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Jean Rogers
Born Eleanor Dorothy Lovegren
March 25, 1916
Belmont, Massachusetts, United States
Died February 24, 1991
Sherman Oaks, California, United States
Years active 1933-1950
Spouse(s) Dan Winkler (1943-1970)

Jean Rogers (March 25, 1916 - February 24, 1991) was an American actress. She is best remembered today as Dale Arden in two of the three Flash Gordon serials.

Contents

Early life

Jean Rogers was born Eleanor Dorothy Lovegren in Belmont, Massachusetts, in 1916. Originally, she had hoped to study art. However, as a teenager in 1933, she won a local beauty contest sponsored by Paramount Pictures, which helped launch a career in Hollywood. Rogers starred in a number of serials for Universal from 1935 to 1938, including Ace Drummond and Flash Gordon.

Flash Gordon

Rogers got her biggest assignment when she played the role of Dale Arden in the first two Flash Gordon serials between 1936 and 1939. Buster Crabbe and Jean Rogers were perfectly cast as hero and heroine in the first serial (Flash Gordon), and Rogers' fragile beauty, long blonde hair, and revealing costume endeared her to thousands of moviegoers during the late 1930s. She was lusted after by "Ming the Merciless" (Charles B. Middleton) and most of the male audience as Flash Gordon rescued her from one life-threatening situation after another in the serial. In the first serial, Dale competed with Princess Aura (Priscilla Lawson) for Flash Gordon's amorous attention. Rogers and Lawson were two completely different types of character actress. Jean Rogers was fragile, small-chested, diminutive and totally dependent on the all-powerful Flash Gordon for her survival. Lawson, on the other hand, was domineering, independent, voluptuous, well endowed, conniving, sly, and determined to take Flash for herself. The competition between the two women for Flash Gordon's attention is one of the highlights of the film. In the second Flash Gordon Serial (Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars), Jean Rogers sports a totally different look. She has dark hair and wears the same full length, modest costume in each episode. Rogers matured both physically and mentally after the first serial, and there are no sexual overtones in Trip To Mars as there were in Flash Gordon. Rogers told author Richard Lamparski that she wasn't keen on doing the second Flash Gordon serial and asked her studio to exclude her from the third one.[1]

Feature films

Fearing that she was becoming a "serial queen," she asked the studio to allow her to do feature films, which they did. She eventually left Universal and started working for 20th Century Fox, and shortly before retiring in 1951, she moved on to working for MGM.

Later life

Rogers is said to have become an artist after retiring. Jean Rogers and Buster Crabbe were reunited in 1975, thirty-nine years after the first Flash Gordon serial was filmed in 1936. They met under less hostile and dangerous conditions the second time around. She died in 1991 at age 74 in Sherman Oaks, California, as a result of complications from surgery.

Selected filmography

References

  1. ^ Lamparski, Richard Whatever Became of-Eight Edition 1982 Crown Publishers

External links








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