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Jane Powell

Jane Powell

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Jane Powell is an American singer, dancer and actress.

After rising to fame as a singer in her home state of Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, Powell was signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer...

 while still in her teens. Once there, the studio utilized her vocal, dancing and acting talents, casting her in such musicals as Royal Wedding
Royal Wedding
Royal Wedding is a 1951 Hollywood musical comedy film known for Fred Astaire's dance performance on a ceiling and another with a coat rack. The story is set in London in 1947 at the time of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and stars Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Sarah...

, with Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute...

, A Date with Judy
A Date with Judy (film)
A Date with Judy is a 1948 MGM musical film starring Wallace Beery, Jane Powell, and Elizabeth Taylor. Directed by Richard Thorpe, the movie was based on the radio series of the same name....

, with friend Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, with Howard Keel
Howard Keel
Harold Clifford Keel , known professionally as Howard Keel, was an American actor and singer. He starred in many film musicals of the 1950s...

. In the late 1950s, her film career slowed, only to be replaced with a busy theater and television career.

As of 2010, Powell lives with her fifth husband, former child star Dickie Moore, in New York City and Connecticut, and is still active in television and theater.

Despite the same last name she is not related to actors William Powell
William Powell
William Horatio Powell was an American actor.A major star at MGM, he was paired with Myrna Loy in 14 films, including the popular Thin Man series in which Powell and Loy played Nick and Nora Charles...

, Dick Powell
Dick Powell
Richard Ewing "Dick" Powell was an American singer, actor, producer, director and studio boss.Despite the same last name he was not related to William Powell, Eleanor Powell or Jane Powell.-Biography:...

, or Eleanor Powell
Eleanor Powell
Eleanor Torrey Powell was an American film actress and dancer of the 1930s and 1940s, known for her exuberant solo tap dancing.-Early life:...

.

Early years


The only child born to Paul E. Burce (a Wonder Bread
Wonder Bread
Wonder Bread is the name of three North American brands of white bread: One produced by George Weston Bakeries in Canada, another by Hostess Brands in the United States, and the third by Grupo Bimbo in Mexico.- United States :...

 employee) and Eileen Baker Burce (a housewife) in Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, Powell began dance lessons at the age of two. Powell was born a brunette, with straight hair. In an attempt to liken her appearance to Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple Black , born Shirley Jane Temple, is an American film and television actress, singer, dancer, autobiographer, and former U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia...

, Powell's mother took her to get her first permanent the same year she began dance lessons. It wasn't until she starred in Technicolor pictures that she became a blonde.

At five, she appeared on the children's radio program Stars of Tomorrow. She also took dance lessons with Agnes Peters, and it was there that the Burce family met Scotty Weston, a talent scout and dance instructor. He convinced the family to move to Oakland for Powell to take dance lessons, in hopes of her being discovered. However, Weston's lessons were held in a large, dark, damp ballroom packed full of other starlet hopefuls, and after three months of living in a hotel room and eating meals cooked on a hot plate, the family moved back to Portland. Paul Burce had quit his job of 14 years to move to Oakland, and was unable to get it back when they returned. The family moved into an apartment building owned by friends, and Paul soon became the manager after the friends left. While there, and while helping her father take the garbage out, Powell would sing. Tenants insisted that Powell should take lessons, and after saving their money, began singing lessons for her.

At 12, Powell had her career taken over by a local promoter, Carl Werner, who helped her get selected as the Oregon Victory Girl. She traveled around the state for two years, singing and selling victory bonds. It was during this time that she first met Lana Turner
Lana Turner
Lana Turner was an American actress.Discovered and signed to a film contract by MGM at the age of sixteen, Turner first attracted attention in They Won't Forget . She played featured roles, often as the ingenue, in such films as Love Finds Andy Hardy...

. Powell presented her with flowers and sang for her. Years later, when they met again at MGM, Turner did not remember her. According to Powell, even after meeting her many times, Turner never remembered who she was.

During her time as the Oregon Victory Girl, Powell had two weekly radio shows. During the first, she sang with an organ accompaniment, and during the second, she sang with an orchestra and other performers. She had attended Beaumont Grade School in Portland and Grant High School.

During the summer of 1943, Paul and Eileen Burce took their daughter on vacation to Hollywood. There, she appeared on Janet Gaynor
Janet Gaynor
Janet Gaynor was an American actress and painter.One of the most popular actresses of the silent film era, in 1928 Gaynor became the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in three films: Seventh Heaven , Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans and Street Angel...

