Jean Harlow (born Harlean Harlow Carpenter; March 3, 1911 – June 7, 1937) was a film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. Harlow was signed by director Howard Hughes, and her first major appearance was in Hell's Angels (1930), followed by a series of critically unsuccessful films before she signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1932. Harlow became a leading lady for MGM, starring in a string of hit films including Red Dust (1932), Dinner at Eight (1933), Reckless (1935), and Suzy (1936). Harlow's popularity rivaled and soon surpassed that of her MGM colleagues Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer. She had become one of the biggest movie stars in the world by the late 1930s, often nicknamed the Blond Bombshell and the Platinum Blonde; she was also popular for her Laughing Vamp movie persona.