Monday, September 10, 2007

Jane Wyman Passes Away

Jane Wyman, the Oscar-winning actress who was the first wife of President Ronald Reagan, has passed away at her home in Rancho Mirage, California. Her age was believed to be somewhere between 90 and 93.

Along with her many films, Wyman was known for playing Angela Channing in the long-running TV series FALCON CREST, which aired on CBS from 1981 to 1990. I doubt I missed an episode, at least during the first few years of its run. Hopefully it will show up on DVD before too long.

PRINCESS O'ROURKE, in which Wyman played an important supporting role, was reviewed here last February. Wyman's other notable films include THE LOST WEEKEND, THE YEARLING, HERE COMES THE GROOM (in which she and Bing Crosby sang the Oscar-winning "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening"), ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS, MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION, and POLLYANNA. Her Academy Award came for 1948's JOHNNY BELINDA.

In her retirement Wyman and her good friend Loretta Young were very active together in church and charitable work in the Palm Springs area. (Young died in 2000.) Wyman never spoke of President Reagan, other than to issue a statement on his death saying, "America has lost a great president and a great, kind and gentle man."

Wyman's survivors include her son, radio commentator Michael Reagan.

For more Wyman tributes, please visit The Shelf and Something Old, Nothing New.

Wednesday Update: This Friday, September 14th, TCM is clearing its previously planned schedule to air a tribute to Jane Wyman. Eight Wyman films will be aired, including JOHNNY BELINDA.


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