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Sobbin' Women?!.....RIP: Jane Powell [ actress, singer, musicals ] at 92....
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: September 16, 2021 10:02PM
....yes that Jane Powell......of natural many of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.......

Jane Powell, Hollywood’s Girl Next Door, Is Dead at 92

Typecast from the outset, she was a star of movie musicals before she was out of her teens. But her big-screen career peaked when she was in her 20s.

.....Jane Powell, whose pert good looks and lyrical soprano voice brought her Hollywood stardom before she was out of her teens — but whose movie career peaked when she was still in her 20s with a starring role in one of the last great MGM musicals, the 1954 extravaganza “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” — died on Thursday at her home in Wilton, Conn. She was 92.

Susan Granger, her friend, confirmed the death.

Ms. Powell, who was just over five feet tall and retained the guileless features of an innocent teenager well past adolescence, found herself typecast from the outset.

She was only 15 when her first film, “Song of the Open Road” (1944), was released. She played a disenchanted young film star who finds happiness when she runs away from home and joins a group of young people picking crops while adult farmworkers are at war. The film is noteworthy mostly because the name of the character she played, Jane Powell, became hers as well when the movie was released. She was born Suzanne Lorraine Burce.

Ms. Powell had already been signed by MGM, but the studio lent her to United Artists for “Song of the Open Road.” Her first several MGM movies were mostly forgettable musicals, with slender story lines that were little more than frameworks for the songs.

In “Holiday in Mexico” (1946), she played the daughter of the American ambassador to that country (Walter Pidgeon), while the piano virtuoso José Iturbi, the bandleader Xavier Cugat and Ms. Powell provided the music. In “Luxury Liner” (1948), she was a stowaway on a cruise ship captained by her father (George Brent), with Mr. Cugat and the opera singer Lauritz Melchior among the passengers.

Her breakthrough was “Royal Wedding” (1951), the first movie in which she played an adult. This time Ms. Powell had an outstanding director, Stanley Donen; an outstanding score, by Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner; and, most important, an outstanding co-star: Fred Astaire.

Set just before the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, “Royal Wedding” centers on an American brother-sister song-and-dance act (Astaire and Ms. Powell) on tour in London. Cast at the last minute to replace Judy Garland, who had been fired (and who herself had replaced a pregnant June Allyson), Ms. Powell had almost no time to learn her dance routines. But she acquitted herself well, notably in a knockabout vaudeville-style number with Astaire, “How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I’ve Been a Liar All My Life?”

Her movie career appeared to be gaining steam. In fact, it was halfway over.

After “Royal Wedding,” Ms. Powell, to her frustration, found herself once again cast as the girl next door in lightweight musicals like “Rich, Young and Pretty” (1951) and “Three Sailors and a Girl” (1953). It would be three years before she had another role of substance — but it was a memorable one.

Set in a pioneer community in 19th-century Oregon, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” told the story of newlyweds (Ms. Powell and Howard Keel) whose first order of business as a married couple is to find wives for the groom’s six rowdy brothers. Directed by Mr. Donen, with a lively score by Gene de Paul and Johnny Mercer and acrobatic choreography by Michael Kidd, it earned a place on many lists of the greatest film musicals of all time. It was, Ms. Powell later said, “my last really wonderful role in a film.”

Suzanne Burce was born on April 1, 1929, in Portland, Ore. An only child, she was still a toddler when her parents — Paul Burce, who worked for a bread company, and Eileen (Baker) Burce — began grooming her as a potential successor to Shirley Temple.

By the time she was 5 she was taking singing and dancing lessons and appearing on the radio. When she was 14 her parents took her to Hollywood, where her performance on a popular radio talent show led to an audition for Louis B. Mayer of MGM and, in short order, a seven-year contract.

Looking back on that time in her 1988 autobiography, “The Girl Next Door and How She Grew,” Ms. Powell wrote: “I should have been the happiest girl in the world. Well, I wasn’t.” All she wanted to do, she said, was return home, go to high school and make friends. Her parents’ relentless efforts to make her a star had made for a lonely, artificial childhood. Despite her almost immediate success, she wrote, “Sometimes I just wanted to run away from it all.”

With musicals beginning to fall out of fashion, she had few film roles after “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” (“I didn’t quit movies,” she once said. “They quit me.”) Two middling musicals followed: “Hit the Deck” (1955), her last film for MGM, and “The Girl Most Likely” (1958), in which she was courted by Cliff Robertson and two other men.

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.

She also performed in touring productions of musicals, including “My Fair Lady,” “The Sound of Music” and “Carousel.” She made her Broadway debut in 1974, when she replaced her friend and frequent MGM co-star Debbie Reynolds as the title character in the hit revival of the 1919 musical “Irene.”.......



I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2021 10:03PM by NewtonMP2100.
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Re: Sobbin' Women?!.....RIP: Jane Powell [ actress, singer, musicals ] at 92....
Posted by: Racer X
Date: September 16, 2021 10:15PM
3 Sailors and a Girl? These days that would be a completely different kind of film.......

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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Re: Sobbin' Women?!.....RIP: Jane Powell [ actress, singer, musicals ] at 92....
Posted by: Rolando
Date: September 16, 2021 10:17PM
Women in the 50s had great looks (legs and ....bullets?) and makeup, but the WORST hair. In the 40s and 50s!

San Antonio, TX (in the old city)

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Re: Sobbin' Women?!.....RIP: Jane Powell [ actress, singer, musicals ] at 92....
Posted by: Racer X
Date: September 16, 2021 10:55PM
The specular hot lighting and rich silver film really added to the "look" back then. Really can't copy that look without the tools.

The police have no duty to respond. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005) or Warren v. District of Columbia[1] (444 A.2d. 1, D.C. Ct. of Ap. 1981)
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