A star in many MGM musicals in the mid-1940s, Jane Powell was an actress, singer and dancer. She began out as a vocalist and was signed young. During WWII, she toured the state as the Oregon Victory Girl, selling victory bonds. Her first film role was in “Song of the Open Road” (1944), followed by “Delightfully Dangerous” (1945). (1945). Known for her appearances in “A Date with Judy” (1948), “Royal Wedding” (1951), “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (1954), “Athena” (1954), and “Hit the Deck” (1955). (1955). Her career stagnated once her MGM contract ended in the late 1950s. Her next roles were “My Fair Lady” and “The Sound of Music”, both of which she starred in. Irene, followed by Avow and Bounce, starred her on Broadway from 1973 to 1974. Throughout the 1980s, she had guest parts on “The Love Boat” (1981–1982) and “Growing Pains” (1988–1992). In December 2007, she joined the musical trio Pink Martini, performing as a singer in Portland. She reunited with the ensemble in 2008 at New York’s Lincoln Center and again in 2010 at the Hollywood Bowl. She remained a part of local theater till her death in 2021.
Jane Powell, 92, Actress, Golden Age
Jane Powell, an actress and singer best known for her roles alongside Fred Astaire in “Royal Wedding” and Howard Keel in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” died on September 16th in Wilton, Conn. Her 92nd. Powell died quietly in the home she lived with her late husband, actor and publicist Dick Moore, according to Susan Granger, a friend and family representative. In 1944’s Song of the Open Road, she portrayed a fictionalized version of herself – an adolescent singer who hooks up with luminaries like Edgar Bergen (with Charlie McCarthy), Sammy Kaye, and W.C. Fields. Her last credited TV appearance was in a 2002 episode of Law & Order: SVU as an elderly victim of elder abuse. Her theater credits include Irene on Broadway in 1973 and Avow, by Bill C. Davis, off-Broadway in 2000. Powell has toured nationally in shows including Marriage-Go-Round, Same Time, Next Year, and Chapter Two. Daughters Suzanne Steffen and Lindsay Cavalli and grandchildren Skye and Tia Cavalli survive her.
Table of Contents
Jane Powell dies aged 92 in 2021. Her death was natural. She was dubbed one of Hollywood’s last remaining Golden Age stars.
- Actress, singer, and dancer.
- A girl next door with an operatic soprano voice.
- Until her death in 2021, she was one of the last living Golden Age Hollywood stars.
Jane Powell’s Origins
Suzanne Lorraine Burce was Jane Powell’s birth name on April 1, 1929. Her birthplace was Portland, Oregon, USA. Her nationality was American and her ethnicity was American-White. So she was white. Her 92nd birthday was recently celebrated. Her zodiac sign was Aries and she was a devout Christian. Her parents were Paul E. Burce and Eileen Baker Burce. So she had none. Her parents were both housewives and worked at Wonder Bread. A native of Westminster, Ontario, her paternal grandmother was English, as was her paternal grandpa.
She finished eighth grade at Portland’s Beaumont Elementary School. Her first year began in 1943.
Jane Powell’s Career
- Jane Powell began dancing at the age of two. “A miserable couple who saw in their bright daughter a chance to escape their meager circumstances,” wrote biographer Matthew Grimm at the time. Powell’s mother brought her to have her first perm when she was a youngster to look like Temple.
- She was five when she appeared on Portland’s “Stars of Tomorrow” radio show.
- The Burce family met local talent scout and dancing teacher Scotty Weston at the Agnes Peters School of Dance.
- Powell was regularly heard singing by other tenants in the Banbury Cross, who encouraged her to formalize her training and pooled funds to assist her pay for singing lessons.
- The Oregon Victory Girl Program helped her be picked at the age of twelve. She traversed the state for two years singing and selling victory bonds, where she met actress Lana Turner.
- When she was the Oregon Victory Girl, she had two weekly radio programs featuring her soprano vocals: one with an organ and the other with an orchestra.
- Then she was to audition for Louis B. Mayer at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and David O. Selznick on Janet Gaynor’s radio talent program “Hollywood Showcase: Stars over Hollywood.” MGM gave her a seven-year contract after seeing her on “Hollywood Showcase: Stars over Hollywood.”
- She was afterwards leased to United Artists for “Song of the Open Road” (1944). It was also her stage name. She played a kid actress called Jane Powell.
- She also performed “Because” at Esther Williams and Ben Gage’s wedding in 1945.
- During her first three years with MGM, she filmed six films, appeared on radio, and sang at President Harry S. Truman’s inaugural gala on January 20, 1949.
- Her second picture, Delightfully Dangerous, she deemed her “worst film ever.” Holiday in Mexico (1946), directed by George Sidney, was her debut Technicolor picture.
- Her second film, “Three Daring Daughters,” was initially named The Birds and the Bees.
- “A Date with Judy” was one in a run of Joe Pasternak musicals she acted in alongside Elizabeth Taylor (1948).
