Jane Wyman (1917 - 2007)

Jane Wyman
1917 - 2007
updated July 03, 2020
Jane Wyman, mother to 3 children, was born on January 5, 1917 in Saint Joseph, Missouri. She married Ronald Wilson Reagan on January 26, 1940 in Glendale, California and they later divorced on July 18, 1949 in Glendale, California. They gave birth to Maureen Elizabeth Reagan, Michael Edward Reagan, and Christine Reagan. She died on September 10, 2007 in Rancho Mirage, California at age 90. We know that Jane Wyman had been residing in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California 90064.

Jane Wyman - Academy Award Winning Movie Star.
Born January 5, 1917 in St. Joseph, Missouri, USA
Died September 10, 2007 in Palm Springs, California, USA (complications from arthritis and diabetes)
Birth Name Sarah Jane Mayfield
Nicknames Button Nose
Minnie Mouse
Height 5' 2½" (1.59 m)
Mini Bio (1)
Jane Wyman was born Sarah Jane Mayfield on January 5, 1917, in St. Joseph, Missouri (she was also known later as Sarah Jane Fulks). When she was only eight years old, and after her parents filed for divorce, she lost her father prematurely. After graduating high school she attempted, with the help of her mother, to break into films, but to no avail. In 1935, after attending the University of Missouri, she began a career as a radio singer, which led to her first name change to Jane Durrell. In 1936 she signed a contract with Warner Bros. Pictures and that led to another name change, the more familiar one of Jane Wyman. Under that name she appeared in "A" and "B" pictures at Warners, including two with her future husband, Ronald Reagan: Brother Rat (1938) and its sequel, Brother Rat and a Baby (1940). In the early 1940s she moved into comedies and melodramas and gained attention for her role as Ray Milland's long-suffering girlfriend in The Lost Weekend (1945). The following year she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her role as Ma Baxter in The Yearling (1946), and won the coveted prize in 1949 as deaf-mute rape victim Belinda MacDonald in Johnny Belinda (1948). She followed that with a number of appearances in more prestigious films, such as Alfred Hitchcock's Stage Fright (1950), Frank Capra's Here Comes the Groom (1951), Michael Curtiz's The Story of Will Rogers (1952) and the first movie version of The Glass Menagerie (1950). She starred opposite Bing Crosby in the musical Just for You (1952). She was Oscar-nominated for her performances in The Blue Veil (1951) and Magnificent Obsession (1954). She also starred in the immensely popular So Big (1953), Lucy Gallant (1955), All That Heaven Allows (1955) and Miracle in the Rain (1956). In addition to her extensive film career, she hosted TV's Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre (1955) and starred in most of the episodes of the show, which ran for three seasons. She came back to the big screen in Holiday for Lovers (1959), Pollyanna (1960) and her final film, How to Commit Marriage (1969). Although off the big screen, she became a presence on the small screen and starred in two made-for-TV movies, including The Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel (1979). In early 1981, in the 49th year of her career, she won the role of conniving matriarch Angela Channing Erikson Stavros Agretti in the movie "The Vintage Years", which was the unaired pilot for the prime-time soap opera Falcon Crest (1981), later in the year. For nine seasons she played that character in a way that virtually no other actress could have done, and became the moral center of the show. The show was a ratings winner from its debut in 1981, and made stars out of her fellow cast members Robert Foxworth, Lorenzo Lamas, Abby Dalton and Susan Sullivan. At the end of the first season the story line had her being informed that her evil son, played by David Selby, had inherited 50% of a California newspaper company, and the conflicts inherent in that situation led to even bigger ratings over the next five years. Wyman was nominated six times for a Soap Opera Digest Award, and in 1984 she won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series Drama. By the show's eighth season, however, she was emotionally drained and the strain of constantly working to keep up the quality of a hit show took its toll on her. In addition, there was friction on the set among cast members. All of these events culminated in her departure from the show after the first two episodes of the ninth season (her character was hospitalized and slipped into a coma) for health reasons. After a period of recuperation, she believed that she had recovered enough to guest-star in the last three episodes of the season (her doctor disagreed, but she did it anyway). She then guest-starred as Jane Seymour's mother on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993) and three years later appeared in Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1995). In the late 1990s she purchased a home in Rancho Mirage, California, where she lived in retirement. Her daughter, Maureen Reagan (who died in August 2001), was a writer who also involved herself in political issues and organized a powerful foundation. Also, she placed her 3200-sq.-ft. Rancho Mirage condominium on the market. Jane Wyman died at the age of 90, at her Palm Springs, California home, on September 10, 2007, having long suffered from arthritis and diabetes. It was reported that Wyman died in her sleep of natural causes at the Rancho Mirage Country Club.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Richard Collins II ([contact link])

