Jane Powell, star of movie musicals, dead at 92

Actress Jane Powell, a singing star of Hollywood musicals such as “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “Royal Wedding” and “A Date With Judy,” died Thursday. She was 92.

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Powell died of natural causes at her home in Wilton, Connecticut, her friend, film critic Susan Granger, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Powell was one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, appearing in musicals during the 1940s and 1950s with Fred Astaire and Howard Keel, Entertainment Weekly reported.

Blonde, blue-eyed and standing just 5 feet, 1 inch tall, Powell radiated a girl-next-door image and usually played characters with a gentle mischievous streak, according to Variety. However, Powell towered over her co-stars with her powerful singing voice.

Powell’s soprano operatic voice enabled her to record records and appear in stage productions of “The Sound of Music,” “My Fair Lady,” “Carousel” and “Oklahoma!” according to The Hollywood Reporter. She also teamed with “Seven Brides” co-star Keel on stage in “South Pacific” and “I Do! I Do!” the website reported.

Powell was a performer for most of her life, beginning at age 5 as a singer on the “Stars of Tomorrow” radio program in Portland, Oregon, where she was born as Suzanne Lorraine Bruce on Sept. 16, 1929, Entertainment Weekly reported.

She made her first appearance in film when she was 16, appearing in 1944′s “Song of the Open Road.”

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” released in 1954, became one of MGM’s most popular film releases. The film grossed $6 million and was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It lost to “On the Waterfront.”

Powell was married five times, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Her first husband was Geary Steffen, who was the ice-skating partner of Norwegian Olympic champion Sonja Henie; her last was former child star Dickie Moore, who she married in 1988. Moore died in 2015.


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