At age 16, Jeanne Crain won a beauty contest as "Miss Long Beach" and became a model; the next year she was named "Camera Girl of 1942," leading to contacts in Hollywood. She debuted on screen in 1943 in The Gang's All Here, beginning a starring career that lasted through the '50s. She rose to prominence through her performance in Henry Hathaway's Home in Indiana (1944). Crain was frequently cast as the "girl next door," and was generally employed to be a "pretty face" in the midst of light films, but occasionally she got more serious roles, as in Pinky (1949) in which she played a black girl passing for white; for that performance she was nominated for a "Best Actress Oscar," repeating a nomination she got for her role in Margie (1946). Her career waned in the '60s, but she continued to appear in films through the '70s.