Jeanette Loff's Story

"I don't think there is much of a story in me. I haven't had any strange or remarkable experiences. I haven't done anything startling." ~ Jeanette

Jeanette Loff was a beautiful and talented actress who almost became a Hollywood superstar. She was born Jeanette Clarinda Loff on October 9, 1906 in Orofino, Idaho. Her Danish father Morris was a farmer who dreamed of becoming a professional violinist. Jeanette's mother Inga Loseth was a housewife. She had three younger sisters and a younger brother. When Jeanette was a child her family lived in Wadena, Canada and Beltrami, Minnesota. Tragedy struck in 1909 when her baby sister Evelyn died suddenly. At the age of eleven Jeanette made her acting debut in the play Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. A few years later her family moved to Lewiston, Idaho where she attended Lewiston High School. She had a lovely soprano voice and when she was sixteen she starred in the operetta Treasure Hunters. In 1923 she moved with her family to Portland, Oregon.

Jeanette in high school

Jeanette studied music at the Ellison and White Conservatory and learned to play the pipe organ. She eventually got a job playing the organ in a movie theatre. On October 8, 1926 she married Harry K. Rosebloom, a jewelry salesman. While on vacation in Hollywood Jeanette made a screen test and landed a bit role in the film Young April. For a brief time she used the stage name "Jan Lov".Cecil B. Demille offered her a contract and she quickly became one of Hollywood busiest starlets. In 1928 she had featured roles in Annapolis, Love Over Night, and Hold 'Em Yale. Jeanette's family had also moved to California. After her parents divorced she supported her mother and sisters. Jeanette divorced her husband Harry in 1929. She claimed that he got jealous when he saw her onscreen. After the divorce she had brief love affairs with producer Paul Bern and actor Gilbert Roland.

Jeanette was becoming a popular leading lady and she got the chance to show off her singing voice in films like King Of Jazz and Party Girl. Universal signed her to a long term contract in 1930. That same year Jeanette fell in love with songwriter Walter O'Keefe. The couple planned to marry but they broke up over religious differences. Jeanette grew tired of playing ingenues and decided to take a break from making movies. She moved to New York City where she was cast in the Broadway show Free For All. The show closed after only twelve days. Jeanette started performing with Buddy Rogers in vaudeville and on the radio. She returned to Hollywood and tried to make a comeback with the 1934 drama St. Louis Woman. The movie wasn't a hit and her career stalled. Her final film was the comedy Million Dollar Baby.

She retired from acting and married liquor salesman Bert E. Friedlob in 1936. The couple had a tumultuous relationship and broke up several times. In 1938 Jeanette was briefly hospitalized when she had her tonsils removed. She also suffered from a stomach ailment that often left her feeling ill. Despite her problems she told friends that she was happy and didn't miss being an actress. On August 4, 1942 Jeanette died from ammonia poisoning. Three days earlier she had swallowed a bottle ammonia at her home. Although the official cause of her death was "probable suicide" many believe her death was accidental. Jeanette was only thirty-five years old when she passed away. She was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Jeanette was a lovely and talented actress but her career and life were cut tragically short.