Born Eleanor Lovegren in Belmont, Massachusetts, on March 25, 1916, actress Jean Rogers modeled as a teenager before entering films at the age of 17. Her first film role was as a chorus girl in the Warner Bros. musical Footlight Parade (1933; with James Cagney and Joan Blondell). In 1935, Rogers landed a contract with Universal, and she made her first credited appearance in Manhattan Moon (1935; with Ricardo Cortez). She quickly became the queen of serials at Universal, starring in The Adventures of Frank Merriwell (1936; with Donald Briggs), the 13-chapter adventure Ace Drummond (1936; with John 'Dusty' King and Lon Chaney Jr.), and the 12-chapter actioner Secret Agent X-9 (1937; with Scott Kolk). But she's best known for portraying Dale Arden in Universal's sci-fi serials Flash Gordon (1936; with Buster Crabbe) and Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938; with Buster Crabbe). Unhappy with the roles offered to her and tired of the grueling serial production schedule, in 1938 Rogers left Universal for 20th Century-Fox. Her first film at the studio was the second bill mystery Time Out for Murder (1938; with Michael Whalen and Gloria Stuart). While the roles at Fox were an improvement and she had broken free of serials, in 1941 she left Fox for MGM, then the top studio in Hollywood.
Jean RogersJean Rogers

LEFT: Mid 1930s Universal still of Jean Rogers. RIGHT: Early 1940s Fox still

Rogers married agent/talent scout Dan Winkler on January 7, 1939, but the couple parted ways in April 1941. She and Winkler remarried in 1943 and remained together until his death in 1970. Unfortunately, she was fired from MGM for remarrying her husband against the wishes of studio head Louis B Mayer, so for the remainder of her career, Rogers freelanced at other studios.

the films of jean rogers

Flash Gordon (1936)

Buster Crabbe and Jean RogersBuster Crabbe and Jean Rogers

With Buster Crabbe in Universal's 13-chapter serial Flash Gordon. This release, considered the first science fiction serial, was wildly popular and spawned many imitations.

Mysterious Crossing (1936)

Andy Devine, Jean Rogers, and James Dunn

With Andy Devine and James Dunn in the Universal mystery Mysterious Crossing

Reported Missing (1937)

Jean Rogers and William Gargan

From the Universal thriller Reported Missing with William Gargan

Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938)

Buster Crabbe and Jean RogersBuster Crabbe and Jean Rogers

From Universal's 15-chapter serial Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars, aka Mars Attacks the World, with Buster Crabbe

Inside Story (1939)

John Dusty King, June Gale, Jean Rogers, and Michael WhalenJean Rogers and Michael Whalen

LEFT: With John 'Dusty' King, June Gale, and Michael Whalen in the 20th Century Fox B drama Inside Story. RIGHT: With Michael Whalen

The Man Who Wouldn't Talk (1940)

Lloyd Nolan and Jean Rogers

From Fox's crime drama The Man Who Wouldn't Talk with Lloyd Nolan

Yesterday's Heroes (1940)

Russell Gleason, Jean Rogers, and Robert Sterling

With Russell Gleason and Robert Sterling in the Fox drama Yesterday's Heroes

Design for Scandal (1941)

Jean Rogers, Edward Arnold, and Walter Pidgeon

From the MGM comedy-romance Design for Scandal with Edward Arnold and Walter Pidgeon

Dr. Kildare's Victory (1942)

Lew Ayres and Jean Rogers

With Lew Ayres in the MGM drama Dr. Kildare's Victory

Sunday Punch (1942)

Jean Rogers and William Lundigan

From the MGM comedy/drama Sunday Punch with William Lundigan. Both Rogers and Lundigan were discovered for films by Universal executive Charles Rogers

The War Against Mrs. Hadley (1942)

van Johnson, Edward Arnold, and Jean Rogers

With Van Johnson and Edward Arnold in the MGM drama The War Against Mrs. Hadley

A Stranger in Town (1943)

Frank Morgan, Richard Carlson, and Jean Rogers

From the MGM drama A Stranger in Town with Frank Morgan and Richard Carlson

The Strange Mr. Gregory (1945)

Jean Rogers and Donald Douglas

With Donald Douglas in the Monogram mystery The Strange Mr. Gregory. Douglas died of a sudden illness just three weeks after the film premiered

Gay Blades (1946)

Jean Rogers and Allan Lane

With Allan Lane in the Republic comedy Gay Blades

Backlash (1947)

Jean Rogers, Richard Travis, and Larry J. Blake

From the 20th Century Fox film noir thriller Backlash

later years

With marriage and motherhood, along with her walking papers from MGM, Rogers' film career quickly lost momentum. Giving birth to her daughter in March 1944, Rogers made just a few more film appearances. Of her post-war films, probably the best is the film noir thriller Backlash (1947; with Richard Travis). In her final film, The Second Woman (1950; with Robert Young and Betsy Drake), Rogers was relegated to supporting status. She ended her career in 1950 and concentrated on raising her children. Her husband, Dan Winkler, passed away in 1970. In her later years, Jean Rogers suffered from poor health and, after a series of strokes, she passed away on February 24, 1991, at the age of 74.

