Jean Willes Bio

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Jean Willes Bio

Post by Calamity » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:46 pm

Jean Willes (1923-1989)

Sometimes brunette


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Three Stooges - Monkey Business

Sometimes blond


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James Garner - Maverick

but always a bombshell


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:thanks Tracy - Desire Under the Elms

This California girl, born Jean Donahue, was best known for her roles as a sly, hard-boiled painted lady.

She was on Bonanza four times: The Sisters, The Gentleman from New Orleans, A Good Night's Rest and Starcrossed.

As a child, her family moved to Salt lake City, Utah and then to Seattle, Washington but when she came of age, Jean headed back to Los Angeles, California to follow her dream.


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As Amelia Terry in The Sisters

She played a few bit parts in the 1940s under her own name until 1947 when she married a professional wrestler named Willes. From then on, she starred with Clark Gable, Bob Hope and many other A list actors of the 1950s. Did you know that she was in From Here to Eternity or Ocean's Eleven?


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Clark Gable - King and Four Queens

When television became popular, Jean moved onto the small screen guest starring in hundreds of roles. One of my favorites is the Twilight Zone episode, Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up.


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Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up

It's a fun episode with an extra person (Martian?) not accounted for. Seems the only person that the bus driver could remember was Ethel McConnell played by our Jean.

Though she never hit the A list as did many of her costars, Jean remained a favorite of other actors and with many producers and directors. She was a classy lady who was remembered as being easy to work with.

"I seem to get along with everybody and that helps because in TV it's always a tight schedule. You've heard the crack about the TV producer who got impatient because some actress wasn't satisfied with a scene. "Look", he shouted, "I don't want it good--I want it Thursday". Well, that's the way it is in a lot of these TV series."


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:thanks Tracy

In 1951 Jean had left her wrestler for an NFL football player, Gerard Cowhig. They were a happy couple who had a son, Gerry, and who stayed together for the rest of their lives.
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