Jayne Meadows

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Jayne Meadows
Jayne Meadows.JPG
Press photo 1960
Born Jane Meadows Cotter
(1919-09-27) September 27, 1919 (age 95)
Wu-ch'ang, Heilongjiang, China
Occupation Actress, author
Years active 1946–2009
Spouse(s) Milton Krims (m. 1949-1952)
Steve Allen (m. 1954-2000; his death)
Children William "Bill" Allen

Jayne Meadows (born September 27, 1919), also known as Jayne Meadows-Allen, is a retired American stage, film and television actress, as well as an author and lecturer.

Early life[edit]

Jayne Meadows was born as Jane Meadows Cotter in 1919[1] in Wuchang, one of 3 sections of Wuhan, China in the Hubei Province [the others being Hanyang and Hankou (where the Cotter family was relocated when a bomb fell on their home in Wu Chang)], to Episcopal missionary parents, the Rev. Francis James Meadows Cotter and his wife, the former Ida Miller Taylor, who had married in 1915.[2] Meadows is the older sister of the late actress Audrey Meadows. She also had two brothers (both deceased). The family in the early 1930s returned to their home in Sharon, Connecticut.


Meadows' most famous movies include: Undercurrent (with Katharine Hepburn), Song of the Thin Man (with William Powell and Myrna Loy), David and Bathsheba (with Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward and Raymond Massey), Lady in the Lake (with Robert Montgomery and Audrey Totter), Enchantment (with David Niven and Teresa Wright). Later that year Columnist Louella Parsons gave Meadows her Cosmopolitan Award for the Finest Dramatic Performance of 1949 for Enchantment. Many years later, she appeared in City Slickers (as the voice of Billy Crystal's oversolicitous mother).

Among her earliest television appearances, Meadows played reporter Helen Brady in a 1953 episode of Suspense opposite Walter Matthau entitled, "F.O.B. Vienna". She was a regular panelist on the original version of I've Got a Secret and an occasional panelist on What's My Line?, the latter alongside husband Steve Allen. She also appeared on the NBC interview program Here's Hollywood. During the early days of the burgeoning live entertainment scene in Las Vegas, the Allens occasionally worked together as an act. Prior to Allen's death in 2000, the couple made several television appearances together; in 1998 they played an argumentative elderly couple in an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street in which Allen's character accidentally shoots a man in the act of committing suicide by plunging from the roof of the elderly couple's building. In 1999, the couple made their last joint TV appearance (again playing a couple) in the all-star episode of the Dick Van Dyke series Diagnosis: Murder, entitled "The Roast", which marked Steve Allen's final screen appearance.

Meadows has been active in Republican affairs although Steve Allen was a Democrat. She is the recipient of several Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from various universities.[3]

Meadows remained active until 2009 when she fell and fractured her hip. Her last public appearance to date was in August 2009 at the Early TV Memories First-Class Commemorative Stamp Dedication Ceremony. She still grants occasional interviews.[citation needed]


with husband Steve Allen circa 1980s

She was married to Steve Allen from 1954 until his death in 2000. They had one son, Bill. Allen's three children from his first marriage (Stephen Jr., Brian and David) are her stepchildren.[4]

Selected filmography[edit]

Notable television work[edit]

The handprints of Jayne Meadows in front of the Theater of the Stars (Beauty and the Beast) at Walt Disney World's Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.


External links[edit]