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The Second Woman (1950) with Robert Young, Betsy Drake, John Sutton, and Florence Bates
Fighting Back (1948) with Paul Langton, Gary Gray, Morris Ankrum, and Tommy Ivo
Speed to Spare (1948) with Richard Arlen, Richard Travis, and Roscoe Karns
Backlash (1947) with Richard Travis and Robert Shayne
Hot Cargo (1946) with William Gargan
Gay Blades (1946) with Allan Lane, Frank Albertson, and Robert Armstrong
The Strange Mr. Gregory (1945) with Edmund Lowe
Rough, Tough and Ready (1945) with Chester Morris, Victor McLaglen, and Veda Ann Borg
Whistling in Brooklyn (1943) with Red Skelton, Ann Rutherford, Ray Collins, and William Frawley
Swing Shift Maisie (1943) with Ann Sothern, James Craig, and Kay Medford
A Stranger in Town (1943) with Frank Morgan, Richard Carlson, Chill Wills, Gladys Blake, and John Hodiak
The War Against Mrs. Hadley (1942) with Edward Arnold, Fay Bainter, Spring Byington, and Van Johnson
Pacific Rendezvous (1942) with Lee Bowman
Sunday Punch (1942) with William Lundigan, Dan Dailey, Guy Kibbee, and J. Carrol Naish
Dr. Kildare's Victory (1942) with Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore, and Robert Sterling
Design for Scandal (1941) with Rosalind Russell, Walter Pidgeon, Lee Bowman, Mary Beth Hughes, and Guy Kibbee
Let's Make Music (1941) with Bob Crosby, Joyce Compton, and Benny Rubin
Yesterday's Heroes (1940) with Robert Sterling and Ted North
Brigham Young (1940) with Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Dean Jagger, Brian Donlevy, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Mary Astor, and Vincent Price
Viva Cisco Kid (1940) with Cesar Romero
Charlie Chan in Panama (1940) with Sidney Toler, Lionel Atwill, Mary Nash, Kane Richmond, and Jack La Rue
The Man Who Wouldn't Talk (1940) with Lloyd Nolan and Mae Marsh
Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence (1939) with Marjorie Rambeau, Glenn Ford, Richard Conte, and Ward Bond
Stop, Look and Love (1939) with William Frawley
Hotel for Women (1939) with Ann Sothern, Linda Darnell, Lynn Bari, Joyce Compton, Elsa Maxwell, and Ruth Terry
Inside Story (1939) with Michael Whalen, Chick Chandler, and Jane Darwell
While New York Sleeps (1938) with Michael Whalen, Chick Chandler, Joan Woodbury, and William Demarest
Always in Trouble (1938) with Jane Withers and Arthur Treacher
Time Out for Murder (1938) with Michael Whalen, Gloria Stuart, Chick Chandler, Jane Darwell, and Ruth Hussey
Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938) with Buster Crabbe and Charles Middleton
Reported Missing (1937) with William Gargan and Dick Purcell
The Wildcatter (1937) with Scott Kolk and Ward Bond
Night Key (1937) with Boris Karloff and Ward Bond
Secret Agent X-9 (1937) with Scott Kolk, Monte Blue, and Lon Chaney Jr.
When Love Is Young (1937) with Virginia Bruce, Kent Taylor, and Walter Brennan
Mysterious Crossing (1936) with James Dunn, Andy Devine, and Herbert Rawlinson
Conflict (1936) with John Wayne and Ward Bond
Ace Drummond (1936) with John 'Dusty' King, Noah Beery Jr., and Lon Chaney Jr.
Flash Gordon (1936) with Buster Crabbe and Charles Middleton
Don't Get Personal (1936) with James Dunn and Sally Eilers
The Adventures of Frank Merriwell (1936) with Donald Briggs and John 'Dusty' King
Fighting Youth (1935) with Charles Farrell, June Martel, Andy Devine, Ann Sheridan, and Phyllis Cerf
Tailspin Tommy in The Great Air Mystery (1935) with Clark Williams and Noah Beery Jr.
Stormy (1935) with Noah Beery Jr. and Raymond Hatton
Manhattan Moon (1935) with Ricardo Cortez

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Watch Jean Rogers in the 1950 film noir thriller The Second Woman
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