's radio show Hollywood Showcase: Stars over Hollywood. The show was a talent competition, and among the other contestants were Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathie Lee Gifford is an American television host, singer, songwriter and actress, best known for her 15-year run on the talk show Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, which she co-hosted with Regis Philbin...

's mother, Joan Epstein. Powell won the competition, and soon auditioned with Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer
Louis Burt Mayer born Lazar Meir was an American film producer. He is generally cited as the creator of the "star system" within Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in its golden years. Known always as Louis B...

 at MGM as well as David O. Selznick
David O. Selznick
David O. Selznick was an American film producer. He is best known for having produced Gone with the Wind and Rebecca , both of which earned him an Oscar for Best Picture.-Early years:...

. Without even taking a screen test, Powell was then signed to a seven-year contract with MGM. Within two months, Powell had been loaned out to United Artists
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

 for her first film, Song of the Open Road
Song of the Open Road
Song of the Open Road is a 1944 musical comedy film directed by S. Sylvan Simon, from a screenplay by Irving Phillips and Edward Verdier.-Overview:...

.

Powell's character in Song of the Open Road was named Jane Powell, and it was from this that her stage name was taken.

In 1945, Powell sang Because at the wedding of Esther Williams
Esther Williams
Esther Jane Williams is a retired American competitive swimmer and MGM movie star.Williams set multiple national and regional swimming records in her late teens as part of the Los Angeles Athletic Club swim team...

 and Ben Gage
Ben Gage
Ben Gage was a radio singer and announcer, occasional off-screen film singer dubbing the voice of non-singing actors, and American television actor active from 1959 to 1975....

.

MGM years


Within her first few years at MGM, Powell made six films, appeared on radio programs, performed in theatre productions (including The Student Prince
The Student Prince
The Student Prince is an operetta in four acts with music by Sigmund Romberg and book and lyrics by Dorothy Donnelly. It is based on Wilhelm Meyer-Förster's play Alt Heidelberg. The piece has elements of melodrama but lacks the swashbuckling style common to Romberg's other works...

) and even sang at the inauguration ball for President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 on January 20, 1949. When not making films, Powell traveled to theaters around the country doing a vaudeville act, which she hated

Powell's second film was Delightfully Dangerous, which Powell called the "worst movie she's ever made." During her third film, Holiday in Mexico, Powell met her future friend, Roddy McDowall
Roddy McDowall
Roderick Andrew Anthony Jude "Roddy" McDowall was an English actor and photographer. His film roles included Cornelius and Caesar in the Planet of the Apes film series...

. Holiday in Mexico was her first Technicolor film; her first two films had been black and white.

Powell's charm and spunk made her stand out in her follow-up vehicle Three Daring Daughters
Three Daring Daughters
Three Daring Daughters is a 1948 musical film made by MGM, and directed by Fred M. Wilcox. The screenplay was written by Albert Mannheimer, Frederick Kohner, Sonya Levien and John Meehan.-Plot:...

, originally titled The Birds and the Bees, in which she co-starred with Jeanette MacDonald
Jeanette MacDonald
Jeanette MacDonald was an American singer and actress best remembered for her musical films of the 1930s with Maurice Chevalier and Nelson Eddy...

, who took the young performer under her wing. The film proved another hit and she was given top billing in a string of Joe Pasternak
Joe Pasternak
thumb|right|250px|Pasterrnak receiving his star on [[Hollywood Boulevard]] from [[Johnny Grant |Johnny Grant]] with [[Gene Kelly]] on the left on July 29, 1991....

-produced musicals including A Date with Judy
A Date with Judy
A Date with Judy was a comedy radio series aimed at a teenage audience which had a long run from 1941 to 1950.The show began as a summer replacement for Bob Hope's show, sponsored by Pepsodent and airing on NBC from June 24 to September 16, 1941, with 14-year-old Ann Gillis in the title role...

 (1948) with schoolmate Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

. She made Luxury Liner, a 1948 romantic musical comedy film, and Nancy Goes to Rio
Nancy Goes to Rio
Nancy Goes to Rio is a musical comedy film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1950. It was directed by Robert Z. Leonard and produced by Joe Pasternak from a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon, based on a story by Ralph Block, Frederick Kohner and Jane Hall...

 (1950) with Ann Sothern
Ann Sothern
Ann Sothern was an American film and television actress whose career spanned six decades.-Early life and career:...

.

Powell worked side by side with Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute...

 in Royal Wedding
Royal Wedding
Royal Wedding is a 1951 Hollywood musical comedy film known for Fred Astaire's dance performance on a ceiling and another with a coat rack. The story is set in London in 1947 at the time of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and stars Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Sarah...

