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Jean Brooks

Jean Brooks (born Ruby Matilda Kelly; December 23, 1915 – November 25, 1963) was an American film actress and singer who appeared in over thirty films. Though she never achieved major stardom in Hollywood, she had several prominent roles in the early 1940s as a contract player for RKO Radio Pictures. Born in Houston, Brooks spent her early life in Texas and Costa Rica. She began her career as a club singer and guitarist in New York City before being cast in several minor walk-on parts in films. She would later appear in supporting roles in the Universal Pictures serial productions Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940) and The Green Hornet Strikes Again! (1941). In 1942, Brooks signed a contract with RKO and appeared in multiple films by the studio, including Jacques Tourneur's The Leopard Man (1943), Mark Robson's horror noir The Seventh Victim (1943), and drama Youth Runs Wild (1944), as well as several films in the Falcon series. Her later life and career were marred by struggles with alcoholism, and a series of drunken public appearances resulted in Brooks ending her contract with RKO. In 1948, she made her final film appearance in Women in the Night (1948) before abandoning her career as an actress and relocating to San Francisco, California. She died in 1963 of complications resulting from her alcoholism.

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