biography

Born in Brooklyn on November 26, 1917 (some sources cite 1919 and 1922), beautiful actress Adele Jergens first rose to prominence in the late 1930s, when she was named "Miss World's Fairest" at the 1939 World's Fair, held in New York. After a few years of working as a model and chorus girl, Jergens landed a contract with Columbia Pictures in 1944. One of the first changes Columbia made was to bleach Jergens' brunette hair blond. After a few small roles, Jergens landed a starring role in the 1945 film A Thousand and One Nights opposite Cornel Wilde. The studio tended to cast her in comedies such as The Corpse Came C.O.D. (1947; with George Brent and Joan Blondell); The Fuller Brush Man (1948; with Red Skelton); and Beware of Blondie (1950; with Arthur Lake and Penny Singleton). In 1949, Jergens married actor Glenn Langan, whom she met on the set of Treasure of Monte Cristo (1949; with Steve Brodie).

Adele JergensGlenn Langan

LEFT: Mid 1940s Columbia promotional photo of Adele Jergens. RIGHT: Handsome 1940s portrait of Jergens' husband, Glenn Langan. Their marriage lasted until his death in 1991. Langan is best known for his role as Glenn Manning from The Amazing Colossal Man (1957)

Jergens freelanced extensively after her contract with Columbia lapsed in 1950, doing fewer comedies and more film noir. Some of her best films from this period include Side Street (1950; with Farley Granger); Edge of Doom (1950; with Farley Granger); Fireman Save My Child (1954; with Hugh O'Brian), and The Day the World Ended (1956; with Lori Nelson and Mike Connors).

the films of adele jergens

A Thousand and One Nights (1945)

Adele JergensAdele Jergens and Cornel WildeAdele Jergens and Cornel WildeAdele Jergens and Cornel WildeAdele Jergens and Cornel Wilde

From the Columbia adventure A Thousand and One Nights. LEFT: Glamorous publicity photo. CENTER A, B, C, and RIGHT: With co-star Cornel Wilde

Down to Earth (1947)

Adele Jergens

Promotional photo from the Technicolor musical Down to Earth

Ladies of the Chorus (1948)

Adele Jergens and Marilyn MonroeAdele Jergens and Marilyn Monroe

In a strange bit of casting, Jergens portrays Marilyn Monroe's mother in Columbia's Ladies of the Chorus. Jergens was Monroe's senior by just nine years

Armored Car Robbery (1950)

Adele Jergens

From RKO's film noir release Armored Car Robbery

Edge of Doom (1950)

Farley Granger and Adele Jergens

With Farley Granger in the RKO noir thriller Edge of Doom

Sugarfoot (1951)

Adele Jergens and Randolph Scott

From the Warner Bros. western Sugarfoot with Randolph Scott

Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Adele JergensAdele JergensAdele Jergens

Jergens looks sexy in these promotional photos from Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man

The Cobweb (1955) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Adele Jergens

Jergens had a supporting role in the MGM drama The Cobweb

The Day the World Ended (1956)

Adele Jergens and Mike Connors

With Mike Connors in Roger Corman's apocalyptic sci-fi effort The Day the World Ended. This was one of Jergen's last films

Runaway Daughters (1956)

Lance Fuller and Adele Jergens

With Lance Fuller in the American International teen torment feature Runaway Daughters

later years

After the release of Runaway Daughters (1956; with Marla English and Lance Fuller), Adele Jergens retired from the screen to raise her son and pursue other interests. Her husband Glenn Langan also retired from the screen around this time, after the release of The Amazing Colossal Man (1957). Langan went into the construction business and passed away in 1991. Adele Jergens passed away on November 22, 2002, at the age of 84. Her son, Tracy, passed away from cancer in 2001 at age 48.

