Monday, May 20, 2024

RIP Jane Powell, One of the Last Great Real Hollywood Musical Stars, Dies at 92


Jane Powell, maybe the last of great Hollywood musical stars, has died at age 92 at her home in Wilton, Connecticut.

Married five times, Powell was a superstar of the movie studio contract era, an MGM queen. She was a screen star, a Broadway star, and a TV star late in her career between commercials and appearances on shows like “Law & Order.”

For a decade, between 1948 and 1958, when there were just three TV channels and movies, you could not get away — and wouldn’t want to — from Jane Powell on screen. Three of her films were with the Steven Spielberg of Hollywood musicals, Stanley Donen, including “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”

She segued into theater work from 1958 through the mid 70s, capping her career with “Irene” on Broadway for six months in 1974. In the late 50s she also had a successful recording career.

Even though Powell had only one Broadway credit, the League of Theaters should dim the lights for her. Those film musicals in the 50s fed the popularity of Broadway for the rest of time.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News