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Jean Peters - Hollywood's Mystery Girl

Jean Peters

Hollywood's Mystery Girl

By Michelangelo Capua
Series: Hollywood Legends Series

Hardcover : 9781496850263, 240 pages, 38 b&w illustrations, March 2024

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Farm Girl
Chapter 2: Catana
Chapter 3: Sense and Sensibility
Chapter 4: Dallas Pruitt
Chapter 5: Lady Pirate
Chapter 6: Kazan and Brando
Chapter 7: Negulesco’s Muse
Chapter 8: Femme Noir
Chapter 9: No Time for Love
Chapter 10: Surprising Girl in Surprise Wedding
Chapter 11: Bye-Bye Hollywood
Chapter 12: A Brief Comeback
Chapter 13: Tranquility
Selected Bibliography

The first definitive volume in more than fifty years on the extraordinary star of Pickup on South Street, Three Coins in the Fountain, and Niagara


From 1947 to 1955, Jean Peters (1926–2000) appeared in films opposite such Hollywood leading men as Tyrone Power, Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Spencer Tracy, Richard Widmark, and Robert Wagner, as well as international stars including Louis Jourdan and Rossano Brazzi. Despite her talent and status, Peters eschewed the star-studded lifestyle of 1950s Hollywood, turning down roles that were “too sexy” and refusing to socialize with other actors, discuss her private life in the press, or lead the glamorous lifestyle often associated with her peers. She was seen as a mystery to reporters, who constantly tried to discover tidbits about her personal life.

In 1957, her marriage to Howard Hughes led to her retirement from acting and her further withdrawal from social events in Hollywood. Instead, she shifted her attention to charitable work, arts and crafts, and university studies in psychology and anthropology. Her status as an enigma only grew as she agreed never to speak of her marriage with Hughes. After her divorce, however, Peters attempted to resume her acting career in television but never regained her previous level of stardom. Jean Peters: Hollywood's Mystery Girl grants an in-depth analysis of each of her nineteen films and is enriched by several high-quality photographs from the author’s personal collection.


"For about a dozen years following the end of the Second World War, Jean Peters was one of Hollywood’s brightest young leading ladies appearing opposite legends like Tyrone Power, Burt Lancaster, and Marlon Brando. Michelangelo Capua tells her long-neglected story and gives us an in-depth analysis of her nineteen films. Readers are sure to be delighted by the glimpse he provides into Peters’s fourteen-year marriage to the enigmatic and ultra-secretive billionaire Howard Hughes, who kept her nearly captive in the gilded cages of luxurious hotels and heavily guarded mansions."

- Robert Dance, author of Ferocious Ambition: Joan Crawford’s March to Stardom and The Savvy Sphinx: How Garbo Conquered Hollywood

"Jean Peters: Hollywood's Mystery Girl promise to reveal her long-neglected story along with an in-depth analysis of each of her 19 films and a glimpse into her 14-year marriage to the enigmatic and ultra-secretive billionaire Howard Hughes."

- Retro Magazine