枯れる, としても知られている “ジョセフィン・ザ・プランバー” 1960年代と70年代のテレビコマーシャルから, 土曜日に亡くなりました, 彼女の娘ケンダルエラーは言った. ウィザーズは1930年代と1940年代に残った最後のスターの1人でした, the height of Hollywood studio dominance.
After a series of minor roles as a child actress, Withers was cast by Twentieth Century-Fox in the 1934 “Bright Eyes,” as the nemesis of lovable Temple, then Hollywood’s most popular star.
“I had to play the meanest, creepiest little girl that God ever put on this planet,” Withers recalled in 2000. “I ran over Shirley with a tricycle, and a baby buggy. そして私は思った, ‘Oh dear, everybody’s going to hate me forever because I was so creepy mean to Shirley Temple!‘ “
It didn’t turn out that way. Critics claimed that she stole the picture from Shirley. Children wrote fan letters admiring what she did to Shirley “because she’s so perfect.”
Fox boss Darryl F. Zanuck figured there was room for another child actress at the studio, and she was signed to a contract. She played the anti-Shirley, a bright, talky, mischief-prone girl with wide eyes, chubby cheeks and straight black hair that contrasted with Shirley’s blonde curly top.
For four years, Fox ground out three or four Withers films annually at budgets far lower than the Temple specials. Among the titles: “Ginger,” “Paddy O’Day,” “Little Miss Nobody,” “Wild and Wooly” そして “Arizona Wildcat.”
Even though B pictures were aimed for the bottom half of double bills, a theater owners poll named Withers one of the top money-making stars in 1936 そして 1937.
While the Temple films were made on Fox’s modern Westwood lot, Withers made hers at the old studio on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
“I wasn’t allowed to shoot in Westwood until Shirley left the studio,” 彼女は言いました.
Withers proved less of a draw as a teenager, and her career dwindled.
As an adult she appeared in a few films and on television.
Her biggest prominence came from portraying “ジョセフィン” in TV commercials for Comet cleanser for 12 年.
“ああ, the money is nice, 大丈夫,” she told the Los Angeles Times in 1963. “I got five figures for eight of those commercials, and I’m doing four more.”
The main advantage, 彼女は言いました, was that unlike the Broadway offers she was getting, the job didn’t interfere with her home life in Hollywood.
She said in a later Times interview that she felt the original Josephine character was “too smart-alecky, too brash,” but she thought “any lady who was going to become a plumber” would take pride in her work and care about her customers.
Fame started early for Jane Withers. Born April 12, 1926, アトランタで, she had appeared as Dixie’s Dainty Dewdrop on local radio by the age of 3.
Her mother had greater ambitions, and she persuaded her husband to move the family to Hollywood.
Jane played bit roles in movies and supplied voices for the Willie Whopper and the Looney Tunes cartoons.
Her experience with W.C. Fields in “It’s a Gift” (1934) belies the legend — encouraged by Fields himself — that the comedian hated children. Fields chose her for a scene in which she played hopscotch in front of his store, frustrating his exit. He coached her and afterward praised her professionalism.
When she won her first starring role, he sent her two large bouquets and a note saying, “I know you’re going to knock them dead in `Ginger’ and you’re going to have a fantastic career.”
Her popularity led to Jane Withers dolls and other merchandise. At her peak, she was earning $ 2,500 a week and $ 50,000 a year in endorsements. Unlike other child stars, her earnings did not disappear.
She explained in 1974: “幸運なことに, my dad had a great love of California land. He kind of dibble-dabbled in real estate in a marvelous way.”
During her childhood she started collecting dolls and teddy bears, and she continued throughout her lifetime. に 1988 she reported that she owned 12,000 dolls and 2,500 teddy bears which were boxed and crated in a 27,000-square-foot warehouse.
Withers’ film appearances as an adult were sporadic, partly because of three marriages and five children. Her most notable credits were “Giant” (1956) そして “Captain Newman, M.D.” (1963).
に 1947, Withers left Hollywood to live with her first husband, producer-oil man William Moss, in Midland, テキサス. The marriage produced three children and ended after seven years.
She returned to Hollywood and was paralyzed with arthritis. She recovered after spending five months in a hospital.
She had two more children with second husband Kenneth Errair, one of the Four Freshmen singing group, で死んだ人 1968. に 1985 she married Thomas Pierson, a travel agency executive.
An interviewer in 1974 asked Withers how she managed to escape the troubles that plagued many child stars in adulthood. A lifelong Presbyterian, she commented: “I always took my troubles to the good Lord, and I never failed to get an answer.”