Jane Bryan

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Jane Bryan
Jane Bryan 1940.jpg
Bryan, 1940
Jane O'Brien

(1918-06-11)June 11, 1918
DiedApril 8, 2009(2009-04-08) (aged 90)
Years active1936–1940
Justin Dart (m. 1939–1984)
(his death)
ChildrenGuy, Jane, Stephen

Jane Bryan (born Jane O'Brien,[1] June 11, 1918 – April 8, 2009) was an American actress groomed by Warner Bros. to become one of its leading ladies until she married a drugstore magnate in 1940 and retired.


Bryan was born in Hollywood, California and gained acting experience as an apprentice at the Hollywood Theatre Workshop.[2] Her film debut came in The Case of the Black Cat (1936).[3]

Her screen career lasted only four years, but she appeared in prominent roles in several memorable films, including Marked Woman (1937) with Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart; Kid Galahad (1937) with Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart; A Slight Case of Murder (1938) with Edward G. Robinson; Each Dawn I Die (1939) with James Cagney and George Raft; Invisible Stripes (1939) with George Raft, William Holden, and Humphrey Bogart; and The Old Maid (1939) with Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins.


Bryan married businessman and entrepreneur Justin Dart on New Year's Eve, 1939. They were married until his death in 1984.[3] Dart took control of the Boston-based United Drug Company in 1943, and rebranded the stores under the Rexall Drug name.

The Darts were staunch Republicans and helped persuade their personal friend, former California governor Ronald Reagan, to run for president of the United States in 1980.

Public service[edit]

Bryan served on the United States Commission of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C. from 1971 to 1976.


Jane Bryan Dart died at her home on April 8, 2009, aged 90, in Pebble Beach, California, following a lengthy illness. She was survived by her three children, Guy Michael Dart, Jane Dart Tucker and Stephen M. Dart; three grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two brothers, William and Donald O'Brien.[4]

She was predeceased by her brother Jim O'Brien in 1986. Her stepson Justin Whitlock Dart, Jr., a disability-rights activist, died in 2002.[citation needed]


Year Title Role Notes
1936 The Case of the Black Cat Wilma Laxter
1936 The Captain's Kid Betsy Ann Prentiss
1937 Under Southern Stars Arlene Short
1937 Marked Woman Betty Strauber
1937 The Cherokee Strip Janie Walton
1937 Kid Galahad Marie Donati
1937 Confession Lisa Koslov
1938 A Slight Case of Murder Mary Marco
1938 The Sisters Grace Elliott
1938 Girls on Probation Connie Heath
1938 Brother Rat Kate Rice
1939 The Man Who Dared Marge Carter
1939 Each Dawn I Die Joyce
1939 The Old Maid Tina
1939 These Glamour Girls Carol Christy
1939 We Are Not Alone Leni Krafft
1939 Invisible Stripes Peggy
1940 Brother Rat and a Baby Kate (final film role)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Room, Adrian (2012). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. p. 80. ISBN 9780786457632. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  2. ^ Jane Bryan Is First of Starlet Crop Who Really Knows How to Act. November 27, 1939. p. 87. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b Lentz, Harris M. III (2010). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2009: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. ISBN 9780786441747. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  4. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (April 11, 2009). "Jane O'Brien Dart dies at 90; actress and her husband were in Reagan's inner circle". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 11, 2009.

External links[edit]