 (1951), when she was brought in to replace June Allyson
June Allyson
June Allyson was an American film and television actress, popular in the 1940s and 1950s. She was a major MGM contract star. Allyson won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her performance in Too Young to Kiss . From 1959–1961, she hosted and occasionally starred in her own CBS anthology...

, who had become pregnant, and then Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an American actress and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years and for her renowned contralto voice, she attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage...

, who dropped out due to illness. According to film historian Robert Osborne
Robert Osborne
Robert Jolin Osborne is an American actor and film historian best known as the primary host for Turner Classic Movies, and previously a host of The Movie Channel.-Life and career:...

, in a six-minute scene in the movie, Powell and Astaire match witty banter, sing and dance in a performance that showcased the actress's energy and talent. "We can also see her comic ability, in that number", Osborne said. "She's hilarious—chewing gum, swinging her hips, and acting like a 'tough broad'. It's too bad MGM didn't capitalize more on her comedic side." Her best-known film is probably Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), opposite Howard Keel
Howard Keel
Harold Clifford Keel , known professionally as Howard Keel, was an American actor and singer. He starred in many film musicals of the 1950s...

, which gave her the opportunity to play a more mature character than previous films. Her other films include: Rich, Young and Pretty
Rich, Young and Pretty
Rich, Young and Pretty is a 1951 musical film produced by Joe Pasternak for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and directed by Norman Taurog. It was written by Dorothy Cooper and Sidney Sheldon, starred Jane Powell, Danielle Darrieux, Wendell Corey, and Fernando Lamas, and introduced Vic Damone...

 (1951), Small Town Girl (1953), Three Sailors and a Girl (1953), Athena
Athena (film)
Athena is a romantic musical comedy, starring Jane Powell, Edmund Purdom, Debbie Reynolds, Vic Damone, Louis Calhern, and Norma Varden, and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer....

 (1954), Deep in My Heart (1954), Hit the Deck
Hit the Deck (1955 film)
Hit the Deck is a 1955 musical film directed by Roy Rowland and starring Jane Powell. Tony Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Walter Pidgeon, Gene Raymond, Ann Miller, Russ Tamblyn,and Vic Damone. It was based on the musical of the same name.-Cast:...

 (1955), and The Girl Most Likely (1957). In 1956 Powell recorded a song, "True Love", that rose to 15 on the Billboard charts and 107 on the pop charts for that year, according to the Joel Whitburn
Joel Whitburn
Joel Carver Whitburn is an American author and music historian.Whitburn founded Record Research Inc. in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, in 1970, and put together a team of researchers to examine in detail all of Billboards music and video charts...

 compilation. This was her only single to make the charts.

In 1956, Powell performed the song "I'll Never Stop Loving You" at the 28th Academy Awards
28th Academy Awards
The 28th Academy Awards were presented at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Marty, a simple and low-budget film usually uncharacteristic of Best Picture awardees, became the shortest film to win the top honor.This year also was notable for having only 2 of the best picture...

.

Stage roles


Her roles include the touring productions of Unsinkable Molly Brown, Most Happy Fella, The Boy Friend
The Boy Friend
The Boy Friend is a musical by Sandy Wilson. The musical's original 1954 London production ran for 2,078 performances, making it briefly the third-longest running musical in West End or Broadway history until it was surpassed by Salad Days...

, Brigadoon
Brigadoon
Brigadoon is a musical with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. Songs from the musical, such as "Almost Like Being in Love" have become standards....

, The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers...

, Oklahoma!
Oklahoma!
Oklahoma! is the first musical written by composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is based on Lynn Riggs' 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs. Set in Oklahoma Territory outside the town of Claremore in 1906, it tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance...

, My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady
My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe...

, Carousel
Carousel (musical)
Carousel is the second stage musical by the team of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II . The work premiered in 1945 and was adapted from Ferenc Molnár's 1909 play Liliom, transplanting its Budapest setting to the Maine coastline...

, Meet Me in St. Louis
Meet Me in St. Louis
Meet Me in St. Louis is a 1944 musical film from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer which tells the story of an American family living in St. Louis at the time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair in 1904...

, Peter Pan
Peter Pan
Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie . A mischievous boy who can fly and magically refuses to grow up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang the Lost Boys, interacting with...

, The Girl Next Door and How She Grew, and Irene
Irene (musical)
Irene is a musical with a book by James Montgomery, lyrics by Joseph McCarthy, and music by Harry Tierney.Based on Montgomery's play Irene O'Dare, it is set in New York City's Upper West Side and focuses on immigrant shop assistant Irene O'Dare, who is introduced to Long Island's high society when...

