Jane Powell, star of Hollywood’s Golden Age, dies aged 92

Jane Powell

Jane Powell, one of the last stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, has died aged 92.

Powell got her start in the movie business in the 1940’s and within a decade was a big star and box office draw card. Best known for her work in musicals she is remembered for her roles in Royal Wedding opposite Fred Astaire, and her partnership with Howard Keel in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. 

Later in life the actor spoke about people’s love of the musicals of the period, but noted they were a far cry from reality.

“People are always fascinated by the so-called golden age of musicals, but it wasn’t all that great. Everything was glazed. Those movies didn’t reflect reality. I was at MGM for 11 years and nobody ever let me play anything but teenagers. I was 25 years old with kids of my own and it was getting ridiculous. Publicity was froth. Everything you said was monitored. With me, they didn’t have to worry. I never had anything to say, anyway. It was hard work, I had no friends, no social interaction with people my age and the isolation was tough. But I had to support my family, so I did what I was told and had no other choice.” Powell said.

Her latter career saw her have success in the theatre appearing in musicals including Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, The Boyfriend, and Meet Me In St Louis. She reunited with Seven Brides for Seven Brothers co-star Howard Keel for a stage version of their film musical, as well as productions of South Pacific and I Do! I Do!  She was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960.

In the 1980’s she made several television appearances including guest spots in The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote and Growing Pains. Advancing age never slowed her down, in 2007 she appeared with band Pink Martini to narrate a performance of Peter and the Wolf and over the years she popped up at their live shows on several occasions.

Powell was married five times. Her fifth marriage was to former child star Dickie Moore. The couple met while he was researching his autobiography Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but Don’t Have Sex or Take the Car. The couple wed in 1988 after several years together.

In 2015 Moore passed away. Powell sold their New York apartment and moved permanently to their second home in Connecticut, where she continued to make appearances in local theatre. She passed away in Wilton, Connecticut – her death attributed to natural causes.

OIP Staff

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