Lina Lamont is the hidden main antagonist in the 1952 musical film Singin' in the Rain. She is a famous silent-movie star in 1920s Hollywood, and the co-star of the hero, Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly).
She was portrayed by the late Jean Hagen.
Singin' in the Rain
At the start of the film, she is the leading lady for Don Lockwood, and has appeared in many silent movies with him. Many tabloids spread rumors that they are lovers in real-life, which the studio encourages for publicity. On screen Lina is always shown as glamorous, refined and loving. In reality, she is shown to be vapid, shallow and vindictive. She also has a high-pitched, grating voice, which the heads of her studio try to keep secret to preserve her image.
At a party for her and Don she sees Don talking to another girl, Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) and is instantly suspicious. When Kathy tries to hit Don with a pie he ducks, and she hits Lina instead. Out of anger and jealousy, Lina calls Kathy's employer and has her fired from her job. Later, however, Kathy becomes an actress at the studio and she and Don begin dating.
The invention of sound pictures force the studio to remake Lina and Don's new picture, The Dueling Cavalier, as a talkie, which means Lina's voice will be heard by the public. After a disastrous preview, Don and his friend Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor) come up with the idea of having Kathy dub Lina's voice. Lina is outraged when she finds out, especially that Kathy will receive screen-credit for her work.
Going over her contract, she tells the studio boss, R. F. Simpson, that she is in charge of her own publicity, and threatens to have her lawyers sue R. F. unless he cancels credit. She also blackmails him to cancel Kathy's new career and have her do nothing but dub for Lina's voice uncredited in perpetuity. At the premiere of the movie, now called The Dancing Cavalier, Lina sang to the audience Singin' in the Rain, with Don, Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor), and R. F. have Kathy behind a curtain sing over Lina. Then, Don, Cosmo and R. F. gleefully raise the curtain, then Coasmo replaces Kathy to the microphone and the sham becomes obvious. In the end, Lina flee in embrassement.
Lina's main traits are her dull-wittedness and her vanity. She is completely unaware of the effect her horrible voice has on people, or of any flaw about her. She reads every article written about her and is so vain she believes it. She even believes the rumors that Don is engaged to her, though he constantly tells her there is nothing between them. However, she does show some intelligence in using her contract to blackmail her boss. And she is smart enough to know how to destroy a person's career.