Bottle-blonde bombshell of 1940s and 1950s "B" films who gained entry into Hollywood via the modeling and chorus girl venues. She typically played hardcore floozies, burlesque dancers, and the like. Went on to TV and played sexy foils to Red Skelton, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, among others.
Daughter of Marie Adele Jergens
Got her first break into the big time understudying Gypsy Rose Lee as a burlesque strip artist in the Broadway show "Star and Garter" in 1942. Gypsy fell ill for two weeks during the show's run. A talent scout for Columbia Pictures caught Adele's performance and signed her to a contract.
Her role as "Cameo" McQueen in Show Boat (1951), a role not in the stage version or in any other film version, is referred to in the dialogue by Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel as if it were a fairly significant bit part. But in the final release print, it was trimmed to literally a cameo, with absolutely no dialogue.
In 1939, she was named the Fairest of the Fair at the New York World's Fair.
In the early 1940s, she worked as a Rockette, and was named the Number One Showgirl in New York City.
Played Marilyn Monroe's mother in Ladies of the Chorus (1948) despite the fact they were only nine years apart. This was Marilyn's first co-starring role.
Predeceased by her only child, her son Tracy Langan.
Profiled in "Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Film Dames" bu Ray Hagen and Laura Wagner (McFarland, 2004).
She was dubbed "The Eyeful" by a publicist at Columbia Studios.
She was dubbed "the girl with the million dollar legs" by one of her dancing instructors.