Jane Powell was fondly remembered as one of the only surviving stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age who made it to 2021. Unfortunately, it was recently confirmed by her friend Susan Granger that Powell passed away on September 16th. According to sources close to the family, the actress died peacefully in her family home in Wilton, Connecticut.
Powell was forced into the dizzying world of entertainment from an early age by her parents. Known for the “girl-next-door” persona, which was wildly popular at the time, Powell never let her own emotional and psychological stress show in her performances. Her acting legacy is immortalised by her work in classics like Royal Wedding and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, among others.
In a revelatory interview, Powell compared her incorporation into the Hollywood studio system to education: “It was like going to college. And I so wanted to go to college, too, but my mother said, ‘Why do you want to go? You already have a job.’ And she was right, but that’s not why I wanted to go. But I was so young and I just did what I was told.”
Adding, “I don’t think about the past except now, when we’re talking about it, I never felt I was really there anyway. I always pictured myself as a fly who was up in the corner looking down at myself. I never feel I was there… I’m not very sentimental when it comes to the past. I don’t live there and I feel for people who do because it’s never going to be the same as you remember it.”
Powell made multiple marriages, but she eventually settled down with another prolific child actor Dickie Moore after marrying Moore in 1988. Even in her later years, she never really lost her penchant for the performing arts and often ended up participating in local theatrical productions to reconnect with her roots.
“I’m learning to be alone now,” she reflected in the 2017 interview. “I was worried after Dick went, but I’ll tell you, it’s the first time I feel free. I’m a little guilty about that because he gave me the best life I’ve ever had and he helped me grow up. But I’ve never been entirely free. Someone’s always told me what to do, not that Dick did, but I’m so happy doing what I’m doing right now. I’m so enjoying myself.”
Jane Powell is survived by her children Suzanne Steffen, Geary Anthony Steffen III and Lindsay Cavalli. She also has two granddaughters named Skye Cavalli and Tia Cavalli.