Scroll down for biographies of Jonathan, Jennifer, Max and Freeway
Jennifer Hart (nee Edwards)
Jennifer was born on a horse farm in Hill Haven, Maryland. Her father worked for the CIA, and her mother died when she was young.
Her driver's license (from Hartland Express) give vital statistics as: her eyes are brown, she is 5 feet, 6inches tall, and weighs 115 pounds. Her birthdate is November, 2, 1946. (Thanks Deb.) Jennifer loves horses and is a magnificent rider. As a child she had a favourite horse named Sweet Sue. She attended an all girls prep school -Gresham Hall Prep School where she was a high school cheerleader. The colors where blue, gold and white and their nickname was the Bulldogs. She then attended Vassar and Smith, and did one semester at NYU. She majored in languages, and journalism. (Harts under glass) , and almost majored in Archaeology with a Minor Anthropology (Murder Wrap) . She also took classes at Stanford University (Hart's desire) and at the Sorbonne, mentioned inHostage Harts. (Thanks for this information Lesley.)
She moved to N.Y after college to be a freelance, prize wining journalist. One of her books is "21 Reasons for living: a collection of interviews from 21 favourite people."
Her writing often lead to trouble. She met up with her "cousin" at a writer's conference in Hit Jennifer Hart, and was lucky to escape with her life. She was again in jeopardy after a con-man she had investigated broke out of prison and came after her in The Shooting, and she faced more trouble when in Pounding Harts she found misfortune at a fat farm. Also, an article on prostitutes saw her being the subject of a crazed killer. (Cop Out). A story about Scottish clans -Highland fling - led her to be the subject of rivalry for clan leadership. A play that she had written and directed when at NYU caused the Harts trouble in the movie Crimes of the Hart. There were some lighter moments - as the time a walk-on part on her (and Max's favorite) soap opera "Doctor's Hospital", led to a job writing for the soap, and best outcome of any story she was involved with would have been when she worked in London and chased Jonathan for an interview. (Two Harts are better than one). She married Jonathan after the whirlwind romance that resulted from that meeting.. She has never regretted it, and she told Jonathan that it was the best decision that she had ever made.( You made me kill you ).
Marriage to Jonathan may have been her best decision, but it is probably her most hazardous. When Jonathan asked her is she was ready for some breaking and entering, in What becomes a murder most , she replied "again" with a smile and they set off through another private door. This is a typical event for her, and although she is always tracking crime, Jennifer, like Jonathan, still thinks the best of people and is always ready to lend a helping hand.
This is sometimes difficult to understand given that she had been often kidnapped, was hypnotized into a life of crime, (Hart of diamonds) and has seen her husband and friend Max in frequent danger. Sometimes she is simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. When she witnessed a gangland killing in Harts on the run Jennifer and Jonathan had to escape to a convent - in disguise as a priest and nun. She also found trouble when she posed for an anniversary gift portrait for Jonathan in Color Jennifer Dead, and wound up in hospital with concussion in Operation Murder . Even giving a Valentine's day gift wasn't as innocent as it was intended to be. (The Hart Shaped Murders) . At other times her father's past comes back to haunt her. His time in the CIA fighting the Nazi's (My Hart belongs to daddy) and a love affair during the war ( Long lost love ) cause trouble for her and Jonathan. Even so, all of these events were handled with panache.
She dated Andy Seagram and Elliott Manning before Jonathan, and she met Elliott Manning again when she and Jonathan decided to buy an Australian game preseve. Jealous revenge rekindled an old rivalry, leading to a deadly game in which Jonathan is framed for murder and Jennifer is kidnapped.
In 1994 Jennifer inherited a town called Kingman's Ferry from her beloved teacher and mentor, (see the telemovie, Home is where the Hart is).She had trained as a journalist with the local paper, and she used her journalist training to track down what had happened to her friend. Of course this lead to more adventure and danger. It also lead to another gift from Jonathan- a bridge. He bought a wooden bridge for her because legend said that if two lovers kissed on the bridge at sunrise they would be together forever.
Nothing is simple for Jennifer. In the telemovie Til death us do Hart she and Jonathan travel to Germany so that Jennifer can donate bone marrow to a young leukemia patient. However, there is more danger involved as Jennifer is mistaken for a kidnapped woman. She also came face to face with another double - not the same woman as she met in the episode, This lady is Murder.