, in which she made her Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 debut, following Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds is an American actress, singer, and dancer.She was initially signed at age 16 by Warner Bros., but her career got off to a slow start. When her contract was not renewed, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gave her a small, but significant part in the film Three Little Words , then signed her to...

 in the title role. She and Howard Keel
Howard Keel
Harold Clifford Keel , known professionally as Howard Keel, was an American actor and singer. He starred in many film musicals of the 1950s...

 also appeared on stage together in a revival of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, I Do! I Do!
I Do! I Do!
I Do! I Do! is a musical with a book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt which is based on the Jan de Hartog play The Fourposter. The two-character story spans fifty years, from 1895 to 1945, as it focuses on the ups and downs experienced by Agnes and Michael Snow throughout their...

 and South Pacific
South Pacific (musical)
South Pacific is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The story draws from James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book Tales of the South Pacific, weaving together characters and elements from several of its...

.

Powell also toured in 1964 in a musical review entitled, "Just 20 Plus Me!" It was done to a recorded track and featured Powell with 20 handsome "chorus boys". Asked after the performance if the production was going to be made available on a commercial recording, she said simply, "No."

In the early 1980s she toured in the comedies Same Time, Next Year
Same Time, Next Year
Same Time, Next Year is 1975 comedy play by Bernard Slade. The plot focuses on two people, married to others, who meet for a romantic tryst once a year for two dozen years.-Plot:...

, The Marriage-Go-Round, and Chapter Two
Chapter Two
Chapter Two is a semi-autobiographical play by Neil Simon. The plot focuses on George Schneider, a recently widowed writer who is introduced to soap opera actress Jennie Malone by his press agent brother Leo and her best friend Faye. Jennie's unhappy marriage to a football player has dissolved...

.

In 1996 and 1997 she appeared in the off-broadway production After-Play.

In 2000 she appeared in the off-broadway production Avow, for which she received great reviews for a role which showed off her excellent comedic timing.

Television



During the 1950s and 1960s Powell appeared regularly on television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

. These credits included guest spots on nearly all the major variety shows of the period such as The Perry Como Show, The Andy Williams Show
The Andy Williams Show
The Andy Williams Show is a television variety show which ran from 1959 to 1971 , and a short-lived run in syndication, beginning in the fall of 1976...

, The Kraft Music Hall
Kraft Music Hall (TV series)
Kraft Music Hall is an umbrella title for several television series aired by NBC in the United States from the 1950s to the 1970s in the musical variety genre, sponsored by Kraft Foods, the producers of a well-known line of cheeses and related dairy products...

, Frank Sinatra, The Ed Sullivan Show
The Ed Sullivan Show
The Ed Sullivan Show is an American TV variety show that originally ran on CBS from Sunday June 20, 1948 to Sunday June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan....

, The Hollywood Palace
The Hollywood Palace
The Hollywood Palace is an hour-long American television variety show that was broadcast weekly on ABC from January 4, 1964 to February 7, 1970. It began as a mid-season replacement for the short-lived Jerry Lewis Show, another variety show which had lasted only three months...

, The Red Skelton Show
The Red Skelton Show
The Red Skelton Show is an American variety show that was a television staple for two decades, from 1951 to 1971. It was second to Gunsmoke and third to The Ed Sullivan Show in the ratings during that time. Skelton, who had previously been a radio star, had appeared in several motion pictures as...

, Eddie Fisher, The Dinah Shore Show
The Dinah Shore Show
The Dinah Shore Show is an American variety show which was broadcast by NBC from November 1951 to January 1956, sponsored by General Motors' Chevrolet division...

, The Dean Martin Show
The Dean Martin Show
The Dean Martin Show is a TV variety-comedy series that ran from 1965 to 1974 for 264 episodes. It was broadcast by NBC and hosted by crooner Dean Martin...

, The Smothers Brothers, Jonathan Winters, This is Tom Jones
This Is Tom Jones
This is Tom Jones is an ATV variety series starring Tom Jones. The series was exported to the United States by ITC Entertainment and was networked there by ABC....

, The Garry Moore Show
Garry Moore
Garry Moore was an American entertainer, game show host and comedian best known for his work in television...

, The Jerry Lewis Show
Jerry Lewis
Jerry Lewis is an American comedian, actor, singer, film producer, screenwriter and film director. He is best known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio. He was originally paired up with Dean Martin in 1946, forming the famed comedy team of Martin and Lewis...

 and The Judy Garland Show
Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an American actress and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years and for her renowned contralto voice, she attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage...

