British leading lady of the 1940s, on stage aged ten, formerly (as Jean Carr) in the Windmill chorus
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Jean Kent BiographyJean Kent, born Joan Mildred Field on 29th June, 1921 in Brixton, London, was a British film actress. She started her theatrical career at a tender age in 1931 as a dancer. Initially, she used the stage name of Jean Carr when she appeared as a chorus girl in the Windmill Theatre in London.
Bit parts led to her first real break in 1942 with Tommy Handley and Greta Gynt in It’s That Man Again. Later, she signed to Gainsborough Pictures during the Second World War; the turning point in her career came when she was given a dramatic part alongside James Mason and Stewart Granger in Fanny by Gaslight.
In 1946 she married the Austrian Jusuf Ramart – with Stewart Granger as best man at her wedding – and the pair remained together until until his death in 1989. The couple appeared together in the films Caravan and Trottie True.
Film and Television
She appeared in a large number British films during the 1940s and 1950s, which included many successful British melodramatic films, as the strawberry-blonde haughty, seductive type, who was often cast as a spiteful hussy or femme fatale. The latter part of her acting career was in television, including roles in Sir Francis Drake and Thicker Than Water in the 1960s, and in the 70s show Tycoon.
Billed at the BFI on her 90th birthday in 2011 as the ‘last of the Gainsborough Girls’, Kent was writing her eagerly anticipated autobiography before her death in late 2013.
With thanks to Michael Thornton for corrections to spellings of certain names.
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Jean Kent News
- Jean Kent, British actress, dies aged 92
30th November, 2013
- The last of the Gainsborough Girls, British actress Jean Kent, has died aged 92.