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Icons Of Screwball Comedy, Vol. 1 [DVD] DVD
A chance park bench meeting between a wealthy but unhappy auto magnate (Herbert Marshall) and an unemployed chef (Jean Arthur) leads the two to pose as a married butler/cook team for a mobster (Leo Carrillo). Marshall shines thanks to tips from his own butler, but trouble arises when Arthur proves to be a disaster in the kitchen, in "If You Could Only Cook" (1935). Then, Arthur has "Too Many Husbands" (1940), playing a young woman who finds herself the object of affection of two men: her current hubby (Melvyn Douglas) and the man (Fred MacMurray) she believed was dead. Rosalind Russell and Janet Blair star as sisters who move from Ohio to New York City to succeed as a writer and stage actress, respectively, coming across a succession of wacky characters in the process, in "My Sister Eileen" (1942). Brian Aherne co-stars. And, Russell stars in the delightful "She Wouldn't Say Yes" (1945), about a fiercely independent psychiatrist with no time for romance until she's charmed by one of her patients, a shell-shocked combat artist (Lee Bowman). 5 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English; bonus short "Ain't Love Cuckoo" (1946); theatrical trailers. Two-disc set.
The Prince Of Thieves [DVD](1948) DVD
Famed do-gooder Robin Hood (Jon Hall) is called into swashbuckling action once more when Lady Marian (Patricia Morison) entreats him to come to the rescue of her brother (Michael Duane)and his betrothed, Lady Christabel (Adele Jergens). Will Lady Christabel be forced to marry against her will? Can Friar Tuck (Alan Mowbray) help Robin save the day? Find out in this thrilling action spectacle. With H.B. Warner, Lowell Gilmore. 72 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH).
The Fuller Brush Man [DVD](1948) DVD
Red Skelton is the world's most inept door-to-door salesman in this screwball comedy! After losing one job after another, Red lands employment selling the famous Fuller brushes, but his soft-sell technique soon gets him involved in romance...and a murder, in which he becomes the prime suspect! Co-stars Janet Blair, Adele Jergens. 92 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Slightly French [DVD](1949) DVD
Directed by Douglas Sirk, this musical-comedy remake of 1933's "Let's Fall in Love" stars Don Ameche as a disgraced director who plots a return to Tinseltown by passing off carnival worker beauty Dorothy Lamour as a French actress. Before you can say "Pygmalion," he attempts to refine her and is soon caught up in an offbeat love triangle. With Willard Parker, Janis Carter; songs include "Fifi from the Follies Bergere," "Love Masquerade," and "Let's Fall in Love." 80 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
They Live By Night (1949)/Side Street [DVD](1950) DVD
Director Nicholas Ray's first effort, "They Live by Night," is an expressionistic blend of melodrama and film noir, with Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell as two naive young lovers whose entanglement in a web of hardened criminals destines them for tragedy. Based on the novel "Thieves Like Us" by Edward Anderson; with Howard Da Silva, Jay C. Flippen. And, "Side Street" stars Granger as a down-and-out New York mailman with a pregnant wife who steals $30,000 from a pair of blackmailers in an act of impulsive desperation. After his conscience starts to get to him, Granger decides to give the money back but winds up knee deep in danger when the friend he asked to hold the cash disappears. O'Donnell, James Craig also star. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH), French.
Forgotten Noir: Collector's Set Series Four [DVD] DVD
A law school grad's (Dennis O'Keefe) gaffe working at the office of "Mr. District Attorney" (1941) nets him a dangerous new case. Peter Lorre co-stars. On "Highway 13" (1948), a lovestruck trucker (Robert Lowery) gets mixed up in murder. With Pamela Blake. An FBI agent tries to track down a spy possessing secret government documents aboard a "Sky Liner" (1949). Richard Travis, Blake star. A descendant of the Count of Monte Cristo goes against a crooked lawyer to obtain the "Treasure of Monte Cristo" (1949). Glenn Langan, Adele Jergens star. When "Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard" (1950), secret missile plans are the prize. With Howard St. John, Amanda Blake. L.A. cops on the "Motor Patrol" (1950) chase down the culprit of a hit-and-run. Don Castle, Jane Nigh star. The "Radar Secret Service" (1950) makes use of high technology to foil bad guys in the atomic age. John Howard, Jergens star. When a mad killer goes on the hunt, a "Western Pacific Agent" (1950) must take him down. Kent Taylor, Lowery star. In the "Roaring City" (1951), a shamus takes a treacherous bet on boxing. Hugh Beaumont, Joan Valerie star. 9 2/3 hrs. total on three discs. Standard; Soundtrack: English.
The Bowery Boys, Vol. 1 [DVD] DVD
Process server Slip (Leo Gorcey) finds shady doings at his sister's workplace in "Live Wires" (1946). The boys are "In Fast Company" (1946) when they help gypsy hacks against a cab company's strong-arm tactics. It's a "Bowery Bombshell" (1946) when a photo wrongly implicates Sach (Huntz Hall) in a robbery. The boys turn "News Hounds" (1947) and try to expose a shady sports betting ring. The boys are "Fighting Fools" (1949) when they take on boxing fixers. It's a case of "Hold That Baby!" (1949) after they're saddled with an abandoned infant. Sach gets drawn into a mad scientist's brain-switching experiment in "Master Minds" (1949). Louie's sweet shop is turned into an escort service in "Blonde Dynamite. A murder case sends the gang looking into an illegal gambling house in "Lucky Losers" (1950). A tonsillectomy leaves Sach with a golden voice in "Blues Busters" (1950). The gang gets "Crazy Over Horses" (1951) when confronted by racetrack gamblers. And it's "No Holds Barred" (1952) when the fellas promote a suddenly super-strong Sach as a pro wrestler. 13 1/4 hrs. total on four discs. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
The Traveling Saleswoman [DVD](1950) DVD
With the bank ready to call its loan on the family soap-manufacturing plant, harried heiress Joan Davis packs a grip and heads to the Wild West in order to drum up business. When she winds up in possession of evidence that'll tie some dirty desperadoes to rustling, will the ornery owlhoots hang her out to dry? Frontier fun with Andy Devine, Adele Jergens, Chief Thundercloud. 75 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
The Best Of Bud Abbott And Lou Costello, Vol. 3 [DVD] DVD
The laughs are out of this world as "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars" (1953); they star as wrestling promoters who get involved with a sexy spy in "Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion" (1950); "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948) while trying to dodge Bela Lugosi (as Dracula); it takes a doctor's invisibility serum to help catch a crook in "Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man" (1950); Bud and Lou suspect a swami of murder in "Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff" (1949); the fellows search for gold in backwoods Kentucky in "Comin' Round the Mountain" (1951); they get "Lost in Alaska" (1952) while trying to help a prospector; and a stock scheme sends the duo south of the border in "Mexican Hayride" (1948). 10 3/4 hrs. on two discs. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: French, Spanish.
Abbott & Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection [DVD] DVD
