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Gloria Jean Sings!

Here you can watch an overview of her film career, find a list of her films, hear her sing,
order unique memorabilia, and learn more about her biography. Read on!

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Gloria Jean

Gloria Jean’s career as a singer and actress spanned more than 30 years. She began singing as a toddler. At the age of five, she headlined her own radio show in Scranton, Pennsylvania. By the age of 12, she was training for a professional career as a coloratura soprano with a leading New York City operatic coach. In 1939, at the age of 13, she was Universal Pictures’ brightest new star, threatening to eclipse her predecessor, Deanna Durbin. She performed in films with such greats as Bing Crosby, W. C. Fields, Groucho Marx, Donald O’Connor, Mel Tormé, and the Andrews Sisters. As the 1940s progressed, she proved herself as a gifted actress as well as a singer. In the 1950s, she occasionally appeared on stage and on television in both acting and singing roles. In the 1960s, Elvis Presley wanted to make a film with her. Today she lives in retirement in Hawaii, and her rare appearances at celebrity autograph shows and film screenings are eagerly attended.

If you would like to send a message to Gloria, please e-mail her at gloriajean@gloriajeansings.com. She is still new to reading and replying to email, so please be patient. She has no staff and handles all her fan mail personally.

Please visit our Memorabilia page to order autographed photos and other memorabilia directly from Gloria.

More about Gloria Jean ...

Watch this video for an overview of Gloria's Hollywood movie career!

"I would consider my career a little bit of heaven"

The golden age of Hollywood is not dead. Gloria Jean remembers what it was like to co-star in a comedy with W. C. Fields, sing with Bing Crosby, dance with Donald O’Connor, and watch Jack Pierce make up the famous monsters at Universal Pictures. She remembers what it was like being a teenage star in Hollywood, when her studio bosses dictated who she socialized with, where she ate lunch -- and how much lunch she could eat. Mel Tormé proposed marriage to her. Groucho Marx offered her fatherly advice.

Gloria Jean’s fascinating life story, much of it told in her own words, is recounted in a book-length biography, Gloria Jean: A Little Bit of Heaven by Scott MacGillivray and Jan MacGillivray (iUniverse, 2005). Gloria Jean was Universal Pictures’ brightest new star at the age of 13 in 1939. She had already had a successful career as a child singer on radio in her hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and was training for a career in professional opera when she won an audition with producer Joseph Pasternak to star in the film The Under-Pup. She went on to make 26 more films over a 20-year period, appeared on radio, stage, television, and in nightclubs, and had a successful second career with Redken Laboratories after leaving show business in the early 1960s.

Although she was a popular star throughout the 1940s, helping to launch other stars such as Donald O’Connor and Mel Tormé in her films, Gloria Jean’s promising movie career never fully blossomed. Studio politics, changes in the film industry, and poor advice kept her from reaching the pinnacle she might have achieved, but she refuses to be bitter about it. “You’re never going to learn about anything until you’re confronted with these situations,” she says. “If you were going to live a life where nothing happened, you wouldn’t be much of a person… The way I look at it, I would consider my career a little bit of heaven.”

Gloria’s recollections in Gloria Jean: A Little Bit of Heaven are seasoned by comments from her sister Bonnie and supplemented by dozens of exclusive photos and an in-depth examination of her career, including three previously “lost” films that were rediscovered by the authors. The book is available directly from the publisher (iUniverse) and online through Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. In its review of the book, Kirkus Discoveries says: “Gloria Jean not only had star-quality beauty and a dramatic flair, but also a pleasing coloratura singing voice… The authors, an experienced husband-and-wife film-historian team, bring great sensitivity and authority to their subject, and Gloria Jean herself provides fascinating anecdotes of her career… A must-read for film buffs that will hopefully stimulate further discussion of Gloria Jean’s work.” The book has also received enthusiastic reader reviews on Amazon.com.

About the authors:
Scott MacGillivray is the author of Laurel & Hardy: From the Forties Forward, Castle Films: A Hobbyist’s Guide, and The Soundies Distributing Corporation of America (with Ted Okuda). Jan MacGillivray is a film columnist who has contributed video reviews of vintage films to Filmfax and Outré magazines.

This website is maintained by Jan and Scott MacGillivray. Questions or comments? E-mail us at webmaster@gloriajeansings.com.
All text is copyright
© 2006 2013  by Scott MacGillivray and Jan MacGillivray.