'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' Star Jane Powell Dies at 92
Jane Powell, one of the last leading ladies of the 1940s — one who acted opposite W.C. Fields and danced with Fred Astaire — died Thursday at her Wilton, Connecticut, home.
She was 92.
Deadline reported her passing, confirming it with her friend Susan Granger.
Born April 1, 1929, in Portland, Oregon, Powell's operatic soprano voice made her a popular draw in a slew of MGM movie musicals, and her girl-next-door, peaches-and-cream image made her a staple of fan magazines.
Still just a teenager, she debuted an incredible 77 years ago in the film "Song of the Open Road." In films like "A Date with Judy" (1948) and classics like "Royal Wedding" (1951) and "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (1954), she displayed a pint-sized effervescence that would carry her through a career that lasted until the early part of the following century.
Following dramatic turns in "The Female Animal" (1958) and "Enchanted Island" (1958), Powell focused more on her stage career, touring with productions of proven hits like "The Sound of Music." She took on a demanding role in a Broadway production of "Irene" in 1973, and also appeared sporadically on TV, including on shows like "Fantasy Island" (1978, 1981 and 1982), "The Love Boat" (1981 and 1982), and, as with many of her peers, opposite Angela Lansbury on an episode of "Murder, She Wrote" (1987).
From 1988-1990, she played the mother of Alan Thicke's character on "Growing Pains," the only recurring television role of her long career, though she had shot an unsold pilot in 1961 for a proposed "Jane Powell Show."
Powell's final film was 1999's "Picture This." She retired from the small screen after an appearance on a 2002 episode of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."
In the meantime, Powell continued to work onstage, including a 2000 Off-Broadway production of "Avow," various national touring companies, and a 2003 stint with Stephen Sondheim's ill-fated "Bounce" in Chicago.
She continued singing, appearing with the orchestral group Pink Martini.
Powell was preceded in death by her husband Dickie Moore, who died in 2015. Moore had been a child star dating as far back as silent pictures prior to a career change to publicity.
She is survived by her three children and two grandchildren.