Fifteen-disc set includes "One Night in the Tropics" (1940), "Buck Privates" (1941), "In the Navy" (1941), "Hold That Ghost!" (1941), "Keep 'Em Flying" (1941), "Ride 'Em Cowboy" (1942), "Pardon My Sarong" (1942), "Who Done It?" (1942), "It Ain't Hay" (1943), "Hit the Ice" (1943), "In Society" (1944), "Here Come the Co-Eds" (1945), "The Naughty Nineties" (1945), "Little Giant" (1946), "The Time of Their Lives" (1946), "Buck Privates Come Home" (1947), "The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap" (1947), "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948), "Mexican Hayride" (1948), "Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff" (1949), "Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion" (1950), "Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man" (1951), "Comin' Round the Mountain" (1951), "Lost in Alaska" (1952), "Abbott and Costello Go to Mars" (1953), "Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1953), "Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops" (1955), and "Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy" (1955), and a disc featuring the documentaries "The World of Abbott and Costello" (1964), "Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld" (1994), and "Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters" (2000); also includes a 44-page book. 38 hrs. total.
Show Boat [DVD](1951) DVD
Spectacular MGM rendition of the beloved Hammerstein-Kern tale of show folk, gamblers and steamboats along the old Mississippi. The cast includes Howard Keel, Ava Gardner, Kathryn Grayson and Joe E. Brown as Captain Andy, with songs like "Where's the Mate for Me?," "Can't Help Lovin' that Man," and "Ol' Man River." 108 min. Standard; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital mono, Spanish Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; theatrical trailer; interactive menus; scene access.
David Harding, Counterspy (1950)/Danger Zone (1951)/The Big Chase [DVD](1954) DVD
Based on a popular radio series, "David Harding, Counterspy" finds the titular intelligence agent recruiting a Naval officer for a dangerous mission catching a saboteur at a torpedo plant. William Parker, Howard St. John star. Then, Hugh Beaumont stars as detective Dennis O'Brien in "Danger Zone," comprised of two separate whodunits. The first involves a saxophone that conceals a valuable secret while the second concerns blackmail and murder at a yacht party. With Pamela Blake. Finally, neophyte cop and expectant dad Glenn Langan risks his life to stop payroll thieves in Mexico, in "The Big Chase." Adele Jergens, Lon Chaney, Jr. also star. 187 min. total. Standard/Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English; interviews; theatrical trailers.
Forgotten Noir: Collector's Set Series Three [DVD] DVD
Three-disc set includes "The Case of the Baby-Sitter," "Mr. District Attorney" (1947), "Ringside," "Hi-Jacked," "David Harding, Counterspy," "Danger Zone" (1951), "Pier 23," "Scotland Yard Inspector," and "The Big Chase."
The Miami Story [DVD](1954) DVD
With neither the local authorities nor the feds able to get the goods on vicious vice lord Luther Adler, a Miami citizens' commission decides that it does take a thief, and recruits ex-con Barry Sullivan to front as a rival. Will he successfully bait the trap, or does he have his own agenda in mind? Gritty crime story co-stars Beverly Garland, Adele Jergens, George E. Stone. 75 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
The Cobweb (Remastered Edition) [DVD](1955) DVD
At a prestigious psychiatric hospital, a seemingly trivial matter--the choosing of new drapes for the facility's library--spins out of control until it exposes the secrets, desires, and fears of both the patients and the staff, in this involving Vincente Minnelli melodrama. Lauren Bacall, Charles Boyer, Lillian Gish, Gloria Grahame, John Kerr, and Richard Widmark star. 124 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo.
The Lonesome Trail (1955)/The Silver Star [DVD](1955) DVD
First, Johnny Rush (John Agar) is made to walk "The Lonesome Trail" when he returns from the Indian Wars to find his home taken over by a cattle baron who also has designs on his beloved. Wayne Morris, Margia Dean also star. Next, a sheriff (Earle Lyon) must overcome his fears and live up to "The Silver Star" when three brutal outlaws demand he leave town. Marie Windsor, Lon Chaney, Jr. also star. 146 min. total. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo.