Spouse (5)
Fred Karger (11 March 1961 - 9 March 1965) ( divorced)
Fred Karger (1 November 1952 - 7 December 1954) ( divorced)
Ronald Reagan (26 January 1940 - 18 July 1949) ( divorced) ( 3 children)
Myron Futterman (29 June 1937 - 5 December 1938) ( divorced)
Ernest Eugene Wyman (8 April 1933 - 1935) ( divorced)
Trade Mark (5)
Her husky voice.
Her hairdo, bangs over her forehead.
Played roles that were either physically challenged or disabled.
Usually played women who either become engaged or soon get married.
Short stature
Trivia (120)

Jane Wyman Biography

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Jane Wyman
Most commonly known name
First name
Middle name
Maiden name
Last name(s)
Sarah Jane Mayfield
Nickname(s) or aliases
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California 90064
Last known residence
Jane Wyman was born on in Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri United States
Jane Wyman died on in Rancho Mirage, Riverside County, California United States 92270
Jane Wyman was born on in Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri United States
Jane Wyman died on in Rancho Mirage, Riverside County, California United States 92270
Natural causes
Cause of death
in Cathedral City, Riverside County, California United States
Burial / Funeral

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Nationality & Locations Lived

When Wyman received the script for "Falcon Crest," she was undecided about undertaking the nasty, power-mad Angela Channing, so different from the self-sacrificing characters of her movie days.
But she liked the idea that Angela "runs everything. She goes straight through everything like a Mack truck."
Riding the wave of prime-time soap operas that made "Dallas" and "Dynasty" national sensations, "Falcon Crest" lasted nine seasons. The series ended with Angela again in control of the vineyard. Her battered family raised their glasses in a toast: "The land endures."
After Reagan became president in 1981, his former wife gave few interviews and responded to questions about him with a stony look. When "Falcon Crest" ended, she withdrew from public view. She saw a few intimates and devoted much time to painting.
She summed up her long career in a 1981 newspaper interview: "I've been through four different cycles in pictures: the brassy blonde, then came the musicals, the high dramas, then the inauguration of television."
In the end, she had survived for decades in a town notorious for exploiting talent and then discarding it.
Sarah Jane Fulks was born in St. Joseph, Mo., in 1914. She grew up in a cheerless home in which her mother's time was devoted to her seriously ailing husband. After the father died, Sarah Jane accompanied her mother to Los Angeles, where the girl tried to get jobs in the studios. There was no work for the snub-nosed teenager, and she returned to St. Joseph.
She attended the University of Missouri, worked as a manicurist and switchboard operator, then sang on radio as Jane Durrell. When that career dwindled, she decided to try Hollywood again, began playing bit parts, and changed Durrell to Wyman.


She was a serious convert to Roman Catholicism, attending Mass with good friend Loretta Young. Converted to Catholicism and remained Catholic.


Did Jane finish grade school, get a GED, go to high school, get a college degree or masters? What schools or universities did Jane attend?


Her Best Actress Oscar for Johnny Belinda (1948) makes her the only wife of a future U.S. President (Ronald Reagan) ever to win such an award.
Adopted mother of nationally syndicated radio talk show host Michael Reagan.
Her name changed to "Jane Faulks" when she was unofficially "adopted" by the Faulks family, middle-aged neighbors of her single mother. Moved to So. California with Mrs. Faulks when she was widowed in 1928
Several sources have given her date of birth as January 4, 1914, which would mean she was one of the first (and one of the very few) actresses to make herself older.
Apparently broke up with Ronald Reagan over her love for Lew Ayres, but that relationship failed in the long run.
Mother of Maureen Reagan and Michael Reagan.
Daughter, with third husband - actor/former president Ronald Reagan - Maureen Reagan dies of malignant melanoma (skin cancer) at her Sacramento-area home. [August 2001]

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Jane Wyman & Ronald Wilson Reagan

January 26, 1940 - July 18, 1949
Cause of Separation: Divorce
Glendale, Los Angeles County, CA, United States


