Jane Powell has died at 92 … actress appeared in MGM musical classics
Jane Powell has died at 92 … actress appeared in musical classics such as Royal Wedding and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
- The performer died at 92 from natural causes at her Wilton, Connecticut home
- Powell was born Suzanne Lorraine Burce in Portland, Oregon
- Powell’s initial film appearance was in 1944’s Song of the Open Road, as she portrayed a fictionalized version of her life
- Following her cinema career, she was a stalwart on the musical theater circuit
- In her later years, Powell had appeared on multiple TV shows
Actress Jane Powell, best known for appearing in the MGM musicals Royal Wedding and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, has died at 92 from natural causes.
Family friend and spokesperson Susan Granger confirmed to Deadline Thursday that Powell had passed away at her Wilton, Connecticut home. Powell had formerly lived in the home with late husband Dick Moore, an actor/publicist who passed away in 2015.
Granger told the AP that ‘Jane was the most wonderful friend,’ as ‘she was candid, she was honest’ and ‘you never asked Jane a question you didn’t want an absolutely honest answer to.’
The latest: Actress Jane Powell, best known for appearing in the MGM musicals Royal Wedding and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, has died at 92 from natural causes. She was snapped in 2004 in NYC
Powell was born Suzanne Lorraine Burce in Portland, Oregon. She began her show business career as a singer, promoting the sale of World War II war bonds as an ‘Oregon Victory Girl’ prior to heading south to Los Angeles, where she began to work for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Powell’s initial film appearance was in 1944’s Song of the Open Road, as she portrayed a fictionalized version of her life alongside celebrities including W.C. Fields, Edgar Bergen and bandleader Sammy Kaye.
She continued to accrue credits with appearances in motion pictures such as Delightfully Dangers in 1945, Holiday in Mexico in 1946 and A Date With Judy in 1948 prior to her breakout role in 1951’s Royal Wedding.
In that movie – which she had replaced Judy Garland – Powell appeared opposite the legendary Fred Astaire as a sibling dance act.
Powell was seen in a publicity portrait for the 1955 movie Hit The Deck
Flashback: Powell appeared opposite the legendary Fred Astaire as a sibling dance act for the 1951 MGM film Royal Wedding
Powell (L) was seen with Astaire and Greer Garson in LA in September of 1953
She said that Astaire – then 50, when she was 21 – was ‘very patient and understanding’ as she was a novice dancer at the time, according to the AP, adding, ‘We got along fine from the start.’
She had another huge career high mark with the 1954 film Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, noting that the success of the project surprised MGM.
‘The studio didn’t think it was going to do anything,’ she said in 2000, according to the AP. ‘MGM thought that Brigadoon was going to be the big moneymaker that year. It didn’t turn out that way.
‘We were the ones that went to the Radio City Music Hall, which was always such a coup,’ she said of the NYC venue, which was a movie theater at the time.
Beauty: The accomplished entertainer was seen in a 1950s publicity shot
The actress was seen in December of 1960 on her boat in Los Angeles
Powell, who lived in Wilton, Connecticut, was snapped in NYC in July of 1986
Powell was seen appearing on a 1988 episode of Growing Pains alongside the late Alan Thicke
Powell eventually departed MGM after a 13-year stint with the studio ‘because they weren’t going to be doing musicals anymore,’ she said in 2000, noting the genre was being phased out.
‘I thought I’d have a lot of studios to go to, but I didn’t have any, because no one wanted to make musicals,’ she said. ‘It was very difficult, and quite a shock to me. There’s nothing worse than not being wanted.’
Following her career in the cinema, she was a stalwart on the musical theater circuit, appearing in shows including Irene, I Do! I Do! and The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
She said in 2000 that she decided to stop singing ahead of her 70s as she couldn’t ‘hit the high notes,’ and transitioned into dramatic theater in New York.
In later years, Powell had appeared on TV shows including the The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Growing Pains. Her last TV appearance was on Law & Order: SVU in 2002.
Prior to Moore, she was married four times, and parent to sons Geary and daughters Suzanne and Lindsay.
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