Recently while out and about in Toronto, I stumbled upon the following image of Jinx Falkenburg in a Sports store.
I asked the sales lady who the woman was and she proclaimed that it was the famous Jinx! “Famous Jinx I asked?” “Yes she said the Famous Jinx from the 1930s and 40s!” I scratched my head and ran off to the internet and discovered that I DID know who Jinx Falkenburg was! Well..sort of. You see I discovered that she stared in “Cover girl” a movie I have seen at least a million times but apparently never paid much attention to after the movie was over. How terrible of me! Like really terrible 😦 Sorry vintage movie buffs everywhere.
Jinx is amazing!
Born in Barcelona, Spain, to American parents, her father Eugene “Genie” Lincoln Falkenburg was an engineer for Westinghouse. Thinking the name would bring good luck, she was nicknamed Jinx by her mother Marguerite “Mickey” Crooks Falkenburg, an accomplished athlete and tennis player (Brazil women’s champion in 1927), and the name stuck (Source: Wikipedia).
She was an actress:
I LOVE her outfit in the picture! Her shoes are outstanding, just outstanding.
- The Lone Ranger Rides Again-1939
- Two Latins from Manhattan-1941
- Sing For Your Supper-1941
- Laugh Your Blues Away-1942
- Lucky Legs-1942
- Sweetheart of the Fleet-1942
- Meet Me On Broadway-1946
She was also an expert Swimmer
While living in Santiago, Chile where she spent her early years she first received media attention at age two when the New York Sun ran a full-page picture and story of her exploits as a “baby swimmer.” (Source: Wikipedia).
Bowler (as seen in first picture above)
and Tennis Star
Jinx also was a famous model–One of the highest-paid and most ubiquitous cover-girl models in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s.
A revolution in Chile caused the family to return to the United States and the family moved to Los Angeles, California. She attended Hollywood High School but left in 1935 at the age of 16 to pursue a career in acting and modeling.
In 1937 her modeling career took off when she met celebrity fashion photographer Paul Hesse,whose Sunset Strip studio was a gathering place for advertising moguls and motion picture industry celebrities. Calling her “the most charming, most vital personality I have ever had the pleasure to photograph”, he took her picture for the August 1937 cover of The American Magazine, triggering similar offers from 60 other publications. Falkenburg eventually wound up on over 200 magazine covers and in some 1,500 commercial advertisements in the 1930s and 1940s. She was considered to be one of the most beautiful women of that era, known for her All-American girl athletic good looks. The New Yorker magazine said she “possessed one of the most photogenic faces and frames in the Western world.” The New York World Telegram claimed her face was seen more often and in more places than any other woman in the country. And a headline story in the January 27, 1941 Life Magazine said Jinx Falkenburg “is the leading candidate for America’s No. 1 Girl for 1941.” (Source: Wikipedia).
Her biggest breakthrough as a model came in 1940 when she was picked by New York-based Liebmann Brewery, maker of Rheingold Beer, to be the first “Miss Rheingold.”
Liz Note: I love a good beer so I support this move completely 🙂
Jinx also was a big supporter of the USO during the war and traveled extensively entertaining troops.
In her personal life she married a journalist and influential publicist Tex McCrary in 1945.
In 1947, McCrary and Falkenburg had their first network TV show, Jinx and Tex at Home, broadcast Sunday nights on NBC. The program combined film and live interviews of celebrities in their residences (Source: Wikipedia). It was a huge hit and started the ball in motion for other endeavors together.
They divorced in 1980 sadly but remained friends till his death in 2003, one month before Jinx (August 27th, 2003).
And there you have it, a brief overview of a woman that really “Did it all”. I think she is fantastic and I really enjoyed learning about her life of which I did not post all here (so please go and investigate more yourself).