Feb 6, 1911 - Jun 5, 2004


Jan 4, 1941 - Aug 8, 2001
Mar 18, 1945 - Unknown
Jun 26, 1947 - Jun 27, 1947


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Jane Wyman Obituary

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jane Wyman, an Academy Award winner for her performance as the deaf rape victim in "Johnny Belinda," star of the long-running TV series "Falcon Crest" and Ronald Reagan's first wife, died Monday morning at 93.
Wyman died at her Palm Springs home, said Richard Adney of Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuary in Cathedral City. No other details were immediately available.
Wyman's film career spanned from the 1930s, including "Gold Diggers of 1937," to 1969's "How to Commit Marriage," co-starring Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason. From 1981 to 1990 she played Angela Channing, a Napa Valley winery owner who maintained her power with a steely will on CBS' "Falcon Crest."
Her marriage in 1940 to fellow Warner Bros. contract player Reagan was celebrated in the fan magazines as one of Hollywood's ideal unions. While he was in uniform during World War II, her career ascended, signaled by her 1946 Oscar nomination for "The Yearling."
The couple divorced in 1948, the year she won the Oscar for "Johnny Belinda." Reagan reportedly cracked to a friend: "Maybe I should name Johnny Belinda as co-respondent."
After Reagan became governor of California and then president of the United States, Wyman kept a decorous silence about her ex-husband, who had married actress Nancy Davis. In a 1968 newspaper interview, Wyman explained the reason:
"It's not because I'm bitter or because I don't agree with him politically. I've always been a registered Republican. But it's bad taste to talk about ex-husbands and ex-wives, that's all. Also, I don't know a damn thing about politics."
A few days after Reagan died on June 5, 2004, Wyman broke her silence, saying: "America has lost a great president and a great, kind and gentle man."
It was 1936 when Warner Bros. signed Wyman to a long-term contract. She long remembered the first line she spoke as a chorus girl to show producer Dick Powell: "I'm Bessie Fuffnik. I swim, ride, dive, imitate wild birds and play the trombone."
Warner Bros. was notorious for typecasting its contract players, and Wyman suffered that fate. She recalled in 1968: "For 10 years I was the wisecracking lady reporter who stormed the city desk snapping, 'Stop the presses! I've got a story that will break this town wide open!"'
In 1937, Wyman married a wealthy manufacturer of children's clothes, Myron Futterman, in New Orleans. The marriage was reported as her second, but an earlier marriage was never confirmed. She divorced him in November 1938, declaring she wanted children and he didn't.
The actress became entranced by Reagan, a handsome former sportscaster who was a newcomer to the Warner lot. She wangled a date with him, and romance ensued.
After returning from a personal appearance tour with columnist Louella Parsons, they were married on Jan. 26, 1940. The following year she gave birth to a daughter, Maureen. They later adopted a son, Michael. They also had a daughter who was born several months premature in June 1947 and died a day later.
In Reagan's autobiography "An American Life," the index shows only one mention of Wyman, and it runs for only two sentences. "That same year I made the Knute Rockne movie, I married Jane Wyman, another contract player at Warners," Reagan wrote. "Our marriage produced two wonderful children, Maureen and Michael, but it didn't work out, and in 1948 we were divorced." The final divorce decree was issued in 1949.
Their daughter Maureen died in August 2001 after a battle with cancer. At the funeral, Wyman, balancing on a cane, put a cross on the casket. Reagan, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was not well enough to attend.
Early in their marriage, Reagan's career grew with "Knute Rockne - All American" and "King's Row" while Wyman languished as "Joan Blondell of the B's." That changed after Reagan joined the army.
Wyman escaped B-pictures by persuading Jack Warner to loan her to Paramount for "The Lost Weekend." The film won the Academy Award for 1945 and led to another loanout - to MGM for "The Yearling." De-glamourized as a backwoods wife and mother, the actress received her first Oscar nomination.
After 40 films at Warner Bros., Wyman achieved her first acting challenge with "Johnny Belinda." When Jack Warner saw a rough cut of the film, he ranted to the director, Jean Negulesco: "We invented talking pictures, and you make a picture about a deaf and dumb girl!"
He changed his attitude when "Johnny Belinda" received 12 Academy Award nominations and the Oscar for Jane Wyman.
Her acceptance speech was brief: "I accept this award very gratefully for keeping my mouth shut once. I think I'll do it again."
Reagan became increasingly active in politics as his wife's career climbed. When she divorced him, she testified: "Politics built a barrier between us. I tried to make his interests mine, but finally there was nothing to sustain our marriage."
Wyman continued making prestigious films such as "The Glass Menagerie," Alfred Hitchcock's "Stage Fright," "Here Comes the Groom" (with Bing Crosby). Two tearjerkers, "The Blue Veil" (1951) and "Magnificent Obsession" (1954), brought her Oscar nominations as best actress.
Other film credits include: "So Big," "Lucy Gallant," "All That Heaven Allows," "Miracle in the Rain," "Holiday for Lovers," "Pollyanna" and "Bon Voyage!"
Her first entry into television came with "The Jane Wyman Show," an anthology series that appeared on NBC from 1955 to 1958. She introduced the shows, half of them starring herself, half with other actors. She quit the show after three years, saying that "putting on a miniature movie once a week" was exhausting.
In 1952 Wyman married Fred Karger, a studio music director. They divorced, later remarried and divorced the second time in 1965. She remained single thereafter. While not working, she devoted much of her time to benefits and telethons for the Arthritis Foundation.

