Mostly Credited As:
Jane WymanSometimes Credited As:
Sarah Jane Fulks
Miss Jane WymanBirth Name:
Sarah Jane MayfieldDate Of Birth:
January 05, 1917 (Age 90)Country Of Birth:
Saint Joseph, MissouriDate Of Death:
September 10, 2007Cause Of Death:
complications from arthritis and diabetes (Palm SpHeight:
Academy Award and Golden Globe winning actress Jane Wyman was born on January 5, 1917 in Saint Joseph, Missouri as Sarah Jane Fulks. In 1928, Jane moved to California where her mother worked as a struggling actress. When her mother was unable to find enough work, the two moved back to Missouri in 1930. There, Jane began singing on the radio under the name Jane Durrell.
In 1932, Jane returned to Hollywood and landed her first roles: small parts in 1932's The Kid from Spain, and 1936's My Man Godfrey and Cain and Mabel. In 1936, Jane legally changed her name to Jane Wyman and was signed a contract with Warner Brothers. One year later, Jane got her big break in the film, Public Wedding.
Jane began to receive critical acclaim in 1939 after landing her first starring role in Torchy Plays With Dynamite. In years following, Jane starred in hit films including The Lost Weekend and The Yearling, a role that she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1946. In 1948, Jane won her first Academy Award for her role in the film Johnny Belinda, making her the first and only winner to earn the award without speaking any lines during the film. During her acceptance speech, Jane made the now-infamous quote: "I won this by keeping my mouth shut, and that's what I'm going to do now."
Post-Oscar win, Jane worked with high-profile directors and producers, receiving roles in Alfred Hitchcock's Stage Fright, Frank Capra's Here Comes the Groom and Michael Curtiz's The Story of Will Rogers. Jane landed another Oscar nomination for her role in the 1951 film The Blue Veil as well as for 1954's Magnificent Obsession. After a string of successful films, Jane made her final big screen movie in 1969 with How to Commit Marriage.
In addition to her extensive movie career, Jane also guest starred on several television series and starred on many others, including Falcon Crest (a role that landed Jane five Soap Opera Digest Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, and one Golden Globe win in 1988).
While not filming or appearing on television, Jane led a complex personal life. She married her first husband, Myron Futterman, on June 29, 1937 divorced him soon after on November 1, 1938. After co-starring with future president Ronald Reagan in Brother Rat in 1938, they subsequently married on January 26, 1940. They divorced June 28, 1948 and share three children Maureen, Michael, and Christine. Jane married her third husband Frederick Karger in November of 1952. They divorced in December of 1955, later remarried on March 11, 1961, and divorced a second time in 1965.
Recently, Jane has lived in seclusion due to her serious health problems and is rarely seen in public. She attended the funeral for President Reagan in 2004 and currently resides in a retirement home in Palm Springs, California. During her extensive career, Jane appeared in 83 movies and two television series, appearing in 208 of 227 Falcon Crest episodes.