Hollywood girl next door Jane Powell dead at 92

His film career seems to be gaining momentum. In fact, it was halfway.

After “Royal Wedding,” Ms. Powell, to her frustration, found herself once again as the Girl Next Door in light musicals like “Rich, Young and Pretty” (1951) and “Three Sailors. and a Girl “(1953). It would be three years before she got another big role – but it was memorable.

Set in a pioneer community in 19th century Oregon, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” told the story of newlyweds (Mrs. Powell and Howard Keel) whose first goal as a married couple is to find wives for them. six rowdy brothers of the groom. . Directed by Mr. Donen, with a catchy score by Gene by Paul and Johnny Mercer and acrobatic choreography by Michael Kidd, it has earned a spot on many lists of the greatest musicals of all time. It was, Ms. Powell later said, “my last really wonderful movie role.”

Suzanne Burce was born April 1, 1929 in Portland, Oregon. An only child, she was still just a little girl when her parents – Paul Burce, who worked for a bread company, and Eileen (Baker) Burce – began to groom her as a potential successor to Shirley Temple.

At the age of 5, she was taking singing and dancing lessons and playing on the radio. When she was 14, her parents took her to Hollywood, where her performance on a popular radio show led to an audition for Louis B. Mayer of MGM and, in no time, to a seven-year contract.

Thinking back to that time in her 1988 autobiography, “The Girl Next Door and How She Grown Up,” Ms. Powell wrote, “I should have been the happiest girl in the world. Well, I wasn’t. All she wanted to do, she said, was go home, go to high school, and make friends. Her parents’ relentless efforts to make her a star had led to a lonely and artificial childhood. Despite her almost immediate success, she wrote: “Sometimes I just wanted to run away from it all. “

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