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Janet Blair

Janet Blair

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Also Known As: Martha Janet Lafferty Died: February 19, 2007
Born: April 23, 1921 Cause of Death: complications of pneumonia
Birth Place: Altoona, Pennsylvania Profession: actor, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Vivacious, honey-haired former band singer who turned to films after band leader Hal Kemp's death. Blair signed with Columbia and made her debut in "Three Girls on the Town" (1941). She gave one of her best performances as the title character, a slightly vacuous, man-attracting beauty, opposite plain-jane sister Rosalind Russell in the lively "My Sister Eileen" (1942), a romantic comedy of two sisters who move from Ohio to New York City's Greenwich Village. After a number of disappointing films and roles, Blair left film in 1948 and later had great success on stage in the touring production of "South Pacific" (1950-52). She also briefly replaced Nanette Fabray as Sid Caesar's "wife" on "Caesar's Hour" (1956-57). Blair made a handful of films in the 1950s and 60s, the best of which was the moody horror drama, "Burn, Witch, Burn/Night of the Eagle" (1962), in which she played a wife who resorts to witchcraft. She also co-starred with Henry Fonda on the short-lived TV series, "The Smith Family" (1971-72).

Vivacious, honey-haired former band singer who turned to films after band leader Hal Kemp's death. Blair signed with Columbia and made her debut in "Three Girls on the Town" (1941). She gave one of her best performances as the title character, a slightly vacuous, man-attracting beauty, opposite plain-jane sister Rosalind Russell in the lively "My Sister Eileen" (1942), a romantic comedy of two sisters who move from Ohio to New York City's Greenwich Village. After a number of disappointing films and roles, Blair left film in 1948 and later had great success on stage in the touring production of "South Pacific" (1950-52). She also briefly replaced Nanette Fabray as Sid Caesar's "wife" on "Caesar's Hour" (1956-57). Blair made a handful of films in the 1950s and 60s, the best of which was the moody horror drama, "Burn, Witch, Burn/Night of the Eagle" (1962), in which she played a wife who resorts to witchcraft. She also co-starred with Henry Fonda on the short-lived TV series, "The Smith Family" (1971-72).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Burn, Witch, Burn (1962) Tansy Taylor
3.
 Boys' Night Out (1962) Marge Drayton
4.
 Public Pigeon No. 1 (1957) Edith Enders
5.
 The Black Arrow (1948) Joanna Sedley
6.
 I Love Trouble (1948) Norma Shannon
7.
 The Fuller Brush Man (1948) Ann Elliot
8.
 The Fabulous Dorseys (1947) Jane Howard
9.
 Gallant Journey (1946) Regina Cleary
10.
 Tars and Spars (1946) Christine Bradley
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Made professional singing with Hal Kemp's band in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; later featured with the band
:
Made a film short and a screen test for 20th Century Fox but returned to touring with Hal Kemp band until Kemp died in a car accident
:
Signed with NBC and Columbia
1941:
Film debut, "Three Girls About Town"
1948:
Left films after appearing in "The Fuller Brush Man" and "Black Arrow"
:
Performed in supper clubs
1950:
Made musical theater debut in touring company of "South Pacific"
1957:
Returned to films to act in "Public Pigeon No. 1"
1968:
last feature credit to date, "The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band"
:
Co-starred with Henry Fonda in TV series, "The Smith Family"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Louis Busch. Pianist. Married in 1943; divorced in 1950.
husband:
Nick Mayo. Stage manager. Married on October 5, 1952; divorced in 1972.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Fred Lafferty. Church soloist and choir master.
mother:
Florence Lafferty.
sister:
Louis Lafferty.
brother:
Fred Lafferty Jr.
daughter:
Amanda Mayo. Born 1959.
son:
Andrew Mayo. Born 1961.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Contributions

melodramaboy ( 2007-02-28 )

Source: Various news articles (internet)

Vale,Janet. Janet passed away on 19 February 2007. She is survived by her daughter Amanda and her son Andrew. One of Columbia's most versatile and underrated players of the 40s, Janet was a fine actress and wonderful singer. She will be much-missed.

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