Fast Facts

  • Discovered at age 12 by silent-film director Allen Dwan while playing baseball with neighborhood children.
  • Had a facial scar from a 1925 car accident.
  • Remained good friends with ex-husband William Powell after their divorce; they starred together in 1936's My Man Godfrey.
  • Nicknamed "the Profane Angel" because of her penchant for swearing.
  • Sold war bonds during World War II, and died in a plane crash (along with her mother) in 1942 on her way home from a campaign; President Roosevelt publicly eulogized her and posthumously awarded her the Medal of Freedom. 
  • Her last film, To Be or Not to Be, was released after her death.


  • 1936, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee


  • Frederic Peters Jr. — Brother
  • Clark Gable — Husband
  • Frederic Peters — Father
  • Robert Riskin — Ex-significant Other
  • Russ Columbo — Ex-significant Other
  • Elizabeth 'Bessie' Peters — Mother
  • Stuart Peters — Brother
  • William Powell — Ex-husband