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Jeanne Crain: Lighthearted Movies vs. Real Life Tragedies

Jeanne Crain movies The Fan Madeleine CarrollJeanne Crain: Lighthearted movies vs. real life tragedies (image: Madeleine Carroll and Jeanne Crain in 'The Fan')

(See previous post: "Jeanne Crain: From 'Pinky' Inanity to 'Margie' Magic.") Unlike her characters in Margie, Home in Indiana, State Fair, Centennial Summer, The Fan, and Cheaper by the Dozen (and its sequel, Belles on Their Toes), or even in the more complex A Letter to Three Wives and People Will Talk, Jeanne Crain didn't find a romantic Happy Ending in real life. In the mid-'50s, Crain accused her husband, former minor actor Paul Brooks aka Paul Brinkman, of infidelity, of living off her earnings, and of brutally beating her. The couple reportedly were never divorced because of their Catholic faith. (And at least in the '60s, unlike the humanistic, progressive-thinking Margie, Crain was a "conservative" Republican who supported Richard Nixon.) In the early '90s, she lost two of her seven children: one was a chronic alcoholic; the other died from a heroin overdose.

As she grew older, Crain, her beautiful figure long gone, developed a severe and debilitating alcohol problem. Two months after the death of Paul Brooks, who had become a successful businessman and manufacturer of missile parts, Jeanne Crain suffered a fatal heart attack at age 78 on December 14, 2003, in Santa Barbara, California.

Jeanne Crain: Fantasy and Reality

Unlike the mentally ill out there, I'm fully aware that real life and movie life are quite distinct. Having said that, watching Margie I find it impossible not to believe that the young Jeanne Crain could have been anything but very much like that shy, hopeful, warm-hearted, somewhat clumsy youth who, however bloomer-less, finds love and ever-lasting happiness with a handsome and caring Prince Charming.

Hollywood fantasy or not, Margie is not to be missed. That movie is proof that Jeanne Crain was and remains one of the loveliest actresses ever to have graced the screen.

Jeanne Crain movies: TCM schedule on August 25, 2013

3:00 AM THE FASTEST GUN ALIVE (1956). Director: Russell Rouse. Cast: Glenn Ford, Jeanne Crain, Broderick Crawford, Russ Tamblyn, Allyn Joslyn, Leif Erickson, John Dehner, Noah Beery Jr., J.M. Kerrigan, Rhys Williams, Virginia Gregg, Chubby Johnson, John Doucette, William 'Bill' Phillips, Christopher Olsen aka Chris Olsen, Paul Birch, Florenz Ames, Joseph Sweeney, Louis Jean Heydt, Mitchell, Lewis, Addison Richards, Glenn Strange, Dub Taylor. Black and white. 89 mins. Letterbox Format.

4:45 AM GUNS OF THE TIMBERLAND (1960). Director: Robert D. Webb. Cast: Alan Ladd, Jeanne Crain, Gilbert Roland, Frankie Avalon, Lyle Bettger, Noah Beery Jr., Verna Felton, Alana Ladd, Regis Toomey, Johnny Seven, Paul E. Burns, Henry Kulky, George Selk. Color. 91 mins. Letterbox Format.

6:30 AM TWENTY PLUS TWO (1961). Director: Joseph M. Newman. Cast: David Janssen, Jeanne Crain, Dina Merrill. Black and white. 103 mins. Letterbox Format.

8:15 AM MARGIE (1946). Director: Henry King. Cast: Jeanne Crain, Glenn Langan, Lynn Bari, Alan Young, Barbara Lawrence, Conrad Janis, Esther Dale, Hobart Cavanaugh, Ann E. Todd, Hattie McDaniel, Vanessa Brown, Virginia Farmer. Color. 94 min.

10:00 AM YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME (1948). Director: Lloyd Bacon. Cast: Jeanne Crain, Dan Dailey, Oscar Levant, Barbara Lawrence, Selena Royle, Percy Kilbride, Herbert Anderson, Erskine Sanford. Black and white. 92 min.

11:45 AM APARTMENT FOR PEGGY (1948). Director: George Seaton. Cast: Jeanne Crain, William Holden, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Griff Barnett, Randy Stuart, Betty Lynn, Marion Marshall, Pati Behrs, Robert Adler, Helen Ford, Charles Lane, Gene Nelson, Almira Sessions, Ray Walker, Robert Williams. Color. 96 min.

1:30 PM THE MODEL AND THE MARRIAGE BROKER (1951). Director: George Cukor. Cast: Jeanne Crain, Scott Brady, Thelma Ritter, Zero Mostel, Michael O'Shea, Helen Ford, Frank Fontaine, Dennie Moore, John Alexander, Jay C. Flippen, Joyce Mackenzie, Nancy Kulp, Mae Marsh, Tommy Noonan. Black and white. 103 min.

3:30 PM DANGEROUS CROSSING (1953). Director: Joseph M. Newman. Cast: Jeanne Crain, Michael Rennie, Casey Adams. Black and white. 76 min.

5:00 PM PINKY (1949). Director: Elia Kazan. Cast: Jeanne Crain, Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Waters, William Lundigan, Basil Ruysdael, Kenny Washington, Nina Mae McKinney, Griff Barnett, Frederick O'Neal, Evelyn Varden, Raymond Greenleaf, Arthur Hunnicutt, Wilfred Jackson, Juanita Moore. Black and white. 102 min.

7:00 PM TAKE CARE OF MY LITTLE GIRL (1951). Director: Jean Negulesco. Cast: Jeanne Crain, Dale Robertson, Mitzi Gaynor, Jean Peters, Jeffrey Hunter, Betty Lynn, Helen Westcott, Lenka Peterson, Carol Brannon, Natalie Schafer, Beverly Dennis, Kathleen Hughes, Peggy O'Connor, June Alden, King Donovan, Margaret Field, John Litel, George Nader. Color. 94 min.

9:00 PM LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945). Director: John M. Stahl. Cast: Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crain, Vincent Price, Mary Philips, Ray Collins, Gene Lockhart, Reed Hadley, Darryl Hickman, Chill Wills, Ruth Clifford, Mae Marsh, Paul Everton, Grant Mitchell, Addison Richards, Jim Farley. Color. 110 min.

11:00 PM THE FAN (1949). Director: Otto Preminger. Cast: Jeanne Crain, Madeleine Carroll, George Sanders, Richard Greene, Martita Hunt, John Sutton, Hugh Dempster, Richard Ney, Virginia McDowall, Colin Campbell, Terry Kilburn, Winifred Harris, George Beranger, Alphonse Martell, Eric Noonan, Tempe Pigott, John Burton. Black and white. 79 min.

1:00 AM SKYJACKED (1972). Director: John Guillermin. Cast: Charlton Heston, Yvette Mimieux, James Brolin, Claude Akins, Jeanne Crain, Susan Dey, Roosevelt Grier, Mariette Hartley, Walter Pidgeon, Ken Swofford, Leslie Uggams, Ross Elliott, Nicholas Hammond, Mike Henry, Jayson Kane aka Jayson William Kane, Toni Clayton, John Hillerman, Kelley Miles, Maureen Connell, John Fiedler, Joe Canutt, Dan White. Color. 101 mins. Letterbox Format.

Jeanne Crain movie schedule via the TCM website. Madeleine Carroll, Jeanne Crain in The Fan photo: 20th Century Fox.

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