Jane Powell, one of the last survivors of Hollywood’s golden age, has died at age 92. She starred in film adaptations of several Broadway hits, including A Date with Judy, Royal Wedding, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Hit the Deck.
She signed a contract and appeared in a number of largely forgettable musicals before she had a huge hit with Royal Wedding. Here she is killing it with co-star Fred Astaire:
She is probably best known to modern audiences for her turn in the classic Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, which she called “my last really wonderful role in film.” Here’s her rendition of “Goin’ Courtin’“:
Her crystal clear voice was at its peak in “Wonderful, Wonderful Day“:
Via New York Times:
Her big-screen career came to an anticlimactic end in 1958 with the dramas “The Female Animal,” in which she played the alcoholic daughter of a fading movie star (Hedy Lamarr), and “Enchanted Island,” in which she was improbably cast as a Polynesian islander. (“It was a terrible movie,” she said. “The best thing about it was that it gave the family a great vacation in Acapulco.”)
Ms. Powell found a new home on television. A 1961 pilot for a sitcom, “The Jane Powell Show,” was not picked up, but she appeared regularly on dramatic anthology series, variety shows and musical specials, as well as in a recurring role as Alan Thicke’s mother on the sitcom “Growing Pains” in the late 1980s and in a long-running ad campaign for denture products. Her last TV appearance was on an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 2002.
Her transcendent soprano voice earned her accolades as a teen, exemplified in this soaring rendition of “Ave Maria“:
What a timeless voice!
Image: WENN / Avalon