Powell è morto per cause naturali giovedì nel suo Wilton, Conn., casa, secondo l'amica di lunga data Susan Grander.
Among her most well-known films in the 1940s and ’50s were the MGM musicals “Matrimonio reale” e “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” She was known for her gorgeous voice which often surprised viewers given her small stature and tendency to be cast in gentler roles.
Secondo Varietà, she easily nabbed a contract with MGM in 1943, starring first in their 1944 musicale “Song of the Open Road.” She took the name of the character she played – Jane Powell, a child star who runs away – as her own.
Powell would go on to star alongside some of Hollywood’s most notable stars and musicians at the time, including Walter Pidgeon, Jose Iturbi, Xavier Cugat, Jeannette McDonald, Wallace Beery, Carmen Miranda and Elizabeth Taylor.
Many of her projects melted together in the minds of fans until “Matrimonio reale,” in which co-star Fred Astaire famously dances on the walls and ceiling of a room, and saw Powell play half of a brother-and-sister act heading to London in 1947. The story was similar to that of Astaire and his own sister, Adele.
Several years later, nel 1954, she starred in Stanley Donen’s Nominato all'Oscar “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and earned positive reviews for her performance.
Più tardi quell'anno, she starred in another of Donen’s flicks, “Athena,” a wild story about a family of weightlifting vegetarians. She saw herself play a woman involved in a star-crossed romance with a politician.
Her third movie of the same year was also directed by Donen: “Deep in My Heart.”
Nel 1956, Powell’s recording of “True Love” performed well on the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 15. She’d also perform “I’ll Never Stop Loving You” at the Oscars the same year.
In the late ’50s, Powell saw somewhat of a decline in her career after aging out of the younger roles she so famously played in the years before. Several of her films at the time were duds, though some were met with moderate success.
She transitioned to televisione around the same time, appearing in anthologies like “Goodyear Theatre” and variety shows such as “The Red Skelton Hour.” She famously appeared in a made-for-TV version of “Meet Me in St. Louis,” starring as Esther Smith, a role originally popularized by Judy Garland.
She’d also tour with a number of popular musicals such as “Unsinkable Molly Brown,” “Il suono della musica,” “Oklahoma!,” “My Fair Lady,” “Carousel,” “Meet Me in St. Louis” e “Peter Pan.” Nel 1973, she appeared on Broadway in the musical “Irene.”
She’d guest-star in a number of well-known television shows in the ’80s such as “Fantasy Island,” “The Love Boat,” “Omicidio, Lei scrisse” e “Growing Pains.”
Her final on-screen performance came during a 2002 episodio di “Legge & Ordine: Special Victims Unit,” though she continued to make special appearances at concerts, once performing with Pink Martini in 2010 at the Hollywood Bowl, secondo Variety.
The Portland-born performer secured her big break during a 1943 vacation to Hollywood, during which she won the Janet Gaynor radio talent competition “Hollywood Showcase: Stars Over Hollywood,” leading to her MGM contract.
The star married five times including to figure skater Gearhardt “Geary” Anthony Steffen. Taylor served as a bridesmaid at the wedding. She married her fifth and final husband, ex star bambino Dickie Moore, nel 1988 – he passed away in 2015.
She is survived by her children, Geary Anthony Steffen III, Suzanne Steffen and Lindsay Cavalli, as well as two granddaughters, Skye Cavalli and Tia Cavalli, per Variety.