Jeanne Eagels

Jeanne Eagels

Although Eagels claimed to be born in Boston, both the 1900 and 1910 United States Federal Censuses state that she was born in Missouri.

Best known on Broadway for her role of Sadie Thompson in "Rain."

Changed the spelling of her last name when she became famous from Eagles to Eagels because she thought it would look better in lights. It is the original spelling, not the stage spelling that is engraved on her headstone in Kansas City, Missouri.

Had an affair during the early 1920s with the young Arthur Fiedler, later the long-time music director of the famous Boston "Pops" concerts. Fiedler would always describe Eagels as the one great love of his life, and kept her autographed picture on his desk until his death.

Her Academy Award nomination for The Letter (1929) made her the first ever posthumous Oscar nominee.

Her first stage experience was at age 11 playing Puck in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Her two sound films, The Letter (1929) and Jealousy (1929), were remade with Bette Davis (the Davis version of "Jealousy" was retitled Deception (1946)). Davis also played a character loosely based on Eagels in Dangerous (1935).

On the 1900 and 1910 United States Federal Censuses for Kansas City, Missouri, Eagels is listed as "Eugenia Eagles" as her given name. Also, the 1910 Census, listed actress as her occupation.

She had a son with first husband Dubinsky, but his fate is not known.

Though not known to the public at the time Eagles had a long history of drug and alcohol problems. The studio heads did their best to keep this information out of the press and continually reported that her frequent trips to the sanitarium was due to a hereditary illness. When she died, her manager insisted that she had died of a stroke but the truth wasn't discovered until many years later.