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Jane Wyatt – MovieActors.com

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Wyatt in LOST HORIZON.

About Jane Wyatt (1910 – 2006)

Jane Waddington Wyatt was born in Campgaw New Jersey on August 12, 1910, into a socially distinguished, Roman Catholic New York family. Jane grew up in New York City. Her father was a successful Wall Street investment banker, and her mother was a drama critic. Jan attended the upper class, private school, Chapin School, and enrolled in Bernard College.

Sometime along the way, Jane was bitten by the acting bug. She left Bernard College after two years to join the apprentice theatre school in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, called The Berkshire Playhouse. It was a six month program of intense thespian training.

Like many actors and actresses, Jane's career started on Broadway, in a stage production of the play, TRADWINDS. Her experience and exposure on the stage led to a film contract with Universal Studios. Jane was in her first film, ONE MORE RIVER in 1934. Jane didn't give up acting on the stage though. She went back and forth, between acting in Broadway productions and being in films.

In 1935, Jane married the love of her life, Edgar Bethune Ward on November 9th, 1935, and it lasted for a lifetime, one day short of 65 years. They had two sons, Christopher and Michael, three grand children and five great grandchildren.

In 1937, JAne co-starred with Ronald Colman and Edward Horton, in the popular adventure film, LOST HORIZON. Throughout the 1940s', she was one busy actress, though sometimes playing supporting roles, but in A rated films; such as THE BACHELOR'S DAUGHTERS;(1946), GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT;(1947), BOOMERANG!:(1947), and PITFALL;(1948).

Starting in the 1950s', television provided lots of opportunities for Jane to shine as an actress, which she took advantage of to continue her busy acting career, when the film offers slowed.
After the TV series, FATHER KNOWS BEST, the rest of her acting roles, that she mainly was cast for were motherly characters or aunts.

Some of Jane's most enjoyable TV movies include:WEEKEND OF TERROR;(1970), NEIGHBORS;(1971), TOM SAWYER;(1973),AMELIA EARHART;(1976), and THE NATIVITY;(1978).

The two TV movies THE FATHER KNOWS BEST REUNION; (1977) and FATHER KNOWS BEST:HOME FOR CHRISTMAS;(1977) reunited the old cast family members of the 1954-1960 show, FATHER KNOWS BEST. These films were popular with former fans of this old TV show, as well as other viewers who enjoy family entertainment.

While the show was still on the air, Jane won three Primetime Emmys for her performances in the series, portraying Margaret Anderson, wife of Jim Anderson, played by Robert Young, and mother to the Andersons' three children: Bud; (Billy Gray), Betty;(Elinor Donanhue) and Kathy;(Lauren Chapin.)

Jane reflected on the content of the scripts in an interview; "Our shows were written to be entertaining, but the writers had something to say. Every script always solved a little problem that was universal. It appealed to everyone. I think the world is hankering for a family. People may want to be free, but they still want a nuclear family."

Jane Wyatt is best known by many for her acting in this series. This show ran in syndication for years, entertaining a whole new group of young people who were too young to remember the orignal show, but got to see it in reruns during summer and other school vacations.

Jane Wyatt was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for television, on February 8th, 1960; at 6350 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.

Jane did a lot of guest star roles on various series, such as MARCUS WELBY, M.D.; QUINCY M.E.;(1980), HAPPY DAYS;(1982). She was in multiple episodes of the TV series. THE LOVE BOAT.

Jane was cast in a recurring role, portraying Katherne Auschlander on the TV series, ST. ELSEWHERE;(1983-1988).

Jane Wyatt was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for television, on February 8th, 1960; at 6350 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.

While she enjoyed being on the TV medium, she still did some memorable appearances in films. Audiences enjoyed her film performances in the comedy, THE TWO LITTLE BEARS;(1961), NEVER TOO LATE;(1965), TREASURE OF MATECUMBE;(1976), and especially in the Star Trek adventure film, STAR TREK 1V: THE VOYAGE HOME;(1986), where she reprises her role, Amanda, from the original 1967 Star Trek episode; "Journey to Babel", playing Spock's mother.

Jane was offered the part of "Old Rose" in the 1997 mega hit, TITANIC, but she wanted to stay in retirement.

Jane lived a full life, and died on October 20th, 2006, at the ripe old age of 96. Jane Wyatt was honored at The 79th Annual Academy Awards with a special tribute. Donations were directed to the March of Dimes, an organization that she whole heartedly supported since 1943.

Jane was interred with her beloved, Edgar Bethune Ward, at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery, in Mission Hills, California.

Jane Wyatt's notable movie credits include...

STAR TREK IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
NEVER TOO LATE (1965)
INTERLUDE (1957)
CRIMINAL LAWYER (1951)
HOUSE BY THE RIVER (1950)
MY BLUE HEAVEN (1950)
TASK FORCE (1949)
BAD BOY (1949)
PITFALL (1948)
GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT (1947)
STRANGE CONQUEST (1946)
NONE BUT THE LONELY HEART (1944)
THE KANSAN (1943)
BUCKSKIN FRONTIER (1943)
THE NAVY COMES THROUGH (1942)
WEEKEND FOR THREE (1941)
KISSES FOR BREAKFAST (1941)
GIRL FROM GOD'S COUNTRY (1940)
LOST HORIZON (1937)
THE LUCKIEST FIRL IN THE WORLD (1936)
WE'RE ONLY HUMAN (1935)
GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1934)
ONE MORE RIVER (1934)

Jane Wyatt's television credits include...

ST. ELSEWHERE (1983 - 1988)
THE LOVE BOAT (1983)
QUINCY M.E. (1980)
MEDICAL CENTER (1975)
MARCUS WELBY, MD (1974)
ALIAS SMITH AND JONES (1971)
LOVE AMERICAN STYLE (1969)
STAR TREK (1967)
WAGON TRAIN (1962)

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Jane Wyatt in LOST HORIZON (1937).

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Jane Wyatt in Gentleman's Agreement (1947).

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Wyatt in the classic STAR TREK (1967).

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Jane Wyatt (left) in STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME (1986).