Jean Hagen is a former American actress mostly known for starring in Singin’ in the Rain as Lina Lamont. She was also nominated for the Academy Awards and Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actress. He role as Margaret Williams (1953-56) on the television series Make Room For Daddy was critically acclaimed and nominated for Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series three times.
She passed away at the age of 54 on August 29, 1977.
Hagen was born Jean Shirley Verhagen on August 3, 1923, in Chicago. Her father Christian Verhagen was a Dutch immigrant and mother Marie was Chicago-born.
She along with her family moved to Elkhart, Indiana at the age of 12. She attended Elkhart High School and later graduated from Northwestern University in 1945 with a degree in drama. While attending her university, her roommate was actress Patricia Neal. Hagen also worked as an usherette in a theater for some time.
Hagen started her career in the 1940s in radio, where she performed in Light of the World, Hollywood Story, and such other programs. She was also featured in the episode The Yearling of the dramatic Hollywood anthology series Stars in the Air in 1952. She also played Betty Webster using her maiden name on Those Websters.
Hagen first appeared on stage in Swan Song. Later she also acted in many shows like Another Part of the Forest, Ghosts, Born Yesterday, and the Traitor.
Hagen’s film debut was from 1949 classic Adam’s Rib. She got her first starring role in The Asphalt Jungle (1950) along with Sterling Hayden and Marilyn Monroe. For her role as ‘Doll’, she received excellent feedback from the public.
Hagen played the role of a gangster’s nightclub singer girlfriend in the film Side Street (1950). Her best performance is regarded as the talentless and vain Lina Lamont in the film Singin’ in the Rain for which she received an Academy Award nomination as the Best Supporting Actress.
Hagen joined the TV show cast Make Room for Daddy alongside Sherry Jackson and Danny Thomas in 1953. Hagen received three Emmy award nominations for her role as the wife of Danny Thomas. She left the show after three seasons as she grew dissatisfied with the role.
Hagen co-starred in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1957. In 1960, she appeared in an episode of Once Upon a Knight as Elizabeth. She also made a guest appearance on The Andy Griffith Show.
The late actress was unable to resume her film career in starring roles successfully even-though she made frequent guest appearances in many TV series. She also played the supporting role of personal secretary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Sunrise at Campobello. She also appeared in Dead Ringer as the friend of Bette Davis.
Later in the 60s, Hagen was hospitalized due to the health problem. She made her comeback by the television series Starsky and Hutch and The Streets of San Francisco.
Hagen made her final appearance in the movie in Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn in 1977.
Jean was married to late actor Tom Seidel, on June 12, 1947, in Brentwood. Her husband Tom passed away at the age of 75 on December 7, 1992.
The pair had two children together, Christine Patricia Seidel and Aric Philip Seidel (1952-2012).
Besides her marriage, there is no any rumor of her affairs, relationship, boyfriend or anything related to it.
Tom divorced his wife and took the custody of their children in order to prevent his wife from drinking although it didn’t work. By 1968, Hagen’s alcoholism only worsened and lapsed into a coma at UCLA Medical Center. Hagen never drank again after she emerged from coma however she had another health problem: Throat cancer.
On August 29, 1977, Hagen died due to esophageal cancer at the age of 54 at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital. She was laid to rest in Chapel of the Pines Crematory.
The American actress throughout her life played many roles in different movies. Her earnings and net worth may not be revealed to the public but we can assume that she didn’t earn less than a six digit amount.
Jean stood 5 feet 4 inches tall in height, her nationality is American and ethnicity White. Her movies can be found on YouTube.