Stuntwoman Jewell Jordan dies
Was Luise Rainer's stunt double in 'The Good Earth'Jewell Jordan Mason, who was Luise Rainer's stunt double for her Oscar-winning performance in 1937's "The Good Earth" and Merle Oberon's on "Wuthering Heights" two years later, died Sept. 24 in Camarillo, Calif. She was 92.
Jordan Mason also served as an inspiration to her niece, producer Gale Anne Hurd.
As Jewell Jordan, she worked as an uncredited extra, double and stunt double in Hollywood during the 1930s and '40s, appearing in such films as "Tarzan Escapes" (1936), "Ever Since Eve" (1937), "Ninotchka" (1939), "Destry Rides Again" (1939) and "New Moon" (1940).
She appeared onscreen alongside such greats as Clark Gable, Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Paul Muni, David Niven, Bing Crosby, Maureen O'Sullivan (her classmate at St. Augustine's Catholic School in Culver City) and Johnny Weissmuller.
But it wasn't all glamour. During her career, Jordan suffered numerous injuries, including broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and hip, wrist and back problems -- at a time when there was no medical insurance coverage for stunt performers.
Jordan's career will be featured in Mollie Gregory's book about stuntwomen to be published next year by University of California Press.
One of five sisters, Jordan helped her family pay for tuition at St. Augustine's by working at nearby MGM Studios as a extra from the age of eight. She worked half-days after school and a half-day on Saturdays and was paid $3.50 a day.
In addition to Hurd, Jordan is survived by her daughter, Mardi Bren; granddaughter Ashley Palmer and her husband, Dan; great-granddaughter Grace; and sisters Linda Jordan and Pat Montgomery.