Hughes in 1971 did she reemerge in the public eye. Two years later, Jean Peters briefly jump-started her acting career with her performance in the PBS TV drama Winesburg, Ohio.

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  • Majored in Literature and studied to be a teacher.
  • Was crowned Miss Ohio in 1945.
  • Along with the Miss Ohio crown, she also won the grand prize of a screen test with 20th Century Fox.
  • Made her big screen debut in the 1947 historical drama Captain from Castile, playing Catana Perez.
  • Previously provided financial support to psychology and anthropology studies at UCLA.