LINA LAMONT FOREVER!

Jean Hagen

“…and I  cayn’t stand’im.”

 

Who can forget the whiny tones of silent screen star ‘Lina Lamont’ in Singin’ in the Rain.  Brought to life by Jean Hagen who fully deserved her Oscar nomination.

Lina was perfect on screen – as long as she didn’t talk!

I always liked her line –

I make more money than – than – Calvin Coolidge – put together!”

In an excellent current touring production of the show in the U.K., that line has been changed to;

I make more money than the Warner Brothers – and Sisters!”

Douglas Fowley, Jean Hagen, Gene Kelly

Love Douglas Fowley in his vain attempts to get Lina to talk into the microphone.

 

Jean Hagen

Jean Hagen (1923-1977) was born Jean Verhagen in Chicago. After experience in radio and the stage, her first film was “Adam’s Rib” in 1949, followed by “The Asphalt Jungle” in 1950, in which she played the sympathetic girlfriend of Sterling Hayden.

She also played James Stewart’s wife in “Carbine Williams”, a Stewart film hardly ever seen.

Presumably with no good film roles on the horizon, Jean spent the next few years on TV, as the wife of Danny Thomas in “Make a room For Daddy.”

Jean’s health declined in the 1960s and her career never reached that peak again of playing Lina Lamont.

But she will be forever remembered as Miss Lamont, who was the triple threat -couldn’t act, sing or dance!

 

 

5 responses »

  1. In addition to this classic, I always enjoyed her in other films too – even one of her last with I think Ray Milland (a sci-fi that’s far from a classic) – and wish both she and Estelle Winwood had more to do in “Dead Ringer” with Bette Davis.
    Patricia Neal pays tribute to her in her memoirs, and mentions that she and her best friend Helen Horton whom I’d known in England, helped look after her when she was ill.
    I’ve always felt people like her and Jan Sterling are among so very many “great unsung” so to speak, and am glad you have this about her.

    • The Ray Milland film is Panic in Year Zero.
      Jean certainly deserved a bigger film career. And Jan Sterling never disappointed.
      Good to know Jean and Patricia Neal were friends.

  2. Just watched Sunset Boulevard again on Turner and Lina makes me think of Norma’s line: “There once was a time in this business when I had the eyes of the whole world! But that wasn’t good enough for them, oh no! They had to have the ears of the whole world too. So they opened their big mouths and out came talk. Talk! TALK!”

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