Tags: Hollywood | jean arthur | roles | career

The 4 Roles That Defined Jean Arthur's Career

By    |   Wednesday, 13 May 2015 11:31 AM

Born Gladys Georgianna Greene at the turn of the 20th century, comedienne Jean Arthur played many roles throughout her long and varied acting career. Although she became famed for the frog-like squeak of her voice and her great laugh, Arthur's first acting roles were actually in silent movies.

Her best roles, however, were the comedy dramas she made that took advantage of what The New York Times described in Arthur's obituary as "a bubbly flair for reflecting the absurdities of life, a subtle vulnerability and a voice that wavered unpredictably between the spunky and the amiable." Arthur died in 1990 at the age of 90.

Vote Now: Which Actress Is Your All-Time Favorite?

Here are four roles that defined Jean Arthur's career:

1. Babe Bennett, "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936)
Arthur's first career-defining role was against Gary Cooper in Frank Capra's classic social comedy, "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town." In the movie, a romantic comedy, Arthur plays a reporter named Babe Bennett who first embarrasses and then rescues Cooper's character, a naïve multi-millionaire heir named Longfellow Deeds. Deeds has just inherited $20 million dollars from his uncle, but is convinced the money will lead to nothing good, and tries to give it away. His lawyers try declared him insane, and Arthur's character saves the day.

"A wonderful Capra vehicle; Cooper is superb; Arthur luminous," writes Bob Bloom of Journal and Courier, as reported by Rotten Tomatoes.

2. Alice Sycamore, "You Can't Take it With You" (1938)
The second movie that Arthur made with Capra was 1938's "You Can't Take it With You." Another romantic comedy in which she starred with Jimmy Stewart, Arthur role in this movie is of the sweet-natured Alice Sycamore who comes from an eccentric family on the wrong side of tracks. Needless to say, she falls in love with a wealthy banker's son named Toby Kirby (Stewart), but before the two can get married, their families must meet.

Tell Us: Who Is Your Favorite Actor of All Time?

"The romance between James Stewart and Jean Arthur is the keystone of the comedy," wrote Variety.

3. Clarissa Saunders, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939)
In 1939, Arthur again worked with Capra in the director's famed classic, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." For this movie, Arthur's played secretary named Clarissa Saunders, who first deceives, but then ends up helping her co-star James Stewart, in the role of a young senator named Jefferson Smith, defeat his political nemeses in a Congress filibuster in Washington.

4. Connie Milligan, "The More the Merrier" (1943)
In 1943, Arthur played the role of Connie Milligan in another romantic comedy, this time centered on the post World War II housing shortage in Washington that brings three unlikely people into a love triangle. Arthur shared the spotlight with Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn, playing the landlady who inadvertently rents a room to both men, and was nominated for a Best Actress award at that year's Academy Awards, her only such nomination (she did not win).

Vote Now: Which of These Actresses Stands the Test of Time?

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
FastFeatures
Born Gladys Georgianna Greene at the turn of the 20th century, comedienne Jean Arthur played many roles throughout her long and varied acting career. Although she became famed for the frog-like squeak of her voice and her great laugh, Arthur's first acting roles were actually in silent movies.
jean arthur, roles, career
512
2015-31-13
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 11:31 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved