Jane Powell, Golden Age star in ‘Royal Wedding,’ dead at 92

Jane Powell has died at the age of 92, leaving the pool of surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age even smaller.

Susan Granger, a family friend of Powell’s, confirmed to Deadline that she died peacefully on Thursday at her home in Wilton, Connecticut.

Powell was born Suzanne Lorraine Burce in 1929 in Portland, Oregon. She was married five times and had three children and two granddaughters. Her last husband, actor and publicist Dickie Moore, died in 2015.

She gained success in the 1940s with roles in various Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals. In her long résumé, she appeared in everything from musicals to dramas to romantic comedies. In 1960, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

One of her most famous roles is 1951’s “Royal Wedding,” in which she sings and dances with Fred Astaire.

Jane Powell and Fred Astaire in 1951’s “Royal Wedding”
Courtesy Everett Collection

Her next iconic role came as Milly Pontipee in 1954’s “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” Her other performances in the 1950s include “Athena,” “Deep in My Heart” and “Hit the Deck.”

Jane Powell circa 1955.
Jane Powell circa 1955
Getty Images

After a string of film roles, she took her talents to television, where she developed her own show, “The Jane Powell Show.” However, the unsold 1961 pilot never made it to air.

Jane Powell in 1953's "Three Sailors and A Girl."
Jane Powell in 1953’s “Three Sailors and a Girl”
Getty Images

In the 1970s and early ’80s, Powell scored guest appearances on popular zeitgeist series such as “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island.” She later recurred on the show “Growing Pains” as the mother of star Alan Thicke’s character, Dr. Jason Seaver.

Jane Powell and Gene Nelson in 1953's "Three Sailors and A Girl."
Jane Powell and Gene Nelson in 1953’s “Three Sailors and a Girl”
Courtesy Everett Collection

One of her last performances was a 2002 episode of “Law & Order: SVU.” She portrayed a woman suffering from elder abuse in a nursing home.

Jane powell
Powell kept acting well into the 2000s.

Her career also took her to the stage, where she starred in the 1973 Broadway production of “Irene.” In 2000, she moved to off-Broadway and starred in Bill C. Davis’ dramedy “Avow.”

Powell also dabbled in music, and starting in 2007, she performed with the orchestral band Pink Martini. She appeared with them in venues such as Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.


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