Oscar Actors: Hagen, Jean–Singin’ in the Rain

Jean Hagen was born Jean Shirley Verhagen on August 3, 1923 in Chicago; she died in 1977

Jean Hagen moved to New York City in 1945, after graduation as a drama major from Northwestern University. After several months as a radio performer and theater usherette she launched her stage career on Broadway.

She was signed by MGM on a movie contract in 1949 and showed much promise in her screen debut as Judy Holliday’s homewrecker in George Cukor’s “Adam s Rib.”

But with the notable exception of John Huston’s “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950) and “Singin’ in the Rain”(1952), the film industry failed to take advantage of her versatile talent as a dramatic actress and comedienne.

From 1953 to 1957, Hagen played Danny Thomas’s wife in the popular TV series “Make Room for Daddy.”

She died of throat cancer at the age of 54.

Oscar Nominations: 1

1952: Supporting Actress, “Singin’ in the Rain”

The winner was Gloria Grahame in Minnelli’s Hollywood melodrama, “The Bad and the Beautiful.”