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|Also Known As:||Sarah Jane Fulks,Jane Durrell||Died:||September 10, 2007|
|Born:||January 4, 1914||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||St Joseph, Missouri||Profession:||Cast ... actor singer chorus girl radio vocalist switchboard operator manicurist|
A button-nosed star actress of the 1940s and 50s, Jane Wyman began her career as a radio singer and entered films in the mid-1930s as a bit player and chorine using the name Jane Durrell. Wyman was pigeonholed as a peppy blonde, sometimes wisecracking, sometimes ditzy, with occasional leads in mostly low-budget fare and plenty of supporting roles in more important films. She acted such roles for a decade before garnering recognition for her sensitive performance in Billy Wilder's harrowing "The Lost Weekend" (1945), opposite Ray Milland. Invariably a close-cropped brunette after that, Wyman went on to distinguish herself, typically as sensitive, intelligent, placid types, in several fine dramas and the occasional (if generally less worthy) comedy or musical. Among her career plaudits were her four Oscar nominations for Best Actress for her dramatic roles as a stern mother in "The Yearling" (1946), as a deaf-mute rape victim in "Johnny Belinda" (1948, which won her the award), as a self-sacrificing nursemaid in "The Blue Veil" (1951) and as Rock Hudson's "Magnificent Obsession" in the 1954 Douglas Sirk melodrama. In the mid-50s, Wyman appeared regularly on TV as host of "The Jane Wyman Theatre"; though her feature stardom began to slide rather abruptly, she also continued performing in films including Sirk's fine "All That Heaven Allows" (1956). One of her last notable feature leads came in the Disney film "Pollyanna" (1960), in which she revisited the role of the stern matriarch who learns to love which she had played in "The Yearling". Following an absence of several years, she resurfaced in a number of TV-movies and later emerged as Angela Channing, one of America's favorite nasty matriarchs, in the popular CBS TV soap, "Falcon Crest" (1981-90). Wyman's second husband was actor and future US President Ronald Reagan, with whom she collaborated to produce daughter Maureen Reagan, sometime actress, singer and White House adviser who died in 2001. They also adopted a son, Michael, a radio personality. She later twice married and divorced Fox musician and vocal coach Fred Karger.
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