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

From Los Angeles-Jane Powell, the bright-eyed and opera-voiced star of Hollywood’s golden age musical, sang with Howard Keel in “The Seven Brothers of Looting” and danced with Fred Astaire in “Royal Wedding”. .. She was 92 years old.

Powell died Thursday at his home in Wilton, Connecticut, said longtime friend Susan Granger.

Granger said Powell died of natural causes.

“Jane was my best friend,” Granger said. “She was frank and honest. I never asked Jane a question that I absolutely didn’t want an honest answer to.”

Granger was a young man when he met Powell, a teenager at the time, who made his film debut in 1944 on “Song of the Open Road,” directed by Granger’s father, S. Sylvain Simon.

She began her life as a radio singing genius in Portland, Oregon, around the age of five. On the screen, she quickly graduated from her teenage role to a gorgeous musical piece that was a staple of Hollywood in the 20th century.

Her 1950 casting at “Royal Wedding” was done by default. June Allyson was first announced as a co-star of Astea, but withdrew when she became pregnant. Judy Garland was cast but withdrawn due to personal issues. Next was Jane Powell.

“They had to give it to me,” she joked at the time. “Everyone else is pregnant.” Also, among the expected MGM stars are Lana Turner, Esther Williams, Cyd Charisse and Jean Hagen.

Powell was just 21 when she played that role. Astea was 50 years old. I was nervous because I had no experience in dancing, but I felt, “I was very patient and understood. He did well from the beginning.”

The “Seven Brothers of Looting” proved to be a 1954 “Sleeper” hit.

“The studio didn’t expect it to do anything,” she recalled in 2000. I went to Radio City Music Hall, which was always such a coup d’etat. “

The famous New York venue was a movie theater at the time.

The audience was overwhelmed by Kiel and Powell’s brilliant singing voice, especially Michael Kidd’s gymnastics choreography. The “Seven Bride of Looting” gained classic status and produced the television series and Broadway musicals.

“Blonde, small and pretty Jane Powell had the amount of grit and courage needed to play a woman who could tame seven Buckwoodmen,” John Kobal wrote in his book “Gotta.” I wrote in “Sing Gotta Dance: A Pictorial History of Film Musicals”. “”

However, after spending 13 years at MGM, Powell thought he would leave the studio and be fired “because he wasn’t going to play a musical.”

“I thought there were a lot of studios to go to,” she said in 2000. “I didn’t have a studio because I didn’t want to make a musical. It was very difficult and very shocking. There is nothing worse than undesired.”

She found one musical, “The Girl Most Likely,” at RKO. This is a remake of “Tom, Dick, Harry” in 1958. With the exception of a few minor films, her film career is over.

She was born in 1928 in Portland, Oregon as Susanne Lorraine Bath. She began singing on local radio from an early age, and as she grew up, her voice evolved into a clear, high-pitched soprano.

When the Baths planned a trip to Los Angeles, the radio station asked if Sae Yamamoto would appear on a network talent show there. The two-octave voice little girl gave a big applause in the “Carmen” aria and soon signed a contract with MGM.

Her first film was a loan to an independent producer of “Song of the Open Road,” a mish mash between WC Fields (at the end of his career) and Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy in 1944.

The name of the character in “Open Road Song” is Jane Powell, and MGM has decided that it will be the name of her movie.

She played a teenager in movies such as “Mexico Holiday,” “Three Bold Daughters,” and “A Date with Judy.” However, she begged the studio boss to give her an adult role and finally succeeded in a “royal wedding.”

Bubbling romance and musicals continued to dominate her career, including “young, rich and pretty,” “little girl in a small town,” and “three sailors and a girl.”

After the end of her film career, the musical theater offered a lot of work for her star of excellence and talent. She sang at the supper club and toured at shows such as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and “I Do! I Do!”. It replaced Debbie Reynolds on Broadway’s “Irene.”

She frequently appeared on television, especially playing the role of Judy Garland in the new version of “Meet Me in St. Louis”.

Powell abandoned her singing career as she approached her 70s. “I can’t hit the treble and I’m not second-rate,” she explained in 2000. She switched to a drama and starred in theaters in New York in plays such as “Avow,” which depicts an unmarried mother. A son who wanted to marry a pregnant daughter and his male partner.

Powell’s first four marriages ended with a divorce: Geary Steffen (son Geary, daughter Susanne), Patrick Nanny (daughter Lindsay), James Fitzgerald, and David Parlor.

Powell met her fifth husband, Dick Moore, when interviewing her for his book on child actors. As Dickie Moore, he was a well-known child actor in the 1930s and 1940s and gave Shirley Temple the first screen kiss in “Miss Annie Rooney” (1942). Moore and Powell, heads of the New York Public Relations Office, got married in 1988. He died in 2015.

According to Granger, Jane Powell’s survivors include her daughter Lindsey Nanny.

Copyright © 2021 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

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

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