. She twice appeared as one of the What's My Line?
What's My Line?
What's My Line? is a panel game show which originally ran in the United States on the CBS Television Network from 1950 to 1967, with several international versions and subsequent U.S. revivals. The game tasked celebrity panelists with questioning contestants in order to determine their occupations....

 Mystery Guests
What's My Line? Mystery Guests
The following is an alphabetized list of persons who were Mystery Guests on one version of the United States version of the television game show What's My Line?.-A:*Edie Adams...

 on the popular Sunday night CBS-TV program. She also appeared as a guest panelist on What's My Line? and on the ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 musical quiz program, Jukebox Jury
Jukebox Jury
Jukebox Jury was an hour-long television series hosted by disc jockey Peter Potter which aired in the 1953-54 season on the American Broadcasting Company. It was thereafter syndicated in 1959....

. Her television specials included "Meet Me in St. Louis", "Young at Heart", "Feathertop", "The Danny Thomas Show 1967", "The Victor Borge Show", "Ruggles of Red Gap" on Producers' Showcase
Producers' Showcase
Producers' Showcase is an American anthology television series that was telecast live during the 1950s in compatible color by NBC. With top talent, the 90-minute episodes, covering a wide variety of genres, aired under the title every fourth Monday at 8 p.m. ET for three seasons, beginning October...

 and "Hooray for Love". Dramatic guest spots included both The Dick Powell Show
The Dick Powell Show
The Dick Powell Show is an American anthology series that ran on NBC from 1961- 1963, primarily sponsored by the Reynolds Metals Company. It was hosted by longtime film star Dick Powell until his death from lymphatic cancer on January 2, 1963, then by a series of guest hosts until the series ended...

 and The June Allyson Show
The DuPont Show with June Allyson
The DuPont Show with June Allyson is an American anthology drama series which aired on CBS from September 21, 1959 to April 3, 1961 with rebroadcasts continuing until June 12, 1961...

. She also had a failed pilot for a television sitcom called The Jane Powell Show. Powell was a regular guest on a TV variety shows in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 when she visited there to perform her nightclub act. She also had a one-off TV special there in 1964.

In the 1970s, she appeared in three TV movies Wheeler and Murdoch, The Letters and Mayday at 40,000 Feet!.

In the 1980s she again guested on "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island". Another guest spot was on "Murder She Wrote". In 1985 she started a 9 month run in the daytime soap Loving
Loving
-Places:* Loving, New Mexico, a village located in Eddy County, New Mexico.* Loving County, Texas, the least populous county in the U.S.-Things:* Love, a range of human emotions* Loving , a 1945 novel by Henry Green....

 playing a tough mother and business woman.

At the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s she also had a regular guest spot on Growing Pains
Growing Pains
Growing Pains is an American television sitcom about an affluent family, residing in Huntington, New York, with a working mother and a stay-at-home psychiatrist father raising three children together, which aired on ABC from September 24, 1985 to April 25, 1992.-Synopsis:The show's premise is based...

 (playing Alan Thicke
Alan Thicke
Alan Thicke is a Canadian actor, songwriter, and game and talk show host. He is best known for his role as Jason Seaver, the patriarch on the ABC television series Growing Pains.- Early life :...

's mother).

She was a temporary replacement on As The World Turns
As the World Turns
As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light...

 for Eileen Fulton
Eileen Fulton
Eileen Fulton is an American actress.Fulton is known for her role as Lisa Grimaldi on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns, a role that she played almost continuously for 50 years from May 18, 1960 until the show's cancellation on September 17, 2010.-As the...

 as Lisa Grimaldi
Lisa Grimaldi
Lisa Grimaldi is a fictional character on the CBS soap opera As the World Turns. The daughter of Henry and Alma Miller, Lisa grew up in Rockford, Illinois, USA before moving to Oakdale...

 in 1991, 1993, and 1994.

In 2000 she appeared in two TV movies in supporting roles in The Sandy Bottom Orchestra and Perfect Murder, Perfect Town.

Her last major TV appearance was a guest spot on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2002.

She has also appeared on numerous TV Talk shows and co-hosted The Mike Douglas Show
The Mike Douglas Show
The Mike Douglas Show is an American daytime television talk show hosted by Mike Douglas that aired in syndication from 1961 to 1982, distributed by Westinghouse Broadcasting and for much of its run, originated from studios of two of the company's TV stations.The program featured light banter with...

 in 1970.

