A little over two weeks ago the lovely and versatile actress Jayne Meadows passed away at the age of 95. Jayne was part of that dwindling but oh-so-classy contingent of veteran performers who could do literally anything, appeared in all media from radio to screen to stage to television, and who embodied the "there's-no-business-like-show-business" spirit throughout their entire careers.
Jayne was a constant presence on TV for fifty years in her professional performing life but perhaps was best known for being the wife of the multi-talented Steve Allen. Allen was forever a mighty voice in TV comedy beginning with his historic status as one of the early kings of late-night TV in the 1950s and he continued to be a much sought-after writer and performer throughout his entire career. He and Jayne were famously and happily married from 1954 until his death in 2000.
When Jayne Meadows passed away on April 26th we lost one of the good ones, one of the special ones, one of those ladies who've done it all. You should read some of the write-ups that followed her death to get a real idea of just how much she had done. The New York Times obituary is available by clicking here, The Los Angeles Times can be accessed by clicking here, show business paper Variety has a nice story here, The Hollywood Reporter also covered her passing here, The Huffington Post had a write-up here, Jayne Meadows also had an official website full of great information on her very interesting life and career; visit it by clicking here. She also did a wonderful three hour interview with the Archive of American Television which you can watch by visiting here.
There's no better way to salute a performer than to show them in action. We've got a selection of Jayne Meadows moments for you to enjoy. She was a fascinating personality, larger-than-life with a giddy flair that probably outshone her dramatic talents. No matter -- she was a delight in everything and we are grateful for the entertaining moment that she gave us.
Jayne and her sister Audrey -- she originated the role of Alice on The Honeymooners -- singing a 1956 novelty song written by Steve Allen:
A clip from one of the episodes of Meeting of the Minds, the award-winning PBS series conceived and written by Steve Allen and frequently starring Jayne as one of history's famous females:
What's My Line from December 23, 1956
Jayne and Steve on The Hollywood Palace
More Steve and a very special Jayne performance on The Hollywood Palace
Jayne playing the Queen of Hearts in the elaborate 1985 Irwin Allen TV production of Alice in Wonderland, music and lyrics by Steve Allen.
Jayne was a regular on the popular CBS medical drama Medical Center starring Chad Everett.
Medical Center: The Complete First Season... by WarnerBrosOnline
More of Jayne and Steve from The Hollywood Palace:
Jayne hilariously visits with Judy Garland in the January 11, 1964 episode of The Judy Garland Show:
Jayne in a 1970 episode of Here's Lucy:
Jayne and Steve singing "I Remember It Well" in a 1959 recording:
Jayne and Steve on a 1987 segment of The Will Shriner Show:
Another Jayne and Audrey Meadows duet "Hot Potato" from 1955: