Witchy Film Fun, November 1939
The model for this well-known cover is credited as “Mona Leslie, Film Fun Model”; the photographs are by “Hanley Studios.”
Jean Harlow played a Broadway showgirl called “Mona Leslie” in Reckless in 1935. Harlow’s blatant onscreen sexuality shocked audiences in the early 30s but by the time she died in 1937 (aged only 26) she was recognised as a first-rate actress: extremely sexy and funny. This anonymous model may not have Harlow’s platinum blonde hair, but she does have the right hair-style, smile and come-hither look, to play the part of Harlow’s Mona. Given the demographic for Film Fun, it seems likely that most people would have got the joke.
Below is the internal photo-spread showing “Mona” is three revealing poses. (If you look closely, you will see that the bikini-top in the second pose is drawn on). The spread does not show Mona in the cover-pose, but does suggest that the anonymous cover-artist worked from a photo taken by Hanley Studios. (A better example of this photo-from-painting method can be seen in my post on Gil Elvgren’s “Riding High” (1959)).