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Jane Powell Biography, Wiki, Age, Career, Death, Cause Of Death & More | Who Was American Actress Jane Powell? Bio

Who was Jane Powell?

Jane Powell (born Suzanne Lorraine Burce; April 1, 1929 – September 16, 2021) was an American actress, singer, and dancer who rose to fame in the mid-1940s with roles in various Metro-Goldwyn-Mayermusicals. Noted for her operatic soprano voice and “girl-next-door” image, she was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema until her death in 2021.

Jane Powell, Hollywood golden-age musicals star, dies at 92

 Jane Powell, the bright-eyed, operatic-voiced star of Hollywood’s golden age musicals who sang with Howard Keel in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and danced with Fred Astaire in “Royal Wedding,” has died. She was 92.

Powell died Thursday at her Wilton, Connecticut, home, longtime friend Susan Granger said. Granger said Powell died of natural causes.

“Jane was the most wonderful friend,” Granger said. ”She was candid, she was honest. You never asked Jane a question you didn’t want an absolutely honest answer to.”

Granger was a youngster when she met the then-teenaged Powell, who was making her film debut in 1944’s “Song of the Open Road,” directed by Granger’s father, S. Sylvan Simon.

She performed virtually her whole life, starting about age 5 as a singing prodigy on the radio in Portland, Oregon. On-screen, she quickly graduated from teen roles to the lavish musical productions that were a 20th-century Hollywood staple.

Jane Powell Biography, Wiki

Jane Powell was singing and dancing at an early age. She sang on the radio and performed in theaters before her screen debut in 1944. Through the 1940s and 1950s, she had a successful career in movie musicals.

However, in 1957, her career in films ended, as she had outgrown her innocent girl-next-door image. She has made brief returns to acting in front of the camera — on television, in commercials, and in a workout video.

She has had a variety of roles on stage since the end of her movie career, including the musicals “South Pacific,” “The Sound of Music,” “Oklahoma!,” “My Fair Lady,” “Carousel,” and a one-woman show “The Girl Next Door and How She Grew,” from which she took the title of her 1988 autobiography.

BornSuzanne Lorraine Burce
April 1, 1929
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
DiedSeptember 16, 2021 (aged 92)
Wilton, Connecticut, U.S.
OccupationActresssingerdancer
Years active1944–2004
Spouse(s)Geary Steffen​​(m. 1949; div. 1953)​   Patrick Nerney​​(m. 1954; div. 1963)​ James Fitzgerald​​(m. 1965; div. 1975)​ David Parlour​​(m. 1978; div. 1981)​ Dickie Moore​​(m. 1988; died 2015)​
Children3

Jane Powell Movie Career

Jane Powell’s movie career didn’t truly take off until 1951 when she appeared in Royal Wedding with dance legend Fred Astaire. But Powell continued to be typecast as the innocent teenager until she landed a more mature role in what is probably her best-known movie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, in which she starred alongside Howard Keel.

By the late ’50s, however, it appeared as though Powell’s movie career had come to a halt, which led to appearances on television, stage work, and a nightclub act choreographed by Gower Champion. 

Powell starred in a Broadway revival of Irene in 1973 (replacing Debbie Reynolds), which led to more work in summer stock and roadshows, including The Jane Powell Show, My Fair Lady, Peter Pan, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Carousel, The Boy Friend, Brigadoon, and The Sound of Music, in addition to South Pacific and I Do! I Do! — both of which featured her previous Seven Brides co-star, Howard Keel.

During the ’80s, Powell landed regular work on TV shows, including Murder She, Wrote, Growing Pains (playing Alan Thicke’s mother), Marie, and a long-running part on the daytime soap opera, Loving. Additionally, Powell also appeared in the musical documentary That’s Dancing!, made a fitness video for arthritis sufferers, and was one of many ’50s musical stars to appear in a special performance at the 1986 Academy Awards show.

In 1988, Powell penned a revealing autobiography, The Girl Next Door and How She Grew, and during the ’90s, appeared in a few documentaries — including 1992’s Nelson and Jeanette and The Making of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and in 1999, appeared in the movie Picture This. In the early 21st century, several compilations of her musical output from the ’40s and ’50s were issued, including A Song in the Air: Debut Recordings and A Heart That’s Free, as well as a pair of two-for-one releases — Hansel & Gretel/Alice in Wonderland and Romance/A Date with Jane Powell.

Jane Powell Legacy

Jane Powell was referred to as one of the last surviving stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. The Vintage News writer Goran Blazeski noted that after starring in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Powell “secured herself a place in the history of classic musicals”. 

Powell was noted for her perky and upbeat demeanor, which often lent itself to the roles she played. Turner Classic Movies biographer Matthew Grimm notes that, despite unpublicized bouts with severe depression and insecurity, Powell retained a public image of “the archetype of the all-American girl-next-door, remaining a symbol of the proverbial shinier, simpler good ole’ days.

The Hour writer Frank Rizzo noted that Powell’s role in Song of the Open Road in 1944 “was the first of many roles in wholesome family-friendly films that pigeon-holed her as the ‘girl next door’ in a series of musicals”. Nick Thomas, writer for Bristol Herald Courier added that,

“Despite being pushed into a Hollywood career and pressures from the entertainment world, the stress of work never showed in Powell’s performances which were always upbeat and energetic”.

In 1960, Powell was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Some Interesting Facts about Jane Powell

  • Jane Powell is best known for her role as Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954).
  • Jane replaced June Allyson and Judy Garland for the role in Royal Wedding (1951), after June became pregnant and Judy became sick.
  • She learned and loved to cook before she was 10 years old.
  • Has performed before five U.S. Presidents and the Queen of England.
  • She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6818 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
  • In June 2019 she was honored as Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month.
  • She was discovered for the screen when on holiday in Los Angeles.
  • When only 8 years old she sang on a children’s radio programme.
  • Her husband Patrick Nerney bought her a pair of diamond earrings and due to her fear of needles, she figured the only way she would have of wearing them was to have her ears pierced under anaesthetic. Upon discovering she was pregnant with her last daughter Lindsay, she explained to the doctor that he could only handle her case if he would pierce her ears while she was on the delivery table. He agreed, and she left the delivery room with a baby daughter and two pierced ears.

Jane Powell FAQ’s

Who was Jane Powell?

Jane Powell (born Suzanne Lorraine Burce; April 1, 1929 – September 16, 2021) was an American actress, singer, and dancer who rose to fame in the mid-1940s with roles in various Metro-Goldwyn-Mayermusicals. Noted for her operatic soprano voice and “girl-next-door” image, she was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema until her death in 2021.

What is Jane Powell best known for?

Jane Powell is best known for her role as ‘Milly’ in ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)’.

How old was Jane Powell?

Jane Powell was 92 years old when she died.

How many marriages did Jane Powell do?

Jane Powell married 5 times in her lifetime.

 

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