Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Farewell Jane Wyman

Palm Springs lost one of its own yesterday. Academy Award winning actress and philanthropist Jane Wyman passed away Monday morning at age 90.

Miss Wyman was probably best known for her role as Angela Channing in the long running TV series "Falcon Crest" and for her Academy Award winning performance as the deaf rape victim in "Johnny Belinda". Miss Wyman devoted her time to a range of benefits and telethons for the Arthritis Foundation, and was also a supporter of the Palm Springs Air Museum. Wyman died at her home here in the Palm Springs area; her funeral is scheduled for this Wednesday.
The Early Years
Jane Wyman started coming to Palm Springs to visit the famed Racquet Club with her husband, actor Ronald Reagan. She had an amazing career on the silver screen starting in the 1930's. In particular, films such as "Gold Diggers" and "How to Commit Marriage" were critically acclaimed. She is credited with making a number of prestigious films which brought Oscar nominations including: "The Glass Menagerie," Alfred Hitchcock's "Stage Fright," "Here Comes the Groom", "The Blue Veil" and "Magnificent Obsession". Jane had several other films I enjoyed, such as: "So Big," "All That Heaven Allows," "Pollyanna" and "Bon Voyage!" Later, "The Jane Wyman Show," was a hit on NBC from 1955 to 1958.
It was in 1940 that she married Ronald Reagan, who at the time was still a "B-rate" actor with Warner Brothers Studios. Their marriage was popular with fans, but after two children and eight years they were divorced. Although Jane never spoke about her ex-husband while he was in the White House, it was after his death in 2004 that she said of Reagan: "America has lost a great president and a great, kind and gentle man." She was devastated by the death of her daughter Maureen, who died in 2001 after fighting cancer for several years. Jane Wyman was a Hollywood original a contemporary and a survivor of the original Hollywood Studio system. In her early retirement years, she was quite active on the Palm Springs social scene. She liked to entertain friends and other celebrities at dinner parties. She also enjoyed painting, reading and music. She enjoyed many years in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage, but the past few years, Miss Wyman was rarely seen in public.

Above left: Cast photo from Falcon Crest & above right: on set with Lana Turner.
Farewell Jane Wyman, we'll miss you here in Palm Springs.
-Rick Rockhill


Biddie said...

I had no idea that Jane Wyman had passed away. I loved her as the evil Angela Channing. She was one heck of a lady :)

Sheila said...

She had a lot of class. Nice tribute.

marlupe said...

I always liked Jane Wyman. Pollyanna was a favorite of mine. She was great on Falcon Crest.

Canadian flake said...

A very nice tribute. I had not heard of her death but certainly remembered a lot of her work. In her younger days, I believe she also did a disney movie called Pollyanna which she was wonderful in.

Thanks again for sharing.

Burfica said...

I heard of her death, but I guess I'm a goober cuz I didn't know she was married to Reagan.

TWISI said...

One of the "broads".... she kinda scared me for some reason.

karma lennon said...

Very nice tribute.

cheekyfaces said...

RIP Jane

WAT said...

Hey, not too shabby though. She certainly lived a good long full life indeed.


JohnyStarr said...

I just watched The Lost Weekend this past Sunday. Jane is a true beauty with a ton of talent. Never gone, Never forgotten.

gen said...

Do you know that I open to your blog every morning as early as 5 a.m. (East Coast - so I'm later - or earlier - than your regular crowd) BEFORE I check the news, weather and sports?
No? Well I do... because it is heartwarming and raises my spirits every day. (I couldn't think of less sappy wording)

Although the food decriptions and pictures make me hungry (I am the family chef), I enjoy everything you write about.

I don't have time yet to start my own blog, but you inspired me to do a web page, just for family and friends to keep up in these days when no one really has time to make a phone call. Thanks very very much, Rick!

Palm Springs Savant said...

Hi Gen- Thanks so much for your nice words, you have no idea how much I needed to hear that tonight! You lifted my spirits. Glad you enjoy my blog, I enjoy doing it.

The Zombieslayer said...

Arthritis sucks. My wife has it. Jane Wyman was definitely cool to do what she did for arthritis. I never watched Falcon Crest, but she's definitely cool in my book for what she did for arthritis.


This was a beautiful post!!

Rest well dear Jane..you're with your daughter now...and your hanging with Ronnie until Nancy joins him..keep everything calm for us!!

Naomi said...

I heard about Jane Wyman's death in a newspaper here. I remember her in Falcon Crest. She was really good in that. A very talented lady.


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