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1917 - 2007 World Events

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In 1917, in the year that Jane Wyman was born, it is believed that a worldwide influenza pandemic began in Asia. By 1920, it is estimated that 50 - 100 million died throughout the world (3 - 5% of the population). In the U.S. alone, 500,000 perished from what came to be called the Spanish Flu or the 1918 flu.

In 1920, Jane was merely 3 years old when Italian born factory worker Nicola Sacco and fish peddler Bartolomeo Vanzetti were picked up by police on May 5th in connection with the April 15th murder and robbery of a guard and a paymaster at the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company in South Braintree, Mass. Although in later years they were thought to be innocent, they were anarchists and were convicted of the crime and put to death.

In 1950, at the age of 33 years old, Jane was alive when on October 2, Charlie Brown appeared in the first Peanuts comic strip - created by Charles Schultz - and he was the only character in that strip. That year, Schultz said that Charlie was 4 years old, but Charlie aged a bit through the years.

In 1962, at the age of 45 years old, Jane was alive when on February 20th, Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr. became the first American to orbit the Earth. The Friendship 7 flew three times around the earth in 4 hours and 55 minutes. At age 77, Glenn returned to space - the oldest person to fly in space.

In 1981, when she was 64 years old, on August 1st, MTV debuted. It was the first music video TV channel. The first music video played was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" - the second was Pat Benatar's "You Better Run".

Other Biographies

Other Jane Wymans

Unknown - Unknown
1871 - 1946
Unknown - Unknown
c. 1832 - Oct 19, 1907

Other Wymans

Apr 14, 1919 - Sep 24, 2004
Dec 23, 1940 - Mar 7, 2011
Feb 27, 1904 - October 1980
Sep 25, 1897 - December 1967
Jul 27, 1918 - Jul 21, 1994
Oct 4, 1885 - November 1958
Feb 18, 1923 - Sep 11, 1998
Apr 25, 1909 - Mar 27, 1990
Aug 9, 1944 - Oct 2, 1992
Aug 17, 1929 - Jun 15, 1997
Oct 21, 1905 - September 1979
Aug 15, 1900 - February 1958
Mar 25, 1924 - April 1988
Jan 23, 1929 - Jul 8, 1994
Jul 20, 1956 - October 1997
Dec 20, 1905 - September 1977
Jun 24, 1890 - July 1980
Jun 28, 1943 - May 12, 2004
Oct 19, 1899 - Apr 19, 1992
Mar 3, 1944 - Oct 22, 2010

Other Bios

May 22, 1897 - October 1965
Nov 9, 1915 - Aug 6, 1988
Aug 26, 1912 - April 1972
Nov 3, 1900 - Feb 21, 1993
Jun 7, 1912 - Oct 15, 1992
Dec 11, 1920 - December 1985
Jan 13, 1905 - August 1968
Oct 20, 1913 - August 1987
Oct 8, 1888 - April 1971
Feb 2, 1912 - April 1974
Jul 21, 1901 - Sep 23, 1998
Jul 2, 1910 - June 1980
Mar 28, 1885 - July 1975
Dec 5, 1905 - Mar 23, 1999
Aug 21, 1899 - April 1976
Nov 24, 1916 - Jan 31, 2005
Apr 29, 1917 - May 18, 1993
Jan 8, 1916 - Jan 1, 2004
Nov 16, 1907 - July 1986
May 8, 1912 - Feb 26, 1998
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