96 (passed away Oct. 20th, 2006)
Aug. 12th, 1910
Campgaw, New Jersey, USA
Jane Wyatt's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Born in Campgaw, New Jersey, Jane Waddington Wyatt came from a New York family of social distinction (her father was a Wall Street investment banker and her mother was a drama critic). Jane was raised from the age of three months in New York City and attended the fashionable Chapin School and later Barnard College. After two years of college, she left to join the apprentice school of the Berkshire Playhouse at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where for six months she played an assortment of roles. One of her first jobs on Broadway was as understudy to Rose Hobart in a production of "Trade Winds"--a career move that cost her her slot on the New York Social Register. Wyatt made the transition from stage to screen and was placed under contract at Universal, where she made her film debut in director James Whale (I)'s One More River (1934). She went back and forth between Universal and Broadway (and co-starred in Frank Capra's Columbia film Lost Horizon (1937) on loan out from Universal). In the 1950s, she co-starred with Robert Young (I) in "Father Knows Best" (1954), the classic TV sitcom chronicling the life and times of the Anderson family in the Midwestern town of Springfield. Wyatt died at age 96 on October 20, 2006.
- She was directly descended, on her mother's side, from the van Renssalaer family, one of the earliest Dutch families to settle in the Colonies, as early as 1638, and which at one time owned most of what is now New York City. Renssalaer County in upstate New York is named after them. From the same line she was also a great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Philip Livingston, signer of the Declaration of Independance.
- Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Actors Branch).
- In _Lost Horizon (1937)_ (qv), she worked for director 'Frank Capra' (qv). In _Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)_ (qv), the first assistant director was 'Frank Capra III' (qv).
- Jane Wyatt is a devout Catholic, whose late husband died on the day before what would have been their 65th wedding anniversary.
- 'Jean Vander Pyl' (qv) played the wifely role opposite 'Robert Young (I)' (qv) on the "Father Knows Best" radio program in 1949. However, both Young and 'Eugene B. Rodney' (qv), Young's partner in ownership and production of the series, wanted Wyatt to play the role when it went to TV.
- Received the Women's International Center (WIC) Living Legacy Award in 1986.
- Won three consecutive Emmy Awards for her portrayal of Margaret Anderson on _"Father Knows Best" (1954)_ (qv).
- Sons Christopher, who has three children, and Michael, who is six years younger and a pianist.