Image of Jean Rogers

Jean Rogers

Jean Rogers, born Eleanor Dorothy Lovegren, was an American actress who starred in serial films in the 1930s and low–budget feature films in the 1940s as a leading lady. She is best remembered for playing Dale Arden in the science fiction serials Flash Gordon and Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars. She graduated from Belmont High School, and had hoped to study art, but in 1933, she won a beauty contest sponsored by Paramount Pictures that led to her career in Hollywood. Rogers starred in several serials for Universal between 1935 and 1938, including Ace Drummond and Flash Gordon. Rogers was one of seven women chosen out of 2,700 passengers on excursion boats and ferries who were interviewed for roles in Eight Girls in a Boat. The group began work in Hollywood on September 3, 1933. By 1937, Rogers was the only one of the seven featured as an actress. Rogers was assigned the role of Dale Arden in the first two Flash Gordon serials. Buster Crabbe and Rogers were cast as the hero and heroine in the first serial, Flash Gordon, and Rogers' beauty, long blonde hair, and revealing costumes endeared her to moviegoers. The evil ruler Ming the Merciless lusted after her, and Gordon was forced to rescue her from one situation after another. While filming the series in 1937, her costume caught fire and she suffered burns on her hands. Co-star Crabbe smothered the fire by wrapping a blanket on her. In the first serial, Arden competed with Princess Aura for Gordon's attention. Rogers' character was fragile, small-chested, diminutive, and totally dependent on Gordon for her survival; Lawson's Princess Aura was domineering, independent, voluptuous, conniving, sly, ambitious, and determined to make Gordon her own. The competition for Gordon's attention is one of the highlights of the film. In Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars, the second serial, Rogers sported a totally different look. She had dark hair and wore the same modest costume in each episode. Rogers matured after the first serial, and no sexual overtones are seen in Trip to Mars. Rogers told writer Richard Lamparski that she was not eager to do the second serial and asked her studio to excuse her from the third. Despite starring in serial films, Rogers felt she was not going to improve her career unless she could participate in feature films. She discovered that it was more tedious working in feature films. She played John Wayne's leading lady in the 1936 full-length motion picture Conflict and co-starred with Boris Karloff in the horror film Night Key the following year. During the 1940s, Rogers appeared solely in feature films, including The Man Who Wouldn't Talk with Lloyd Nolan, Viva Cisco Kid with Cesar Romero as the Cisco Kid, Design for Scandal with Rosalind Russell and Walter Pidgeon, Whistling in Brooklyn with Red Skelton, A Stranger in Town with Frank Morgan, Backlash, and Speed to Spare with Richard Arlen. Still, she was unhappy with the studios, possibly because she was relegated to B-movie productions on a lower salary. She decided to freelance with companies such as 20th Century Fox and MGM. Her last appearance was in a supporting role in the suspense film The Second Woman, made in 1950 by United Artists. She died in Sherman Oaks in 1991 at the age of 74 following surgery. She was later cremated and her ashes returned to her family.


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Born:
Mar 25, 1916 In Belmont, Massachusetts, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
50
First Appeared:
In the movie Twenty Million Sweethearts 1934-05-26
Latest Project:
Movie The Peacemaker 1997-09-26
Known For
Poster of Personalities
Poster of Time Out for Murder
Poster of Night Key
Poster of Fighting Youth
Filmography
Movie The Peacemaker Sarajevo CNN Representative 1997-09-26
Movie Spaceship To The Unknown Dale Arden (archive footage) 1966-01-01
Movie The Second Woman Dodo Ferris 1950-07-07
Movie Squadron of Doom Peggy Trainor 1949-12-15
Movie Speed to Spare Mary McGee 1948-05-14
Movie Fighting Back June Sanders 1948-07-30
Movie Backlash Catherine Morland 1947-03-01
Movie Gay Blades Nancy Davis 1946-01-25
Movie Rough, Tough and Ready Jo Matheson 1945-03-22
Movie The Strange Mr. Gregory Ellen Randall 1945-01-12
Movie Swing Shift Maisie Iris Reed 1943-10-01
Movie A Stranger in Town Lucy Gilbert 1943-04-01
Movie Whistling in Brooklyn Jean Pringle 1943-12-01
Movie Personalities (uncredited) 1942-01-01
Movie Dr. Kildare's Victory Miss Annabelle Kirke 1942-02-04
Movie Sunday Punch Judy 1942-05-08
Movie The War Against Mrs. Hadley Patricia Hadley 1942-08-07
Movie Pacific Rendezvous Elaine Carter 1942-05-21
Movie Let's Make Music Abby Adams 1941-01-17
Movie Design for Scandal Dotty 1941-12-01
Movie The Man Who Wouldn't Talk Alice Stetson 1940-01-11
Movie Brigham Young Clara Young 1940-09-27
Movie Charlie Chan in Panama Kathi Lenesch (Baroness Kathi von Czardos) 1940-03-01
Movie Viva Cisco Kid Joan Allen 1940-04-12
Movie Inside Story June White 1939-03-10
Movie Hotel for Women Nancy Prescott 1939-08-03
Movie Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence Anita Santos 1939-11-03
Movie Stop, Look and Love Louise Haller 1939-09-22
Movie Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars Dale Arden 1938-03-21
Movie Time Out for Murder Helen Thomas 1938-09-25
Movie Always in Trouble Virginia Darlington 1938-10-28
Movie While New York Sleeps Judy King 1938-12-16
Movie Mars Attacks the World Dale Arden 1938-11-07
Movie When Love Is Young Irene Henry 1937-03-26
Movie Secret Agent X-9 Shara Graustark 1937-04-12
Movie Reported Missing Jean Clayton 1937-08-15
Movie Night Key Joan Mallory 1937-04-18
Movie My Man Godfrey Unknown 1936-09-02
Movie Crash Donovan Blonde (uncredited) 1936-08-01
Movie Rocket Ship Dale Arden 1936-10-01
Movie The Adventures of Frank Merriwell Elsie Belwood 1936-01-13
Movie Conflict Maude Sangster 1936-11-29
Movie Flash Gordon Dale Arden 1936-10-10
Movie Mysterious Crossing Yvonne Fontaine 1936-12-27
Movie Ace Drummond Peggy Trainor 1936-10-18
Movie Manhattan Moon Joan 1935-07-01
Movie Tailspin Tommy in The Great Air Mystery Betty Lou Barnes 1935-10-20
Movie Fighting Youth Blonde Student 1935-11-01
Movie Stormy Kerry Dorn 1935-10-21
Movie Twenty Million Sweethearts Radio Fan (uncredited) 1934-05-26