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About Jane Wyman

b. Sarah Jane Mayfield Fulks, 4 January 1914, St. Joseph, Missouri, USA, d. 10 September 2007, Rancho Mirage, California, USA. After failing at her first attempt to break into films, Wyman eventually became a band singer. A second try in Hollywood brought modest success with small roles in several 30s films including musicals and comedies with songs: King Of Burlesque (1935), Cain And Mabel (1936), Gold Diggers Of 1937, The King And The Chorus Girl, Mr Dodd Takes The Air, The Singing Marine and Ready, Willing And Able (all 1937), the latter film mostly remembered for the sequence in which chorus girls dance on the keys of a giant typewriter. The 40s began in much the same way with Wyman playing minor roles in My Favorite Spy (1942), a feature for Kay Kyser and his comedy-dance band (not the similarly titled 1951 Bob Hope film), and Footlight Serenade (1942), which starred Betty Grable and also featured John Payne and Phil Silvers.

Wyman was also among the many screen and stage artists who crowded into Hollywood Canteen (1944) and the Cole Porter biopic, Night And Day (1945). It was in 1945 that Wyman broke through into stardom with leading roles in dramas such as The Lost Weekend (1945), The Yearling (1946), for which she was Oscar-nominated as Best Actress, and Johnny Belinda (1948), this time winning an Oscar. She was married (1940-48) to Ronald Reagan and both were among many who made guest appearances in Its A Great Feeling (1949), as did their daughter, Maureen Reagan. Wymans 50s films included Here Comes The Groom (1951, with Bing Crosby), Starlift (1951, which had guest appearances by many Warner Bros. players), Just For You (1952, again co-starring with Crosby) and All That Heaven Allows (1955). Her film career dwindled in the early 60s but she remained in the public eye owing to television appearances, notably in the series Falcon Crest (1981).