Brassy Bombshell Adele Jergens, 1917-2002
From the L.A. Times—
Adele Jergens, who played brassy platinum-blond bombshells and film-noir femmes fatales in a string of B movies in the 1940s and `50s, has died. She was 84. Jergens, who was a leading pinup during World War II, died Nov. 22 of undisclosed causes at her home in Camarillo. The former New York show girl primarily played leads and second leads in 47 films, including "Ladies of the Chorus" opposite Marilyn Monroe, "The Fuller Brush Man" starring Red Skelton, "The Dark Past" with William Holden, and "Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man." "Her image was always that of the tough chorus girl or gangster's moll or the best friend of the lead," said Alex Gordon, a producer at American International Pictures in the 1950s, who cast Jergens in three pictures. Film historian Alan Rode said Jergens developed a reputation as a femme fatale in a handful of films noirs such as "Armored Car Robbery," "Side Street" and "Try and Get Me." She was one of the last links to the classic era of film-noir movies," said Rode, who is writing a book about film-noir heavies and had scheduled an interview with Jergens just before she died. "She was," Rode said, "part of a bygone era of burlesque girls and men who wear fedoras -- an era where it was clear who wore the aprons at home and served the martinis to their husbands and who were the girls that the hard guys and bad men wanted to have."