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Howard Hughes, Jean Peters, Terry Moore: Beauties and the Billionaire

Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes

If all goes as planned, Warren Beatty will be the next big-screen Howard Hughes, following The Aviator's Leonardo DiCaprio.

In Martin Scorsese's Oscar-nominated drama, DiCaprio was a boyish Hughes; in fact, Cate Blanchett's Katharine Hepburn looked more like his surrogate mother than his lover. Beatty, on the other hand, will play the older Howard Hughes, though I seriously doubt it that this particular Hughes will look at all like Jason Robards' in Jonathan Demme's 1980 gem Melvin and Howard. Barring a Hollywood miracle, Beatty's Old Hughes will have his hair carefully conditioned and his fingernails neatly clipped.

In The Aviator, Howard Hughes is linked to four actresses: the aforementioned Katharine Hepburn, Jean Harlow, Ava Gardner, and Faith Domergue. (Hughes' 1920s marriage to socialite Ella Rice is ignored in the film.) In Beatty's project, Hughes will be involved with a "much younger woman."

Here's a partial list of other film stars — several of whom "much younger women" — who were at one point or another linked to the eccentric billionaire: silent film actress Billie Dove (rumor has it that Hughes paid Dove's husband, director Irvin Willat, $325,000 to divorce her), Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine, Yvonne De Carlo, Gene Tierney, Jane Russell, Jane Greer, Lana Turner, Terry Moore, and Jean Peters.

Jean PetersIn 1957, Hughes (openly) married 20th Century Fox leading lady Jean Peters, Marlon Brando's love interest in Viva Zapata! and best known today for the classic 1953 spy thriller Pickup on South Street. Hughes and Peters, who abruptly quit her film career in the mid-50s, spent most of their married life away from each other until their divorce in 1971.

In a 1972 Newsweek article, Peters remarked, "My life with Howard Hughes was and shall remain a matter on which I will have no comment.'' Jean Peters died of leukemia on October 13, 2000.

Terry MooreTerry Moore, nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the 1952 drama Come Back Little Sheba, asserts that she was secretly married to Howard Hughes in the late 1940s. In later years, she wrote a book about her relationship with Hughes, The Beauty and the Billionaire.

Curiously, the Howard Hughes estate considered Moore to be Hughes' legitimate wife — they apparently were never officially divorced — and the former actress received an undisclosed amount from the estate in 1984, eight years after Hughes' death.

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4 Comments to Howard Hughes, Jean Peters, Terry Moore: Beauties and the Billionaire

  1. The JeanPeters Story

    My father is Paul Robinson, Jean Peters' photographer, agent and Friend for years. It was he who staged the Miss Ohio State Contest and escorted Jean to Hollywood. This is the first I have heard of Terry Moore.

    To speak to Mark Musick, my understanding was that Howard suffered burns to 80% if his body from the plane crash in August of 1946. He became highly sensitive and effected by Immune Deficiency Disorder, as a result. Howard was not an eccentric mental case, as reported, but justifiably cautious about contracting infections. My father knew Howard and always had something good to say about him.

    I hope to contribute an interesting and honest perspective on Jean's life, as seen through the spirits of Jean Peters and my father. I have archival material from the House of Portraits, that has never been seen publicly, before.

    Gregori Robinson

  2. howard robard hughes IIV

    the yellow rose was howard`s only love after jean peters and she was next to howard at his death.the heirs do not protect me they cover me up and the time tables of given laws are way since over but DNA and biomathmatics prove who I`am and half the world plots and charts me thanks to the network cover up

  3. ANDRES

    A NOTE OF CLARIFICATION TO WARREN BEATTY:
    HOWARD HUGHES' TWO LEGITIMATE WIVES WERE ELLA RICE AND THE GORGEOUS ACTRESS JEAN PETERS, WHOSE CAREER WAS CUT SHORT AFTER ONLY 19 MOVIES TO HER CREDIT WHEN SHE MARRIED THE BILLIONAIRE.
    TERRY MOORE NEVER PRODUCED A CERTIFICATE OR A ANY PROOF OF HER MARRIAGE TO HUGHES. IN FACT, IF SHE HAD INDEED BEEN MARRIED TO HUGHES, THEN SHE'D A BIGAMIST (OR TRIGAMIST) . SHE MARRIED THREE OTHER MEN AFTER HER SO-CALLED SECRET MARRIAGE TO HUGHES. AND ONE OF THE MEN SHE MARRIED WAS STUART CRAMER, JEAN PETERS' EX-HUSBAND. JEAN AND STU CRAMER WERE DIVORCED IN 1956. MOORE MET HIM AND MARRIED HIM IN 1959. SHE EVEN HAD TWO CHILDREN BY HIM, ONE OF THEM AN ACTOR.
    HOW COULD MOORE HAVE LEGALLY MARRIED THREE TIMES (IN THE FIFTIES AND SIXTIES) IF SHE WAS REALLY MARRIED TO HUGHES IN 1949, AS SHE CLAIMED IN 1976? WHY DIDN'T SHE SPEAK OUT IN MORE THAN TWO DECADES ABOUT THIS IMPORTANT MARRIAGE? WHY DID SHE WAIT UNTIL HUGHES WAS DYING (AND DEAD) TO PUBLICLY REVEAL THE SHADY DETAILS OF THEIR WEDDING? COULD IT ALL POSSIBLY HAVE TO DO WITH GREED? MOST OF HER CLAIMS SEEM TO BE UNTRUE. HUGHES STAGED MANY FAKE WEDDINGS WITH FEMALE STARS OF THE TIME JUST TO GET THEM TO BED. AND TERRY MOORE WAS NO EXCEPTION.
    I'VE DONE EXTENSVE RESEARCH ON PETERS AND HUGHES AND I AM CERTAIN THIS BEATUFIL LADY WAS THE BILLIONAIRE'S ONE TRUE LOVE SINCE 1946. HE COULD HAVE MARRIED MANY OTHER ACTRESSES IN 1957. THERE WAS A HERD OF FAMOUS ACTRESSES WAITING FOR HIM TO BECKON, BUT HE WAITED FOR PETERS UNTIL HER DIVORCE FROM CRAMER WAS GRANTED IN 1956. FURTHERMORE, HUGHES KEPT JEAN ON CLOSE SURVEILLANCE AFTER THEIR DIVORCE IN 1971 AND CONFESSED TO SEVERAL PEOPLE THAT SHE'D BEEN THE ONLY WOMAN IN HIS LIFE THAT HE'D TRULY LOVED.
    PS/ ON THE OTHER HAND, HUGHES ADMITTED TO HAVING LOVED A WOMAN OTHER THAN PETERS ONLY ONCE -IN THE THIRTIES. CONTRARY TO ALL THE RUMORS AND FALSE BELIEFS THAT HE FELL MADLY IN LOVE WITH KATE HEPBURN, IT WAS GINGER ROGERS THAT HE SAID HE LOVED, BACK THEN.
    I ALSO KNOW ALL ABOUT HUGHES' SON (HE'S NOT JEAN PETERS CHILD, THOUGH). HUGHES III, ACTUALLY WAS AT HIS FATHER'S BEDSIDE IN ACAPULCO WHEN HOWARD HUGHES WAS DYING -AND HE'S CLOSELY PROTECTED BY HUGHES' HEIRS.

  4. "Boxes, The Secret Life of Howard Hughes," by Douglas Wellman describes an interesting twist to the later years of Mr. Hughes' life. It details aspects of his mysterious existance that have never been explained until now. Such as – living under an alternate identity, working his extensive business interests through his aides, and hiding for 25 years near Troy, Alabama.




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