Currently


Powell lives in Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 and (since 1985), in Wilton
Wilton, Connecticut
Wilton is a town nestled in the Norwalk River Valley in southwestern Connecticut in the United States. It is located in Fairfield County. As of the 2010 census, the town population was 18,062. In 2007, it was voted as one of CNN Money's "Best Places to Live" in the United States.Located along...

, Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, with her fifth husband, former child actor Dick Moore. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Actors' Fund of America, and still acts and performs to the present day, most recently in a 2002 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is an American police procedural television drama series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced...

.

In 2003, she made a return to the stage as Mama Mizner in the Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist for stage and film. He is the winner of an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award...

 musical Bounce
Bounce (musical)
Road Show is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by John Weidman...

. Despite Powell's great reviews in the part, Bounce was not critically successful and did not move to Broadway.

For one evening, she returned to her hometown, Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, narrating Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Prokofiev
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century...

's Peter and the Wolf with Pink Martini
Pink Martini
Pink Martini is a 13-member "little orchestra" from Portland, Oregon, formed in 1994 by pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale. They draw inspiration from music from all over the world – crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop.-History:...

 on December 31, 2007. She also appeared on March 9, 2008, with Pink Martini
Pink Martini
Pink Martini is a 13-member "little orchestra" from Portland, Oregon, formed in 1994 by pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale. They draw inspiration from music from all over the world – crossing genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop.-History:...

 at Avery Fisher Hall
Avery Fisher Hall
Avery Fisher Hall is a concert hall, in New York City and is part of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts complex. It is the home of the New York Philharmonic, with a capacity of 2,738 seats.-History:...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

; she sang a duet of "Aba Daba Honeymoon
Aba Daba Honeymoon
Aba Daba Honeymoon is a popular song that was written and published by Arthur Fields and Walter Donovan in 1914. Known through its chorus, "Aba daba daba daba daba daba dab, Said the chimpie to the monk; Baba daba daba daba daba daba dab, Said the monkey to the chimp," the first recording of Aba...

" with lead singer China Forbes
China Forbes
China Forbes is an American singer and songwriter, best known as the lead singer of Pink Martini.Forbes was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her father is American of French/Scottish descent, and her mother is African American...

. In March 2009 she appeared and sang "Love is Where You Find It" in a show in which Michael Feinstein
Michael Feinstein
Michael Jay Feinstein is an American singer, pianist, and music revivalist. He is an interpreter of, and an anthropologist and archivist for, the repertoire known as the Great American Songbook. In 1988 he won a Drama Desk Special Award for celebrating American musical theatre songs...

 celebrated Movie Musicals and MGM Musicals in particular. She performed again with Pink Martini at the Hollywood Bowl on September 10, 2010.

Jane filled in as "guest host" on Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies is a movie-oriented cable television channel, owned by the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Time Warner, featuring commercial-free classic movies, mostly from the Turner Entertainment and MGM, United Artists, RKO and Warner Bros. film libraries...

 for Robert Osborne
Robert Osborne
Robert Jolin Osborne is an American actor and film historian best known as the primary host for Turner Classic Movies, and previously a host of The Movie Channel.-Life and career:...

 while he was was on medical leave July 17–23, 2011.

Personal life


She has three children from her first two marriages, and has been married five times in total.

Her first marriage was to former figure skater Gearhardt "Geary" Anthony Steffen. He was a former skating partner to Sonja Henie
Sonja Henie
Sonja Henie was a Norwegian figure skater and film star. She was a three-time Olympic Champion in Ladies Singles, a ten-time World Champion and a six-time European Champion . Henie won more Olympic and World titles than any other ladies figure skater...

, turned insurance broker. They married on November 5, 1949, and divorced on August 6, 1953. They had two children, Gearhardt Anthony "G.A." Steffen III (born 1951) and Suzanne "Sissy" Ilene Steffen (born November 21, 1952). Friend and fellow actress Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age...

 served as one of her bridesmaids, with Powell returning the favor during Taylor's 1950 wedding to Conrad "Nicky" Hilton
Conrad Hilton, Jr.
Conrad Nicholson "Nicky" Hilton, Jr. was an American socialite, hotel heir, businessman, and TWA director. He was one of the sons of Conrad Hilton .-Early life:...

.

On November 8, 1954, Powell married Patrick W. Nerney, an automobile executive nine years her senior, in Ojai, California
Ojai, California
Ojai is a city in Ventura County, California, USA. It is situated in the Ojai Valley , surrounded by hills and mountains. The population was 7,461 at the 2010 census, down from 7,862 at the 2000 census.-History:Chumash Indians were the early inhabitants of the valley...

