Harlow was a reluctant star. At one point in her life she married a man with money; they moved to Beverly Hills. Since she had a car, she drove a friend to a casting call at Fox. You can guess the rest. Her story is quite a saga, complete with controlling mother, one husband's suicide shortly after their marriage (the rumor mill had a field day), a studio arranged marriage to cover up an adulterous affair, extreme popularity, illnesses and untimely death at the age of 26.
When I was young, glamour images of Harlow were everywhere. There were a small handful which were iconic. They seem to have disappeared over the years. There are lots of images available on the internet, but many of them don't catch the Hollywood Glamour Machine in full force. Still, I managed to find a few:
Her acting talents were minimal. In their review of her role in Howard Hughes' "Hells Angels", Variety famously remarked, "It doesn't matter what degree of talent she possesses... nobody ever starved possessing what she's got." And she did have it. She and Clark Gable steamed up the screen in several very successful pictures.
"She didn't want to be famous. She wanted to be happy."
-- Clark Gable
Happy Birthday, Ms. Harlow.