Jean Porter

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Jean Porter
Jean Porter in Thrill of a Romance still cropped.jpg
Porter in 1945
BornBennie Jean Porter
(1922-12-08)December 8, 1922
Cisco, Texas, U.S.
DiedJanuary 13, 2018(2018-01-13) (aged 95)
Los Angeles, California, U.S
OccupationActress
Years active1936–1961
Spouse(s)
Edward Dmytryk
(m. 1948; died 1999)
Children3

Bennie Jean Porter (December 8, 1922 – January 13, 2018) was an American film and television actress. She was notable for her roles in The Youngest Profession (1943), Bathing Beauty (1944), Abbott and Costello in Hollywood (1945), Till the End of Time (1946), Cry Danger (1951), and in The Left Hand of God (1956).

Porter was notable for her marriage with Edward Dmytryk, who was one of the Hollywood Ten, the most prominent blacklisted group in the film industry during the McCarthy era.[1]

Early life[edit]

Porter was born in Cisco, Texas[2] to a Texas and Pacific Railway worker and a music teacher.[3] As a baby, she was called the "Most Beautiful Baby" in Eastland County.[1] At ten years old, she hosted a half-an-hour radio show on Saturday mornings on the WRR station in Dallas,[1] and she got a summer job with Ted Lewis's vaudeville band.[1]

Career[edit]

At the age of 12, Porter arrived at Hollywood and took dancing lessons at the Fanchon and Marco dancing school,[4] where she was discovered by director Allan Dwan. Porter acted in Dwan's 1936 musical Song and Dance Man, but did not appear in the credits.[5]

Porter in the trailer for Twice Blessed (1945)

Beginning with a bit parts in movies such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938) and One Million B.C. (1940), she eventually established herself as an actress for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1941.[6][7]

While never a big star, she was active throughout the 1940s, appearing in almost 30 motion pictures alongside MGM stars like Esther Williams, Mickey Rooney and the comedy duo Abbott & Costello.[1] In the 1950s, Porter appeared mainly in television series such as The Red Skelton Show, Sea Hunt, and 77 Sunset Strip.[4] She retired from acting in 1961.[1] Porter was loaned out to RKO to act in Till the End of Time.[4]

She was married to film director and writer Edward Dmytryk, who was one of the Hollywood Ten, the most prominent blacklisted group in the film industry during the McCarthy-era.[1] The two married May 12, 1948, in Ellicott City, Maryland.[8] They had three children.[9] Dmytryk was blacklisted because he refused to respond to allegations of communism. In the late 1940s, Porter and Dmytryk escaped to England.[1] After they returned to the U.S. in 1951, Dmytryk was imprisoned for six months for contempt of Congress.[4]

Porter was the author of the unpublished book The Cost of Living, about her and Dmytryk. She also wrote Chicago Jazz and Then Some, about jazz pianist Jess Stacy, and, with her husband, On Screen Acting.[1]

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Source
1936 Song and Dance Man Girl Uncredited[1]
1938 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Pauline Uncredited[1]
1939 The Under-Pup Penguin girl Uncredited[10]
1940 One Million B.C. Shell person Uncredited[11]
1941 The Hard-Boiled Canary Girl Uncredited[12]
Kiss the Boys Goodbye Girl going to audition Uncredited[1]
Never Give a Sucker an Even Break Passerby Uncredited[11]
Henry Aldrich for President Student Uncredited[13]
Hellzapoppin' Chorine Uncredited[1]
Babes on Broadway Chorus girl Uncredited[1]
1942 Born to Sing Dancer Uncredited
Heart of the Rio Grande Pudge [11]
Home in Wyomin' Young fan Uncredited[11]
Fall In Joan [1]
1943 Calaboose Major Barabara [14]
The Youngest Profession Patricia Drew [11]
That Nazty Nuisance Kela [11]
Young Ideas Southern co-ed Uncredited[15]
1944 Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble Katy Anderson [11]
Bathing Beauty Jean Allenwood [11]
San Fernando Valley Betty Lou Kenyon [11]
1945 Thrill of a Romance Ga-ga bride Uncredited[11]
Twice Blessed Kitty [11]
Abbott and Costello in Hollywood Ruthie [11]
What's Next, Corporal Hargrove? Jeanne Quidoc [11]
1946 Easy to Wed Frances Uncredited[11]
Till the End of Time Helen Ingersoll [11]
Betty Co-Ed Joanne Leeds [11]
1947 Little Miss Broadway Judy Gibson [11]
Sweet Genevieve Genevieve Rogers [16]
That Hagen Girl Sharon Bailey [11]
Two Blondes and a Redhead Catherine Abbott [11]
1951 Cry Danger Darlene [11]
Kentucky Jubilee Sally Shannon [11]
G.I. Jane Jan Smith [11]
1953 The Clown Jean Uncredited[1]
1954 Racing Blood Lucille Mitchell [11]
1955 The Left Hand of God Mary Yin [11]
1961 Sea Hunt Marna Gould Season 4, Episode 31, (final appearance)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Dmytryk, Jean Porter (2010). Chicago Jazz and Then Some: As Told by One of the Original Chicagoans, Jess Stacy. BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1593935368.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Barnes, Mike (January 14, 2018). "Jean Porter, Petite Starlet of MGM Films in the 1940s, Dies at 95". The Hollywood Reporter. ISSN 0018-3660.
  2. ^ "Familiar Face In "Twice Blessed" -- Star Jean Porter". Big Spring Daily Herald. Texas, Big Spring. October 3, 1945. p. 3. Retrieved May 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Porter, Jean (17 December 2003). "DONNA AND ME: Camp Tours of Donna Reed and Jean Porter".
  4. ^ a b c d "Jean Porter, 1940s starlet, dead at 95". New York Daily News. January 14, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  5. ^ "Interview: Jean Porter". Westernclippings. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  6. ^ Weaver, Tom (2010). "Jean Porter on One Million B.C.". A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde: Interviews with 62 Filmmakers. McFarland & Company. p. 44. ISBN 978-0786446582.
  7. ^ Jean Porter at AllMovie
  8. ^ "Actress Jean Porter Weds Film Director". Kingsport Times. Tennessee, Kingsport. Associated Press. May 13, 1948. p. 3. Retrieved May 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  9. ^ "Third Child". Albuquerque Journal. New Mexico, Albuquerque. United Press International. November 20, 1961. p. 21. Retrieved May 20, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  10. ^ "Jean Porter". Virginia Weilder. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "Jean Porter Filmography". TV Guide. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  12. ^ "The Hard-Boiled Canary". CSFD. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  13. ^ "Henry Aldrich for President". CSDF. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  14. ^ "Calaboose". Letterboxd. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  15. ^ "Young Ideas". Lauramiscmusings. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  16. ^ "Sweet Genevieve". TCM. Retrieved January 15, 2018.

External links[edit]