- Then came “Luxury Liner” in 1948 and “Nancy Goes to Rio” in 1950. It was her second film, after “Two Weeks With Love” (1950).
- She featured in “Rich, Young and Pretty” and “Royal Wedding” in 1951.
- In 1953, she appeared in “Small Town Girl” and “Three Sailors and a Girl”.
- “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, “Athena”, “Deep in My Heart”.
- On the Billboard charts, she reached 15 and 107, respectively, in 1955 with “Hit the Deck” and “True Love.”
- Her next role was in RKO’s musical comedy “The Girl Most Likely”. Despite being filmed in 1956, the picture was not released until 1958.
- She also had a rare dramatic part in Universal’s 1958 film noir “The Female Animal.”
- After her MGM contract expired, she moved to theater.
- Her first summer stock job was in Oklahoma! in 1958 in Dallas, Texas. Then she co-starred in a TV version of “Meet Me in St. Louis”.
- She also starred in The Most Happy Fella on stage (1962).
- She debuted on “The Red Skelton Show” in 1972.
- She appeared in “My Fair Lady” at Los Angeles’ Valley West Theatre in 1964. In 1964, she traveled with “Just 20 Plus Me!”
- In 1966, she starred in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, followed by “Carousel” and “The Boy Friend” in 1967. In the same year, she toured with “Brigadoon”.
- In 1968, she played Maria von Trapp in “The Sound of Music.”
- Wheeler and Murdoch (1972), The Letters (1973), and Mayday at 40,000 Feet! (1976).
- In 1972, she starred in a Cincinnati production of “Meet Me In St. Louis.” In 1973, she made her Broadway debut as Irene.
- “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, I Do! I Do!” and “South Pacific” were revived with Jane and Howard Keel.
- Same Time, Next Year; The Marriage-Go-Round; and Chapter Two.
- In the daytime soap series “Loving,” she played a harsh mother and entrepreneur.
- In 1985, she appeared on “Murder, She Wrote.” After three years, she got a recurring part on “Growing Pains”.
- In the early 1990s, she played Lisa Grimaldi on “As the World Turns” in lieu of Eileen Fulton.
- She then starred in “After-Play” off-Broadway in 1996 and 1997.
- She also played the Queen in “Cinderella” by Rodgers and Hammerstein at the New York City Opera.
- In 2000, she starred in “Avow,” followed by “70, Girls, 70,” both off-Broadway.
- In 2002, she appeared on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and in 2003, “The Sandy Bottom Orchestra.” In the same year, she appeared in “Bounce”.
- On New Year’s Eve 2007, she narrated Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” in Portland, Oregon.
- On March 9, 2008, she sang “Aba Daba Honeymoon” with Pink Martini in New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, alongside lead vocalist China Forbes.
- In March 2009, she performed “Love Is Where You Find It.” She then hosted a special on Turner Classic Movies (TCM).
Jane Powell’s Relationship Status
Jane Powell was a wife. Jane Powell married insurance broker Gearhardt Anthony Steffen on November 5, 1949. Their first child, Gearhardt Steffen III, was born on July 21, 1951, and their second, Suzanne Ilene Steffen, on November 21, 1952. Powell divorced Gearhardt Steffen in August 1953 due of abuse. In Ojai, California, on November 8, 1954, she married Patrick W. Nerney, an automotive executive nine years her senior. Lindsey Averill Nerney Nerney was born on February 1, 1956. Powell divorced Patrick Nerney in May 1963. Her third husband, James Fitzgerald, died in 1975. In 1978, she married her fourth husband, David Parlour. In May 1988, she married her childhood friend, Dickie Moore. Moore encountered the pair while researching his memoirs Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but Don’t Have Sex or Drive. Their love lasted until 2015, when Dickie Moore died. After Dickie Moore died in 2015, Powell sold their Manhattan apartment and moved permanently to their second home in Wilton, Connecticut. She had no relationships or affairs after that. She was a heterosexual woman.
Jane Powell’s Net Worth
Jane Powell, an actress, singer, and dancer, amassed a fortune through her roles in films and TV series. Jane Powell’s net worth was estimated at $10 million at her death. Her wealth came from her singing, dancing, and acting careers. Her later years were humble. Her precise salary is currently unknown.
Jane Powell’s Body Measurements
Jane Powell was a delightful actress who had won many hearts. Her average height was 5 ft 1 in (1.34 m). She was thin and weighed 41 Kg (90 lbs). Her other body measurement is still unknown. Her hair was blonde and her eyes were blue.
Do you Know?
- Suzanne Lorraine Burce
- An Aries by birth,
- Her parents, Paul E. Burce and Eileen Baker Burce, had just one child.
- A native of Westminster, Ontario, her paternal grandmother was English, as was her paternal grandpa.
- She was dubbed one of Hollywood’s last remaining Golden Age stars.