Jean Harlow was in a class by herself, according to Edith Head's Hollywood (with Paddy Calistro; E.P. Dutton, Inc.; 1983).
On page 16:
She was Jean Harlow, a second-stringer in those days, but once Howard Hughes convinced her to bleach her hair she became a star within a year. Of course, when I worked with her I just thought of her as another actress, but I was impressed with her sensuous body and I made the most of it with white satin cut on the bias. I was afraid of how Clara [Bow] would react, since Jean really upstaged her in that slinky white gown. Most stars would have resented sharing a big scene with such a sizzling, voluptuous creature as Harlow. Not Clara. She was simply fascinated by her. I won't take credit for Harlow's screen image, but I think I'm entitled to say that what she wore in those scenes inspired others to take a second look and realize her knockout potential.
Yes, but you have to know what to do with that slinky white knockout dress on that knockout body or you might as well be looking at Olive Oyl!
Do you really think that Howard Hughes was interested in her mind?!
Not to mention Hughes himself: He was just as good-looking as Leonard DiCaprio plus a genius IQ, a family fortune AND the cachet of being a Texan to boot!
On page 142:
Those beautiful clinging clothes that Jean Harlow wore in her day--that was sex. People don't understand that it is far more exciting to see a woman dressed in clothes that suggest gorgeous breasts and alluring hips that to see her bare bosom or buttocks. Naked bodies have very little personality. Clothes are symbols that provide identification--especially in a film. If everyone walked around without clothes, it would be very difficult for people to remember each other, or even to notice each other.
Miss Maven would still notice Mel Gibson at a distance, clothed or not!!
Besides . . . he's the only known way to turn Maven into a gibbering--but darling and precious--idiot!
You can email Miss Maven at