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.