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Vale: Jane Powell

Golden age Hollywood star best known for Royal Wedding, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers & Growing Pains has died.

Golden age Hollywood star Jane Powell, best known for MGM musicals Royal Wedding, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and TV’s Growing Pains has died, aged 92.

She died of natural causes at her home in Connecticut.

Born Suzanne Bruce in 1929, she auditioned for Louis B. Mayer and David O. Selznick, she quickly drew a seven-year contract with MGM in 1943. Her first film was 1944 musical Song of the Open Road, in which she played a child film star who runs away. She took her character’s name, Jane Powell, as her own.

Powell then starred as the lead in Arthur Lubin’s Delightfully Dangerous followed by lead roles in the musicals A Date with Judy, Royal Wedding, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Hit the Deck. Later credits includedSame Time Next Year, Marriage-Go-Round and Chapter Two.

After a string of film roles, she took her talents to television where she starred in her own show, The Jane Powell Show. However, the unsold 1961 pilot never made it to air.

In the 1970s and early ’80s, Powell scored guest appearances on series such as The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. She later recurred on the show Growing Pains as the mother of star Alan Thicke’s character Mike Seaver. She became a regular on television, appearing on such variety staples as The Perry Como Show, The Andy Williams Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and The Hollywood Palace.

One of her last performances was a 2002 episode of Law & Order: SVU.

With her soprano operatic voice, Powell also was a recording star and a popular stage performer, playing in such musicals as The Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady and Carousel, and she reteamed with her Seven Brides co-star Howard Keel in South Pacific and I Do! I Do!

Powell once said she disliked appearing at movie retrospectives, which she found an exploitative form of nostalgia, and rarely watched her old films, a reminder of a not entirely happy youth.

“I was very shy. And very lonely,” she told the Geelong Advertiser in 2005. “I really never felt I belonged. I couldn’t believe it was all happening to me. And I still think that.”

Source: Variety, Hollywood Reporter

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