Jane Powell, one of Tinseltown’s greatest stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, has passed away at the age of 92-years-old.
Jane Powell Dies At 92
Sadly, one of the greatest actresses and singers of all time, Jane Powell, died at her home in Wilton, Connecticut on September 16. Her close friend and film reviewer Susan Granger confirmed the unfortunate news. “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.”
Powell always knew that she wanted to become a star. She earned her start as an opera singer in Portland, Oregon and quickly gained national attention and earned a role in the 1950 hit Royal Wedding, alongside Fred Astaire. While both June Allyson and Judy Garland were originally up for the role, Powell earned the part. “They had to give it to me,” she said. “Everybody else is pregnant.”
Next, Powell joined Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in 1954, which also became a hit. “The studio didn’t think it was going to do anything,” the Hollywood star recalled in 2000, but boy were they wrong! “Blonde and small and pretty, Jane Powell had the required amount of grit and spunk that was needed to play the woman who could tame seven backwoodsmen,” John Kobal wrote in his book Gotta Sing Gotta Dance: A Pictorial History of Film Musicals.
Won’t Be Second-Rate
While she also starred in A Date With Judy, with Elizabeth Taylor, Powell had one of the shortest, albeit brightest careers in Hollywood. As musical movies’ popularity decline in the ’50s and ’60s, so too did Powell’s film career. Afterward, Powell moved to New York with her husband, former child star Dickie Moore. There, she started working in supper clubs and on Broadway, singing regularly. In the ‘70s, however, she stopped singing. “I can’t hit the high notes, and I won’t be second-rate,” she explained in 2000. Afterward, though, she did pop up on television shows every so often. Most recently she appeared as a victim of elder abuse on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Many reviewers said she shed new light on a problem may do not think of often enough.
Powell is survived by her daughter, Lindsey Nerney. Rest in peace. If you would like to know more about Jane Powell, the actress wrote an autobiography, The Girl Next Door, and How She Grew, which is certainly worth a read!