. Nerney had previously been married to actress Mona Freeman
Mona Freeman
Mona Freeman is an American film actress. The 5' 1" blonde was a model while in high school, and after becoming the first "Miss Subways" of the New York City transit system, eventually signed a movie contract with Howard Hughes. Her contract was later sold to Paramount Pictures. After 1944, she...

, with whom he had a daughter, also named Mona. Daughter Lindsey Averill Nerney (Powell states she named her for the California-based olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

 processor) was born from the union on February 1, 1956. The couple divorced in 1963.

Powell's fifth marriage, to former child star Dickie Moore, has been her longest. Powell and Moore have been married since 1988, when they met while Moore was researching for his own autobiography, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, But Don't Have Sex or Take the Car."

Her autobiography was published in 1988.

For her 80th birthday, her husband and Robert Osborne
Robert Osborne
Robert Jolin Osborne is an American actor and film historian best known as the primary host for Turner Classic Movies, and previously a host of The Movie Channel.-Life and career:...

, a film historian and host of Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies is a movie-oriented cable television channel, owned by the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of Time Warner, featuring commercial-free classic movies, mostly from the Turner Entertainment and MGM, United Artists, RKO and Warner Bros. film libraries...

, organized a party at a New York hotel for forty-five of Powell's friends and family members.

Features

Year Film Role Notes
1944 Song of the Open Road
Song of the Open Road
Song of the Open Road is a 1944 musical comedy film directed by S. Sylvan Simon, from a screenplay by Irving Phillips and Edward Verdier.-Overview:...

Jane Powell
1945 Delightfully Dangerous Sherry Williams
1946 Holiday in Mexico Christine Evans
1948 Three Daring Daughters
Three Daring Daughters
Three Daring Daughters is a 1948 musical film made by MGM, and directed by Fred M. Wilcox. The screenplay was written by Albert Mannheimer, Frederick Kohner, Sonya Levien and John Meehan.-Plot:...

Tess Morgan
A Date with Judy
A Date with Judy (film)
A Date with Judy is a 1948 MGM musical film starring Wallace Beery, Jane Powell, and Elizabeth Taylor. Directed by Richard Thorpe, the movie was based on the radio series of the same name....

Judy Foster
Luxury Liner
Luxury Liner (film)
Luxury Liner is a 1948 romantic musical comedy film made by MGM. It was directed by Richard Whorf, and written by Richard Connell, Karl Kamb and Gladys Lehman...

Polly Bradford
1950 Nancy Goes to Rio
Nancy Goes to Rio
Nancy Goes to Rio is a musical comedy film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1950. It was directed by Robert Z. Leonard and produced by Joe Pasternak from a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon, based on a story by Ralph Block, Frederick Kohner and Jane Hall...

Nancy Barklay
Two Weeks with Love
Two Weeks with Love
Two Weeks with Love is a 1950 romantic musical film made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed by Roy Rowland, based on story by John Larkin who co-wrote the screenplay with Dorothy Kingsley.Set in the early 1900s, the film focuses on the Robinson family...

Patti Robinson
1951 Royal Wedding
Royal Wedding
Royal Wedding is a 1951 Hollywood musical comedy film known for Fred Astaire's dance performance on a ceiling and another with a coat rack. The story is set in London in 1947 at the time of the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, and stars Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Sarah...

Ellen Bowen
Rich, Young and Pretty
Rich, Young and Pretty
Rich, Young and Pretty is a 1951 musical film produced by Joe Pasternak for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and directed by Norman Taurog. It was written by Dorothy Cooper and Sidney Sheldon, starred Jane Powell, Danielle Darrieux, Wendell Corey, and Fernando Lamas, and introduced Vic Damone...

Elizabeth Rogers
1953 Small Town Girl
Small Town Girl (1953 film)
Small Town Girl is a 1953 musical film directed by László Kardos and starring Jane Powell, Farley Granger, and Ann Miller. Busby Berkeley choreographed several dance numbers. Bobby Van performed the memorable "Street Dance", in which he hopped all around town. The film features song performances...

Cindy Kimbell
Three Sailors and a Girl
Three Sailors and a Girl
Three Sailors and a Girl is a 1953 musical film made by Warner Bros.. It was directed by Roy Del Ruth, and written by Devery Freeman and Roland Kibbee, based on the George S. Kaufman play The Butter and Egg Man...

Penny Weston
1954 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Milly Pontipee
Athena
Athena (film)
Athena is a romantic musical comedy, starring Jane Powell, Edmund Purdom, Debbie Reynolds, Vic Damone, Louis Calhern, and Norma Varden, and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer....