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filmography

FILM
The Day the World Ended (1956) with Richard Denning, Lori Nelson, and Mike Connors
Girls in Prison (1956) with Richard Denning, Lance Fuller, and Phyllis Coates
Runaway Daughters (1956) with Marla English, Lance Fuller, and Frank Gorshin
Fighting Trouble (1956) with Huntz Hall
The Lonesome Trail (1955) with John Agar, Edgar Buchanan, and Wayne Morris
The Cobweb (1955) with Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Gloria Grahame, Charles Boyer, Lillian Gish, Susan Strasberg, Oscar Levant, and Tommy Rettig
Outlaw Treasure (1955) with Glenn Langan
Strange Lady in Town (1955) with Greer Garson, Dana Andrews, Cameron Mitchell, Russell Johnson, Gregory Walcott, and Nick Adams
The Big Chase (1954) with Glenn Langan, Jim Davis, and Lon Chaney Jr.
The Miami Story (1954) with Barry Sullivan and Beverly Garland
Overland Pacific (1954) with Jock Mahoney and Peggie Castle
Fireman Save My Child (1954) with Hugh O'Brian, Buddy Hackett, and Spike Jones
Somebody Loves Me (1952) with Betty Hutton and Ralph Meeker
Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick (1952) with Alan Young, Dinah Shore, Minerva Urecal, Veda Ann Borg, and Chick Chandler
Sugarfoot (1951) with Randolph Scott and Raymond Massey
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951) with Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Arthur Franz, Sheldon Leonard, and William Frawley
Show Boat (1951) with Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel, Joe E. Brown, Marge Champion, Gower Champion, Robert Sterling, Agnes Moorehead, and Leif Erickson
Armored Car Robbery (1950) with Charles McGraw, William Talman, and Steve Brodie
Beware of Blondie (1950) with Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake; the final film in the long-running Blondie series
Radar Secret Service (1950) with John Howard, Tom Neal, and Ralph Byrd
The Sound of Fury (1950) with Richard Carlson, Frank Lovejoy, Kathleen Ryan, Lloyd Bridges, and Irene Vernon
Traveling Saleswoman (1950) with Joan Davis and Andy Devine
Blues Busters (1950) with Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Craig Stevens, and Phyllis Coates
Edge of Doom (1950) with Dana Andrews, Farley Granger, Joan Evans, and Mala Powers
Everybody's Dancin' (1950) with Lyle Talbot and Sid Melton
Side Street (1950) with Farley Granger, Cathy O'Donnell, Jean Hagen, James Craig, Paul Kelly, Charles McGraw, and Whit Bissell
Blonde Dynamite (1950) with Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall
Make Believe Ballroom (1949) with Ruth Warrick, Kay Starr, and Nat 'King' Cole
Treasure of Monte Cristo (1949) with Glenn Langan and Steve Brodie
The Mutineers (1949) with Jon Hall, George Reeves, and Lyle Talbot
The Crime Doctor's Diary (1949) with Warner Baxter, Lois Maxwell, Robert Armstrong, and Whit Bissell
Law of the Barbary Coast (1949) with Gloria Henry and Robert Shayne
Slightly French (1949) with Dorothy Lamour and Don Ameche
The Woman from Tangier (1948) with Stephen Dunne
The Dark Past (1948) with William Holden, Lois Maxwell, Lee J. Cobb, and Nina Foch
Ladies of the Chorus (1948) with Marilyn Monroe
The Fuller Brush Man (1948) with Red Skelton and Hillary Brooke
The Prince of Thieves (1948) with Jon Hall and Patricia Morison
I Love Trouble (1948) with Franchot Tone, Raymond Burr, Janet Blair, Janis Carter, Glenda Farrell, and John Ireland
Blondie's Anniversary (1947) with Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake
When a Girl's Beautiful (1947) with Peggie Castle
Down to Earth (1947) with Rita Hayworth
The Corpse Came C.O.D. (1947) with George Brent and Joan Blondell
She Wouldn't Say Yes (1945) with Rosalind Russell
A Thousand and One Nights (1945) with Cornel Wilde and Evelyn Keyes
Black Arrow (1944) with Robert Scott and Charles Middleton

TELEVISION SERIES
Pantomime Quiz, 1947-1963 TV series airing on four different networks during different seasons (ABC, DuMont, NBC, and CBS). Jergens was a regular from 1950 through 1952.

TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
Soldiers of Fortune, episode The Danger Sisters, originally aired December 2, 1956
Damon Runyon Theater, episode Judy the Jinx, originally aired December 31, 1955
My Favorite Husband, episode The Painting, originally aired November 29, 1955
Damon Runyon Theater, episode Teacher's Pet, originally aired July 2, 1955
I Married Joan, episode Clothes Budget, originally aired November 3, 1954
The Public Defender, episode Lost Cause, originally aired March 25, 1954
I Married Joan, episode Home of the Week, originally aired March 17, 1954
The Ford Television Theatre, episode The People Versus Johnston, originally aired June 25, 1953
Dangerous Assignment, episode The Lagoon Story, originally aired April 28, 1952
Dangerous Assignment, episode The Art Treasure Story, originally aired March 17, 1952
Racket Squad, episode The Case of the Hearse Chasers, originally aired February 28, 1952
Stars Over Hollywood, episode Yang Yin and Mrs. Wiswell, originally aired January 17, 1951

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Watch Adele Jergens guest-star on a 1952 episode of Dangerous Assignment titled The Art Treasure Story
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