Jean Harlow was a brassy platinum blond and one of the top box-office stars at MGM.
Her unexpected death ended a brief, brilliant and spectacular career. Like Olive Thomas, Barbara La Marr, John Gilbert, Rudolph Valentino and Wallace Reid, she was cut down fatally in her youth.
Her most famous role was as the "blond menace" in "Hells Angels" (1930), directed by Howard Hughes. She went on to star in more than 20 films, ending with "Saratoga."
She was 26 when she collapsed in May 1937 during the production of the romantic comedy "Saratoga," which also starred Clark Gable. She died June 7 of what was described as uremic poisoning brought about from kidney failure.
Harlow had completed about 90% of "Saratoga" at the time of her death. MGM ordered some quick rewrites, and Harlow's remaining scenes were shot with Mary Dees, a double who wore a hat and was photographed from the side or from behind. Another actress filled in for Harlow's voice. The film was completed three weeks after Harlow's death and was released that July.