Athena Mulvain
Deep in My Heart Ottilie van Zandt in Maytime
Maytime (musical)
Maytime is a musical with music by Sigmund Romberg and lyrics and book by Rida Johnson Young, and with additional lyrics by Cyrus Wood. The musical is based on the 1913 German operetta Wie einst im Mai, composed by Walter Kollo, with words by Rudolf Bernauer and Rudolf Schanzer. Maytime introduced...

1955 Hit the Deck
Hit the Deck (1955 film)
Hit the Deck is a 1955 musical film directed by Roy Rowland and starring Jane Powell. Tony Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Walter Pidgeon, Gene Raymond, Ann Miller, Russ Tamblyn,and Vic Damone. It was based on the musical of the same name.-Cast:...

Susan Smith
1958 The Girl Most Likely
The Girl Most Likely
The Girl Most Likely is a musical about a young woman who ends up engaged to three men at the same time. The film, a remake of Tom, Dick and Harry , was directed by Mitchell Leisen, and stars Jane Powell, Cliff Robertson, and Keith Andes...

Dodie
The Female Animal Penny Windsor
Enchanted Island
Enchanted Island (film)
Enchanted Island is a 1958 adventure film distributed by Warner Bros. It was directed by Allan Dwan, produced by Benedict Bogeaus and written by Harold Jacob Smith, James Leicester and Al Stillman, based on the novel "Typee" by Herman Melville...

Fayaway Also known as Typee
1975 Tubby the Tuba
Tubby the Tuba (1975 film)
Tubby the Tuba is a 1975 animated feature film, based on the 1945 children's story for concert orchestra and narrator of the same name by Paul Tripp and George Kleinsinger...

Celeste Voice
1999 Picture This
2003 Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There
Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There
Broadway: The Golden Age is a 2004 documentary by Rick McKay, telling the story of the "golden age" of Broadway by the oral history of the legendary actors of the 40s and 50s, incorporating rare lost footage of actual performances and never-before-seen personal home movies and photos.-The Cast:The...

Herself

Short subjects

  • Screen Snapshots: Motion Picture Mothers, Inc. (1949)
  • 1955 Motion Picture Theatre Celebration (1955)

Recordings

  • 1949 - Romance - Columbia Masterworks
    Columbia Records
    Columbia Records is an American record label, owned by Japan's Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group with Aware Records. It was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company — successor to the Volta Graphophone Company...

     LP
    LP album
    The LP, or long-playing microgroove record, is a format for phonograph records, an analog sound storage medium. Introduced by Columbia Records in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry...

     (ML 2034)
  • 1949 - A Date with Jane Powell - Columbia Masterworks
    Columbia Records
    Columbia Records is an American record label, owned by Japan's Sony Music Entertainment, operating under the Columbia Music Group with Aware Records. It was founded in 1888, evolving from an earlier enterprise, the American Graphophone Company — successor to the Volta Graphophone Company...

     LP
    LP album
    The LP, or long-playing microgroove record, is a format for phonograph records, an analog sound storage medium. Introduced by Columbia Records in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry...

     (ML 2045)
  • 1956 - Can't We Be Friends? - Verve Records
    Verve Records
    Verve Records is an American jazz record label now owned by Universal Music Group. It was founded by Norman Granz in 1956, absorbing the catalogues of his earlier labels, Clef Records and Norgran Records , and material which had been licensed to Mercury previously.-Jazz and folk origins:The Verve...

     LP
    LP album
    The LP, or long-playing microgroove record, is a format for phonograph records, an analog sound storage medium. Introduced by Columbia Records in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry...

     (MGV 2023), re-released as a Limited Edition Japanese import CD in a mini-LP slip case in 2004.
  • 2001 - Romance/A Date with Jane Powell - Collectables Records
    Collectables Records
    Collectables is a reissue record label founded in 1980 by Jerry Greene. Greene was previously associated with New York City's Times Square Record Shop, Philadelphia's Record Museum retail chain, and the Lost Nite and Crimson record labels....

     CD
    Compact Disc
    The Compact Disc is an optical disc used to store digital data. It was originally developed to store and playback sound recordings exclusively, but later expanded to encompass data storage , write-once audio and data storage , rewritable media , Video Compact Discs , Super Video Compact Discs ,...

     (COL-CD-6670 / Sony
    Sony Music Entertainment
    Sony Music Entertainment ' is the second-largest global recorded music company of the "big four" record companies and is controlled by Sony Corporation of America, the United States subsidiary of Japan's Sony Corporation....

     A-50271)

External links