Jean Willes

Active - 1943 - 1975  |   Born - Apr 15, 1923 in Los Angeles, California  |   Died - Jan 3, 1989   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Western, Crime, Adventure

Share on

Actress Jean Willes spent the first ten years of her life shuttling up and down the West Coast; born in Los Angeles, she was raised in Salt Lake City, then moved with her family to Seattle. In 1943, she made her film debut in So Proudly We Hail. Shortly afterward, she was signed by Columbia Pictures, billed under her given name, Jean Donahue. She was busiest in Columbia's B-pictures, Westerns, and two-reel comedies, playing a statuesque brunette foil for such comedians as the Three Stooges, Sterling Holloway, Hugh Herbert, and Bert Wheeler. In 1947, she changed her billing to her married name, Jean Willes. Some of her most memorable feature-film roles included the hostess at the New Congress Club who delivers a bored, by-rote recitation of the club's rules in From Here to Eternity (1953); Kevin McCarthy's "zombie-fied" nurse in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956); one of Clark Gable's quartet of leading ladies in A King and Four Queens (1956); the lady lieutenant who chews out Andy Griffith in No Time for Sergeants (1958); and Ernest Borgnine's would-be-sweetheart in McHale's Navy (1964). Jean Willes also made some 400 TV appearances (often as a sharp-tongued, down-to-earth blonde) in such series as The Jack Benny Show, The Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, and The Beverly Hillbillies.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography