Jane Powell was an American actress, singer, and dancer who rose to fame in the mid-1940s with roles in various Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals. She started as a singer and was signed early in her teens. She achieved local fame as a child singer, touring the state as the Oregon Victory Girl selling victory bonds during World War II. She made her feature debut as a performer in “Song of the Open Road” (1944), followed by a lead-in Arthur Lubin’s “Delightfully Dangerous” (1945). Later, rose to fame after her lead roles in the musicals “A Date with Judy” (1948), “Royal Wedding” (1951), “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (1954), “Athena” (1954), and “Hit the Deck” (1955). After her contract expired with MGM, her film career slowed in the late 1950s. After then, she began acting in national touring theatrical productions, including high-profile productions of “My Fair Lady” and “The Sound of Music”. From 1973 to 1974, she starred in a Broadway production of “Irene”, in the title role which was followed by “Avow” and “Bounce”. She continued to appear occasionally on television throughout the 1980s, including recurring guest roles on “The Love Boat” (1981–1982), as well as the sitcom “Growing Pains” (1988–1992). In December 2007, she united with the musical group ‘Pink Martini’, performing as a vocalist with them in their shared hometown of Portland. She also performed with the group again at New York City’s Lincoln Center in 2008, and later in 2010 at the Hollywood Bowl. She was occasionally active in local theater before her death in 2021.
Hollywood Golden Age Actress, Jane Powell Dies At 92
Jane Powell, an actress and singer who first appeared in movies as a teenager and became a sunny stalwart of Hollywood musicals in the 1940s and 1950s, most notably opposite Fred Astaire in “Royal Wedding” and Howard Keel in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” died on 16th September at her home in Wilton, Conn. She was 92. Susan Granger, a friend of the actress and spokesperson for her family, told that Powell died peacefully at the house she shared for many years with her husband, the actor and publicist Dick Moore, who died in 2015. Her film debut came in 1944 with Song of the Open Road, in which she played a fictionalized version of herself – a teenage singer who joins up with such show-biz stars of the day as Edgar Bergen (with Charlie McCarthy), Big Band leader Sammy Kaye and W.C. Fields. Her final credited TV performance was a 2002 episode of Law & Order: SVU, in which she played a nursing home resident suffering from elder abuse. Among her many stage credits was a starring role in the 1973 Broadway production of Irene, and, in 2000, a role in the Off-Broadway production of Bill C. Davis’ comedy-drama Avow. Powell starred in national touring productions of, among others, Marriage-Go-Round, Same Time, Next Year and Chapter Two. She is survived by children Geary Anthony Steffen III, Suzanne Steffen, and Lindsay Cavalli and granddaughters Skye Cavalli and Tia Cavalli.
Cause of Death
Jane Powell dies at 92 on 16th September 2021. Her cause of death was due to natural causes. She was referred to as one of the last surviving stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
What was Jane Powell Famous For?
- Being an actress, dancer, and singer.
- For her operatic soprano voice and “girl-next-door” image.
- Being one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema until her death in 2021.
What was the Birth Name of Jane Powell? Details About Her Age, Parents, Family
Jane Powell was born on 1st April 1929 with the birth name of Suzanne Lorraine Burce. Her place of birth was in Portland, Oregon, the USA. By nationality, she was American and she belonged to American-White ethnic background. Thus, her race was white. She lastly celebrated her 92nd birthday with her dear ones. As per her birth date, her Zodiac sign was Aries and she followed Christianity religion throughout her lifetime. About her parents, she was born as the only child to her father, Paul E. Burce, and her mother, Eileen Baker Burce. Thus, she had no siblings. Her father worked at a Wonder Bread Factory and her mother was a housewife. Her paternal grandmother was Canadian, born in Westminster, Ontario, while her paternal grandfather descended from English settlers in the Plymouth Colony.
About her education, she completed her eighth-grade year at Beaumont Elementary School in Portland. She was about to begin her freshman year in 1943.
Jane Powell Career Timeline and Life Story
- Jane Powell started taking dance lessons at the age of two. Then, Biographer Matthew Grimm described her parents as “an unhappy couple who saw in their precocious girl a chance to escape their modest means, seeing her as child-star heir apparent to Shirley Temple.” In an attempt to liken her appearance to Temple, Powell’s mother took her to get her first perm while she was still a toddler.
- When she was five, she appeared on the Portland children’s radio program “Stars of Tomorrow”.
- After then, she took dance lessons at the Agnes Peters School of Dance, where the Burce family met Scotty Weston, a local talent scout and dance instructor.
- While living in the Banbury Cross (after moving to Oakland, California), Powell was often heard singing by other tenants, who, impressed by her ability, encouraged her to formally train, and pooled money together to help her pay for singing lessons.
- When she was twelve, a local talent promoter, Carl Werner, helped her get selected as the Oregon Victory Girl where she began singing live on the local Portland radio station, KOIN, and traveled the state for two years, singing and selling victory bonds where she met actress, Lana Turner.
- During her stint as the Oregon Victory Girl, she had two weekly radio shows showcasing her soprano vocals: During the first, she sang with an organ accompaniment, and during the second, she sang with an orchestra and other performers.
- Then, she was scheduled to appear on Janet Gaynor’s radio talent show “Hollywood Showcase: Stars over Hollywood” where she auditioned for Louis B. Mayer at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, as well as for David O. Selznick. After being impressed by her performance on “Hollywood Showcase: Stars over Hollywood” offered her a seven-year contract with MGM.
- Later, she was loaned to United Artists for her first film, “Song of the Open Road” (1944). She also portrayed a child performer named Jane Powell, a name which she adopted for herself as her stage name.
- In addition, she sang “Because” at the wedding of Esther Williams and Ben Gage in the year 1945.
- She made six films, appeared on radio programs, performed in theater productions (including The Student Prince), and even sang at the inauguration ball for President Harry S. Truman on January 20, 1949 during her first three years at MGM.
- Her second feature film was Delightfully Dangerous, which she called the “worst movie I’ve ever made.” Her third feature, the George Sidney-directed “Holiday in Mexico” (1946) which marked her very first Technicolor film.
- She made her stand out in her follow-up vehicle, “Three Daring Daughters” originally titled The Birds and the Bees.
- She then appeared with her schoolmate, Elizabeth Taylor in a string of Joe Pasternak-produced musicals “A Date with Judy” (1948).
- After that, she appeared in 1948 fil “Luxury Liner” and 1950 film “Nancy Goes to Rio”. She also starred in “Two Weeks With Love” (1950) opposite Ricardo Montalbán.
- She was then cast in the 1951 musical comedy “Royal Wedding”, and starred in “Rich, Young and Pretty” in the same year.
- Likewise, she starred in two films in 1953: “Small Town Girl” and “Three Sailors and a Girl”.
- After a year, she appeared in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, “Athena”, “Deep in My Heart”.
- In 1955, she starred in “Hit the Deck” and also she recorded the song “True Love”, which rose to 15 on the Billboard charts and 107 on the pop charts for that year.
- Next, she appeared in RKO Pictures’ musical comedy “The Girl Most Likely”. Whereas the film was not released until 1958 even the film was shot in 1956.
- Moreover, she appeared in a rare dramatic role in the film noir “The Female Animal” from Universal Pictures in 1958.
- After her contract ended with MGM, her film offers began to slow, and she turned to theater.
- Her first summer stock role was in a production of Oklahoma! in Dallas, Texas, in the year 1958. She then co-starred in a television remake of the musical “Meet Me in St. Louis”.
- Moreover, she starred in a stage production of The Most Happy Fella (1962).
- She made her debut appearance on the television series “The Red Skelton Show” until 1972.
- In 1964, she starred in a production of “My Fair Lady” at Los Angeles’ Valley West Theatre. She toured in 1964 in a musical review titled “Just 20 Plus Me!”.
- In the year 1966, she had the title role in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” which was then followed by “Carousel”, “The Boy Friend” in 1967. In the same year, she starred in a touring production of “Brigadoon”.
- Then, she portrayed Maria von Trapp in the production of “The Sound of Music” in the year 1968.
- Not only this but also she appeared in three television films: Wheeler and Murdoch (1972), The Letters (1973), and Mayday at 40,000 Feet! (1976).
- She appeared in a Cincinnati-based stage production of “Meet Me In St. Louis” in 1972. She made her Broadway debut playing the title character in “Irene” in 1973.
- Jane alongside Howard Keel together appeared in a revival of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, I Do! I Do!” and “South Pacific”.
- She toured in the comedies “Same Time, Next Year”; “The Marriage-Go-Round” and “Chapter Two”.
- She started a nine-month run in the daytime soap opera “Loving” where her role was a tough mother and businesswoman.
- She next guest-starred on “Murder, She Wrote” in the year 1985. After three years, she was cast in a recurring guest role on the popular sitcom “Growing Pains”.
- She was a temporary replacement on the soap opera “As the World Turns” for Eileen Fulton as Lisa Grimaldi at the beginning of the 1990s.
- She then appeared in the off-Broadway production “After-Play” in 1996 and 1997.
- Also, she performed the role of the Queen in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at the New York City Opera.
- In addition, she appeared in the Off-Broadway production “Avow” in the year 2000 which was followed by “70, Girls, 70” in the same year.
- She also guest-starred on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 2002 which was followed by the film “The Sandy Bottom Orchestra” in 2003. In the same year, she returned in the musical “Bounce”.
- She returned to her hometown of Portland, Oregon, to narrate Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” on New Year’s Eve 2007.
- Moreover, she even appeared on 9th March 2008, with Pink Martini at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, singing a duet of “Aba Daba Honeymoon” with lead singer China Forbes.
- She appeared and sang “Love Is Where You Find It” in March 2009. Next, she filled in as guest host on Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
Jane Powell Husband and Children: Who was she married to?
Jane Powell was a married woman. On 5th November 1949, Jane Powell married former figure skater-turned-insurance broker Gearhardt Anthony Steffen. The duo is blessed with two kids; their first child, son Gearhardt Steffen III was born July 21, 1951, and on November 21, 1952, their second child, daughter Suzanne Ilene Steffen. Powell subsequently divorced Gearhardt Steffen in August 1953, citing a cruelty decree. On 8th November 1954, she married her second husband, Patrick W. Nerney, an automobile executive nine years her senior, in Ojai, California. Their daughter, Lindsey Averill Nerney, was born on February 1, 1956. In May 1963, Powell divorced her then-husband, Patrick Nerney. She then married her third husband, James Fitzgerald in 1965 until 1975. After that, she married her fourth husband, David Parlour in 1978 until 1981. In May 1988, she married her longtime companion, former child actor Dickie Moore. The couple had met while Moore was performing research for his autobiography Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but Don’t Have Sex or Take the Car. Their relationship lasted till the year 2015 before the death of Dickie Moore. Following the death of her husband, Dickie Moore in 2015, Powell sold their Manhattan apartment and relocated permanently to their second home in Wilton, Connecticut, at the age of 86. After then, she had no relationship and affairs with anyone. Her sexual orientation was straight.
Jane Powell Net Worth At The Time Of Her Death
Jane Powell, an actress, singer, and dancer had accumulated a huge amount of money during her lifetime as she had appeared in many movies and TV shows. The net worth of Jane Powell was estimated to have $10 Million at the time of her death. Her major source of wealth was from singing, dancing, and acting careers. She was living a modest lifestyle during her last period of time. Whereas her exact salary details are unavailable at a moment.
How tall was Jane Powell?
Jane Powell was a charming actress who had won a lot of people’s hearts with her attractive personality. She had an average height of 5 ft 1 in which measures 1.34 m. She had a slim body build with a bodyweight of 41 Kg or 90 lbs. Her other body measurement is still to get revealed yet. Her hair color was blonde and she had a pair of blue eyes.