Jennifer likes the fine things in life. She enjoys travel, and eats lunch at La Scala's and her hair dresser is Salvatore's on Wilshire Blvd and also Barry's Hotheads. She shops on Rodeo Drive. On the other hand she also enjoys a beer and hamburger. She is an expert skier, and has made attempts climbing the major mountain peaks of Europe. She loves animals, is fun, friendly and gets a little tipsy from champagne. As Max says "she's gorgeous" and "she knows how to take care of herself." She is certainly unique, and although this is something for Jonathan to be proud of (he says that they broke the mould after making Jennifer in What becomes a murder most) it is another reason for danger- as she was kidnapped as the finest specimen of womankind in Harts under Glass. Whatever Jennifer does, she does with style and class.
Jonathan Hart is one of America's leading industrialists and philanthropists. As a little boy he went by the nickname " Charlie" (his middle name), now he likes to be called "Jonathan" ; not Jon, Johnnie or any other derivation. He grew up as an orphan at the Mission Street Orphanage in San Francisco. His past is revisted in the telemovie Secrets of the Hart when the Harts are in San Francisco to attend a charity auction for the Mission Street Orphanage. Jennifer collects heart-shaped lockets and finds one with a photo of Jonathan as a little boy. They set out to find the owner of the locket, and any connection to Jonathan, and as always, they find more than they bargained for.
He met Max after high school , and Max took him out of the orphanage , bought him a black 1950 Ford convertible so that he could show up at college in style. He had no money whilst in college, and after he left the navy (he was a navy pilot) he started Hart Industries with $1,200 and an idea about transistors. Hart Industries quickly developed into a huge, very profitable conglomerate.
Jonathan is very handsome, charming, and fun. He wears tuxedos in the manner of Cary Grant and is urbane. He has quite a corny turn of phrase at times, and more often that not he ends an adventure with a quip. He loves to tease Jennifer, and although he has had many threats on his life, his love of life has never faded. He is careful though and keeps an eye on Jennifer, Max and Jennifer's father Stephen. When someone suspicious comes into their path, he investigates. His "nose" for deceit and danger is rarely wrong.
Jonathan has friends in high places, and the police, and FBI tolerate his and Jennifer's exploits well. He is often in a physical fight with those who try to come up against him or his family. He is fit, strong and not afraid of physical danger. Jennifer says that she loves it when he is forceful. (What becomes a murder most )
Jonathan has been in danger too many times to list here. One of the more scary moments was when we watched his murder - staged to draw out a killer. (The Murder of Jonathan Hart). Then we watched him fall down a lift shaft, which luckily was in the next floor (Murder is man's best friend), and when he met his criminal "double" in Murder up their sleeve he fought off a lion. Together with Jennifer ,and with help from Max he has survived a lot; amnesia (What murder?), and possible blindness (Hart of darkness). He has narrowly escaped a possible fatal car accident accidents- after beening drugged- in A new kind of high. He was also lucky to jump out of the way when a garden sculpture hit him in the head in Hart's under glass, and he escaped without harm when he was kidnapped in France in (Hostage Harts).
Nikki Stefunos was his girlfriend before Jennifer, and he also dated Irene Day. No matter what, Jonathan and Jennifer have a wonderful marriage, even the threat of a paternity suit (Jonathan Hart Jnr) did not cause any problems between them. He says that Jennifer his is wife and his life and he is never far from her side. He never looks at other woman and he likes romance. He is a very caring husband, and adores his wife. He often buys her surprise gifts, and when she "complains" he says that now he has lots of money he likes to buy her things and spoil her. (To coin a Hart) . Sometimes this can backfire.
In Death in the slow lane, Jennifer was not bery happy when he bought her a fake antique car as a birthday present, and this lead to being involved with spies. Then On a bed of Harts he bought what he thought was their wedding night bed, only to discover it was a French antique. When he had amnesia (What murder ?) he asked Jennifer if he could be having an affair, she answered without hesitation; that he wasn't having an affair and that she would know if he was. Even so, because Jonathan is so friendly and handsome its not difficult for someone to get the wrong idea. Two young women's obsession with him (You made me kill you and Hartstruck) caused the Harts a lot of difficulty.
Jonathan loves music, and enjoyed playing trumpet in a a jazz band, and he enjoyed playing with them again when they reformed for a concert after many years. Even this was not carefree as it seemed as though a friend killed his lover with Jonathan's trumpet
Jonathan loves good food and wine, although Jennifer often makes him diet and go jogging for his health. Even so, he eats pancakes for breakfast on Monday mornings, likes chocolate chip cookies and Graham crackers and milk.
Max's full name was "Maxwell",(Harts and Hounds), and he was known as "Nevada" to his card-playing buddies. His surname is a mystery, but we do know that it begins with the letter "B", but as it is never spoken, only written it will depend on the quality of your video or DVD, as to whether you can decipher his signature or not. Check the following episodes:
In What Becomes A Murder Most Max signs for Jennifer's coat and it looks like he signed the name "Beeman".
- In Ex-wives Can Be Murder you can see his signature on a cheque (check).
- In Harts and Fraud Max signs a receipt for the papers being served to Jennifer
Jennifer describes Max as "a sort of a mixed spirit" (The Dog Who Knew Too Much) and this is a great description given what we do know about him. Max had a wonderful gravely voice, the devil in his eye and a craggy appearance. He wore aprons with attitude, and was more than the Hart's chauffeur, or house-man. He was their friend and they introduced him to outsiders as such. More than that, he was part of the family. Max called them "Mr and Mrs H." and was Jonathan's best man when he married Jennifer. (What murder? ).
Max liked good cigars, and gambling - especially the horses, and (The Wayward Hart) . He was married once - to Pearl (Ex-wives can be murder ).
We also know that he had known Jonathan since he left high school, and that he took him out of the orphanage, and bought him his first car. It seems that he also steered Jonathan away from a life of crime, and he explained to an amnesic Jonathan that he wasn't one of society's leading citizens when they first met. (What murder?)
Max was quite a ladies' man, and has had many romances, and a few close calls with marriage. Often these flirtations involve the Harts who come to the rescue - either to save Max or his girlfriend from danger. (Max's waltz, and Which way Freeway?) One of Max's more serious romances came to light in the movie Crimes of the Hart. Here we met Katherine Kendrick who lived in the same apartment building as the Harts and called Max "Boodles" .
Freeway was his buddy and Max often cooked gourmet food for his finicky palate. Not only was Jonathan jealous of this treatment when Jennifer put him on a diet, it had more sinister results as well. (Murder is man's best friend) After Freeway died, Max looked after Freeway JR, just as he had his father. However, it was Jonathan and Jennifer who got up in the middle of the night to train him (in the movie The return of Hart to Hart. )
Max had a lot of adventures with the Harts and was always included on their escapades. (Except for the time he was worried that they were headed for divorce in Blue and broken Harted). Max often took on disguises to find out the necessary information the Harts needed to solve a difficult mystery. One of the most interesting saw him in full drag: Max in a bright blue dress, blue eye shadow and blonde wig, all the time puffing on a cigar was an amazing sight! (Murder is a drag).
Being close to the Harts was dangerous for Max. He was often kidnapped, or knocked out numerous times. At times his life was in danger. The Harts frequently had to rescue him. When he cultivated the Jennifer Hart rose they were involved in a dangerous gardening competition (Harts and Flowers), and they came to Max's nephew's aid when he was involved in drugs (Slam Dunk.)Max was sometimes held hostage, (Rich and Hartless) and the Harts had a close calls just rescuing Max before he was killed by a drunk doctor in Harts and Fraud.
Only death could take Max away from the Harts. They were distraught when he died in surgery, and the movie Harts in three quarter time opens with the reading of his will. As he had always done, Max thought of the Harts when he wrote his will. He planned some special things for them after he died- possibly as a way for them to cope with his death, and a special way for them to remember him . He left them a cookoo clock which stopped at 845; the exact time they met or fell in love; he got them tickets to a musical that Jennifer loved (Row H), and at the concert the clock went off., and instead of the cookoo, Freeway JR could be heard barking! Then he gave them a cruise, and told them that when they got home he would be there to open the gate like always......
Freeway was Jennifer's dog and was found on the side of a freeway, (hence his name) . In the series Freeway is described as a distinguished mutt of mixed breed. Jonathan explained in The Dog Who Knew Too Much that he was actually "a miscellaneous breed" and he was entered this category in the dog show again in Pounding Harts said that only "his mother knows" what breed he was. However, Freeway was an unclipped Lowchen. [Thanks to Pamela for the information] Lowchen means "little lion " in German, and the breed is fully described at http://www.naturesrecipe.com/dogs/lowchen.htm.
Freeway lived a charmed life, full of many adventures and travel. He was mixed up with criminal next-door neighbours and brought a gun home when he found a girlfriend (Which Way, Freeway?), and we learnt that he was cute puppy who chewed and stole shoes. Freeway has an incredible sense of smell, and put other sniffer-dogs to shame when he was on the trail of smugglers in A change of Hart. In Murder Is Man's Best Friend he starred in a TV commercial (with a very nervous Max) and become addicted to chemicals in the food. (Jonathan was concerned that he may become a dog "with a golden paw").
Freeway was sometimes put to the test when his owners find themselves in tricky situations! He had to choose between two feuding Harts in Blue and Broken Harted, and was not able to be demonstrative when the Harts pretended to be their doubles in Homemade Murder. Whatever the adventure, Freeway was an important part of the Hart household. He died before the movies were made, and his son (in real life) played the part of "junior" in the Hart movies.