Day Twenty-Six of Noirvember: Happy Birthday, Adele Jergens!

When they nicknamed Adele Jergens “The Eyeful,” they weren’t just whistlin’ Dixie.

Born on November 17, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York, Adele Louisa Jurgens didn’t start out with her sights set on the big screen. The tomboyish Adele was the youngest of four children and the only girl, and was focused on being a newspaper reporter – but her parents had other ideas.

“They wanted me to become a dancer and actress,” Jergens said. “It didn’t take me long to find out that my parents were right.”

After years of working as a model and a showgirl, Jergens got her big break in the early 1940s while understudying Gypsy Rose Lee in Star and Garter on Broadway. When Lee missed a show and Jergens stepped in, her performance attracted the attention of a Columbia Studios talent scout and before long, she was under contract to the studio. All told, her screen career spanned less than 15 years, but during that time, she made her mark in the realm of film noir, with featured roles in four first-rate features.

The Dark Past (1948)

Here, Jergens played one of several vacationers at a lakeside cabin who are held hostage by a psychologically damaged prison escapee, portrayed by William Holden. Jergens’s character, Laura Stevens, is a cheating wife whose disdain for her spouse turns to admiration when he stands up to their captors.

Side Street (1950)

Jergens was in only two scenes in this film, but she played the pivotal role as a hard-boiled dame who blackmails her much-married former lover, only to be murdered by her current attorney boyfriend (Edmon Ryan). The blackmail money is later stolen from the attorney’s office by a young mail carrier, portrayed by Farley Granger, who’s desperate for an income boost in order to care for his pregnant wife.

Armored Car Robbery (1950)

In this feature, Jergens was a standout as showgirl Yvonne LeDoux, who’s married to a small-time hood (Douglas Fowley) while carrying on an affair with bigger-time hood (William Talman). Playing a character described as “a lot of woman,” Jergens sashayed off with every scene she was in.

Try and Get Me (1950)

This grim tale of mob violence stars Lloyd Bridges and Frank Lovejoy as Jerry Slocum and Howard Tyler, two luckless criminals who get in way over their heads when they decide to kidnap a wealthy member of the local community. Jergens played Velma, Jerry’s money-loving girlfriend who wanted more out of life than what she could afford on her hairdresser salary – and didn’t care how she got it.

In her personal life, Jergens was linked with such stars as Franchot Tone, Victor Mature, and Al Jolson, but her “Mr. Right” was her co-star in 1949’s Treasure of Monte Cristo, Glenn Langan, who appeared in such featuers as Dragonwcyk (1946) and The Snake Pit (1948), and is perhaps best known for playing the title role in The Amazing Colossal Man (1957). After a whirlwind courtship, Jergens and Langan were married in October 1949, had a son, Tracy, and remained married until Langan’s death in 1991.

When you get a chance, keep an eye out for “The Eyeful” – she’ll give you something to look at.

And join me tomorrow for Day 27 (sniff!) of Noirvember!

 

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~ by shadowsandsatin on November 26, 2018.

4 Responses to “Day Twenty-Six of Noirvember: Happy Birthday, Adele Jergens!”

  1. I agree she’s great in Armored Car Robbery as Yvonne LeDoux. I see from IMDB she had a similar name in Slightly French – Yvonne La Tour.

  2. I love her tough persona is so many roles and her offscreen life as one half of a show biz 40 year marriage.

  3. I’ve seen “Try and Get Me” at the Billy Wilder Theater in L.A. I think Eddie Muller introduced it when I was there (maybe 5-6 years ago)! She’s also in “Ladies of the Chorus” with Marilyn Monroe! I’ll look forward to seeing more of her films. She’s a beauty and a good actress.

  4. She was a good actress !

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