Jane Wyman Biography

Jane Wyman photo

Born: January 04, 1914


Date of Birth: January 4, 1914

Birth Name: Sarah Jane Mayfield

Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Jane Wyman was brought to Hollywood at an early age by her mother, an aspiring actress. She hoped to get her daughter into the movies, but they returned home after neither had any luck breaking in. After attending the University of Missouri, Jane became a successful radio singer in the early 1930s under the name Jane Durrell. In 1936, she was signed by Warner Brothers, changed her name to Jane Wyman, and began her film career with bit parts, often playing a chorus girl or a dancer. Married in 1936, she divorced two years later after meeting actor and future U.S. President Ronald Reagan while filming Brother Rat (1940). The two would go on to marry and had two children, Maureen and Michael, but the marriage ended in divorce eight years later.

Having graduated to substantial roles in dramas, Wyman won praise for her role as the wife of an alcoholic in The Lost Weekend (1945). She earned her first Oscar nomination the following year playing Ma Baxter in The Yearling (1946), and in 1949 won not only a Best Actress Oscar for her performance as a deaf-mute who is raped in Johnny Belinda (1948), but a Golden Globe and a Photoplay award for Most Popular Female Star. She went on to receive two more Oscar nominations for her roles in The Blue Veil (1951) and A Magnificent Obsession (1954), and has received three more Golden Globes: for World Film Favorite - Female in 1951, The Blue Veil in 1952 and the television series Falcon Crest in 1984. She hosted her own television series, Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre, in the mid-1950s, earning a 1957 Emmy nomination.

Also of note was her portrayal of Hayley Mills' gruff Aunt Polly in the beloved Disney film, Pollyanna (1960). The 1960s and 1970s were otherwise fairly quiet for Wyman career wise, but in 1981 she returned to the public eye with a bang in the hit TV series Falcon Crest, playing conniving matriarch Angela Channing for nine seasons. A diabetic, Wyman had to take a break for health reasons after filming two episodes of the ninth and final season, but returned for the last three episodes against her doctor's wishes. She also made a guest appearance on an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman as Jane Seymour's mother in 1993, but retired soon after to her home in Rancho Mirage, California.

Wyman has been honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has the distinction of being the only wife of a future U.S. President (Reagan) to win an Oscar.


How to Commit Marriage (1969)
Bon Voyage! (1962)
Pollyanna (1960)
Holiday for Lovers (1959)
Miracle in the Rain (1956)
All That Heaven Allows (1956)
Lucy Gallant (1955)
Magnificent Obsession (1954)
So Big (1953)
Let's Do It Again (1953)
Just for You (1952)
The Story of Will Rogers (1952)
Starlift (1951)
The Blue Veil (1951)
Here Comes the Groom (1951)
Three Guys Named Mike (1951)
The Glass Menagerie (1950)
Stage Fright (1950)
The Lady Takes a Sailor (1949)
A Kiss in the Dark (1949)
Johnny Belinda (1948)
Magic Town (1947)
Cheyenne (1947)
The Yearling (1946)
Night and Day (1946)
One More Tomorrow (1946)
Movieland Magic (1946)
The Lost Weekend (1945)
Crime by Night (1944)
The Doughgirls (1944)
Make Your Own Bed (1944)
Princess O'Rourke (1943)
Footlight Serenade (1942)
My Favorite Spy (1942)
Larceny, Inc. (1942)
The Body Disappears (1941)
You're in the Army Now (1941)
Bad Men of Missouri (1941)
Honeymoon for Three (1941)
Gambling On the High Seas (1940)
Tugboat Annie Sails Again (1940)
My Love Came Back (1940)
Flight Angels (1940)
An Angel from Texas (1940)
Brother Rat and a Baby (1940)
Private Detective (1939)
Kid Nightingale (1939)
Torchy Plays with Dynamite (1939)
The Kid From Kokomo (1939)
Tail Spin (1939)
Brother Rat (1938)
The Crowd Roars (1938)
Wide Open Faces (1938)
Fools for Scandal (1938) (uncredited)
He Couldn't Say No (1938)
The Spy Ring (1938)
Over the Goal (1937) (uncredited)
Mr. Dodd Takes the Air (1937)
Little Pioneer (1937)
Public Wedding (1937)
The Singing Marine (1937)
Slim (1937)
The King and the Chorus Girl (1937)
Ready, Willing and Able (1937)
Smart Blonde (1937)
Bengal Tiger (1936) (uncredited)
Here Comes Carter (1936) (uncredited)
Gold Diggers of 1937 (1936) (uncredited)
Polo Joe (1936)
Cain and Mabel (1936) (uncredited)
Stage Struck (1936) (uncredited)
My Man Godfrey (1936) (uncredited)
The Sunday Round-Up (1936)
Anything Goes (1936) (uncredited)
King of Burlesque (1935)
Stolen Harmony (1935)
Rumba (1935) (uncredited)
College Rhythm (1934) (uncredited)
All the King's Horses (1934)
Elmer, the Great (1933)
The Kid from Spain (1932)

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