The Academy Remembers Jane Powell
One of the stars of Hollywood’s most loved golden age musicals, Jane Powell, passed away at the age of 92 last Thursday.
Mrs. Powell was a talented performer on the stage, on camera, and over the radio. She started in the industry at five years young before she was cast in the 1944 movie, “Song of the Open Road,” where she played a young film actress who left Hollywood to join a group of farmers during the war. She was born with the name Suzanne Lorriane Burce, but after the movie was released, she changed it to her character’s name, Jane Powell.
She was happy to star in some of the biggest musical films of the 40s and 50s, including “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” as well as “Royal Wedding.”
When she looked back upon her youthful stardom, she stated in her autobiography:
“I get angry when I hear other actors blame the studios for all their problems,” she said honestly. “It really bothered me when Judy Garland used to say, ‘The studio made me do this, the studio made me do that.’
“Nobody makes you do anything. You make your own choices.”
She is survived by her son, Geary Anthony Steffen III, her daughters Suzanne Steffen and Lindsay Cavalli, and her two granddaughters.