He was full in figure, clever, creative, and multi-talented – with a Charles Laughton face and wide-scoped innovative gifts – Jean Havez worked with two of the silent film comedy greats, and left the cinema world much too soon.
Jean C. Havez, Jr., was born on December 24, 1872, in Maryland.
Havez had a penchant for the written word, and was the author of many popular songs of the early century, including “Sailing Down the Chesapeake Bay” (1913; lyrics by Havez, music by George Botsford); “Downtown Poker Club” (1914; lyrics by Havez, music by Williams); “A Scotch High Ball” (1916; lyrics and music by Havez); “Take Me Out to the End of the Pier” (1918; lyrics and music by Havez), and “Everybody Works But Father” (1920; lyrics and music by Havez).
The June 25, 1921 issue of Moving Picture World announced that “Jean Havez, who writes songs, musical comedies, stories and picture scenarios with equal facility, has been added to the writing staff of Harold Lloyd, and will have headquarters at the Hal E. Roach Studios, where Sam Taylor and Harley M. Walker, in similar lines of activity, have concentrated their efforts for some time.” Havez proceeded to contribute to the screenplay of A Sailor-Made Man and Grandma’s Boy, and added to both the story and screenplay of Doctor Jack.
After a couple of years working with Buster Keaton on such gems as Our Hospitality, Sherlock, Jr., The Navigator, and Seven Chances, Havez returned to his old company in January 1925 – instead of working for Hal Roach Studios, he was now with Harold Lloyd Corporation. The first order of business was collaboration on the screenplay for Harold’s new college comedy, The Freshman, which was well into production. The work Havez did for this film was not credited on screen, and he would not live to see the film released.
Havez, and his wife Ebba, lived at 251 N. Beachwood Drive, in Los Angeles. It was there that Jean C. Havez died, on February 12, 1925, at 12:30am, of acute pulmonary edema, or a rapid onset of water in the lungs. He was 52 years old. On February 14, 1925, Jean Havez was laid to a temporary rest in a receiving vault at Hollywood Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Then, when the new mausoleum was ready, Havez was laid in his permanent vault, in Building A, Crypt 218, of what is now known as Hollywood Forever Cemetery, at 11am on Wednesday, January 13, 1926.