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(Plattsburgh, New York, USA, 10.17.1900, † Carmel, California, USA, 19/06/1991)
A ray of light
by Juan Luis Sánchez
His hoarse voice gave a strong personality that made him a favorite of viewers. Jean Arthur was like a ray of light and hope that lit the hearts sorry for the problems of the Great Depression in the ’30s.
And that Gladys Georgianna Greene (his real name), born on October 7, 1900 in New York, had already carved out an important films in the silent era. Daughter of a fashion photographer, the girl had left school to become a model. Discovered by a talent scout Fox offered him a contract with the producer, which led to his debut in the master’s hand John Ford in Sota, knight and king, where he had a small role. With the unique Buster Keaton played another papelillo seven times, a hilarious comedy. But his big break came with the talkies. Another film of John Ford, Passport to fame, precisely meant for her safe passage to stardom, and the first time he played his most distinctive character, a young worker who emancipated under a hard pose hides a heart of gold. But the decisive moment of his career came when Frank Capra was looking for an actress for Mr. Deeds, it was clear that the male lead would be Gary Cooper, to play a female journalist Benet Babe unscrupulous. The filmmaker had the habit of watching movies from their peers, and one day a western made him stay dazzled by the protagonist, Jean Arthur, especially his voice. The success of the film became a star Jean Arthur, who repeated with Gary Cooper in Buffalo Bill, exemplary western Cecil B. DeMille. After the interesting comedy A lucky girl, Mitchell Leisen, Capra decided to repeat her at Live as you like, on a chaotic family whose members individually did what they had always wanted. “To play Alice, the only sane member of the brilliant idiots again call the most splendid actress of the time, Jean Arthur, that of the husky voice,” said Frank Capra. So it seemed appropriate for his cinema ficharla again to Mr. Smith, subtle denunciation of political corruption. Unlike Capra, another great filmmaker of the time, Howard Hawks, said he had not been very happy with it, after directing in Only Angels Have Wings.
During the coming years, Jean Arthur seemed having typecast in comedies like Too Many Husbands, The Devil mocked, The issue of the day. Indeed it was a comedy, The Merrier, George Stevens, which gave him his only Oscar nomination, but ultimately snatched the statuette Jennifer Jones. Disenchanted because they gave him the papers were all very similar, Jean Arthur took a break of four years, which was completely absent from the screens. He refused to even repeat with Frank Capra, who wanted to give the protagonist of What a Wonderful Life !, his most memorable film role. Only return to the movies to shoot West Berlin, the incomparable Billy Wilder, and to play the lead deep roots, mythical western George Stevens. He did not return to the cinema, although he had many opportunities to do so. Only intervened in the television series The Jean Arthur Show, barely succeeded. The actress died on June 19, 1991 in the Californian town of Carmel.