How did Jane Powell die? A look at Hollywood golden-age star's films amid death at 92
Jane Powell was one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age while she continued to appear on stage in the 21st Century
Jane Powell, who starred in a number of MGM musicals including 'Royal Wedding' and 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' died at her home. She was 92.
Susan Granger, a friend and spokesperson for Powell's family, confirmed the news on Thursday, September 16. She said Jane died "peacefully" at the house she shared with her husband, Dick Moore, for many years in Wilton, Connecticut. Jane's husband, who worked as an actor and publicist, sadly died in 2015. She was one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, while she continued to appear on stage for a good portion of the 21st Century.
The actress whose real name was Suzanne Lorraine Burce was from Portland, Oregon- was already a singer in her home state when she moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. After coming to California, she signed on as a contract player with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She made her film debut in 1944 with MGM’s 'Song of the Open Road', which has her play a fictionalized version of herself. Jane's fame and popularity only grew as she took on roles in 1945’s Delightfully Dangers and 1948’s 'A Date With Judy'. However, her career-defining role was opposite Fred Astaire in the 1951 film 'Royal Wedding'. The stars played a brother-sister dance act, which allowed them to show off their singing, acting and dancing chops.
After the success of 'Royal Wedding', Jane appeared in a number of other musical films. Her second most well-known role was Milly Pontipee in the 1954 film, 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' alongside Howard Keel. Jane and Howard starred as the primary bride and brother, while the actress performed the stand-out musical numbers 'Goin’ Courtin', 'When You’re In Love and Wonderful', and 'Wonderful Day' for the film. The star later reprised the role in a stage adaption of the film. After appearing in numerous films in the 1950s, Jane moved her attention to television. She starred in the TV adaptation of 'Meet Me in St. Louis', while she was set to lead the unsold 1961 pilot for her own 'The Jane Powell Show'.
Additionally, Jane made a number of appearances on 'The Red Skelton Hour' and other variety shows throughout her career. During the late 1970s and early ’80s, Jane made guest appearances on 'The Love Boat' and 'Fantasy Island'. She also had a recurring role as the mother of Alan Thicke’s character Mike Seaver on Growing Pains in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Her last TV performance was in a 2002 episode of 'Law & Order: SVU'.