Jane Withers

Actress Jane Withers was destined to be a star from the day she was born. Her mother gave her a name that would shine on a marquee and enrolled her in singing and dancing lessons by age two and a half. By age three, Jane had her own radio show in Atlanta and was billed as “Dixie’s Dainty Dewdrop.” At the age of five, Jane and her family moved to Hollywood.

After taking some bit roles in movies, Jane got her big break in 1934, when she was cast as the brat who taunts and teases Shirley Temple in Bright Eyes. The memorable Bright Eyes role instantly turned Jane into a sensation, and she received her first starring role in Ginger (1935). Making several films a year, she co-starred with some of the most popular names in Hollywood, as she worked with Janet Gaynor and Henry Fonda in The Farmer Takes a Wife (1935), the Ritz Brothers in Pack Up Your Troubles (1939), and Gene Autry in Shooting High (1940) The precocious Jane was one of the top box-office favorites, and she successfully made the transition from child star to successful teenage actress. Jane made almost 50 films from the time she arrived in Hollywood until 1947, when she retired from the business to marry and raise a family.

Jane Withers returned to the movies when she earned a coveted roll in director George Stevens’ Texas-set epic GIANT (1956). In 1963, Jane became one of the most recognizable faces on television when she donned a pair of overalls as Josephine the Plumber, the star of the long-running Comet cleanser commercials. Jane’s cheerful personality turned Josephine the Plumber into one of the biggest advertising stars of all time, and the commercial series ran for decades. Jane continued to made guest appearances on popular television shows like The G.E. True Theater, Bachelor Father, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Munsters, The Love Boat, and Murder, She Wrote.

Jane Withers
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