Jane Frazee

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Jane Frazee
Under California Stars (1948) 1.jpg
Jane Frazee, 1943
Born(1915-07-18)July 18, 1915
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
DiedSeptember 6, 1985(1985-09-06) (aged 70)
Newport Beach, California, U.S.
OccupationActress, singer, dancer
Years active1935–1956
Spouse(s)
Glenn Tryon
(m. 1942; div. 1947)
Children1

Mary Jane Frehse (July 18, 1915 – September 6, 1985), known as Jane Frazee, was an American actress, singer, and dancer. (Her studio biography gave her birthdate as 1918, causing some confusion among her fans; Minnesota historian Dave Kirwan confirms the actual date and birthplace.)

Professional life[edit]

Jane, age six, and her 12-year-old sister Ruth (1909–2001) formed a singing vaudeville act known as The Frazee Sisters.[1] The act broke up in 1940, when Jane landed a leading role in the B film Melody and Moonlight (1940) for Republic Pictures. Shortly after the film's release she was signed by Universal Pictures and was featured in Buck Privates, the high-grossing 1941 comedy/World War II film starring Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. The strong impression she made in that film elevated her to leading-lady roles in Universal's popular "B" musicals, usually appearing opposite Robert Paige. She left Universal in late 1942, when she married actor-director Glenn Tryon, who was 16 years her senior. The actress was still very much in demand, and returned to Republic for more musicals. She also appeared frequently in budget features for Columbia Pictures.

After World War II, most of the larger Hollywood studios curtailed their lower-budget productions and produced fewer features. This affected scores of actors, who sought refuge at the smaller studios that had been making low-budget features all along. Thus Jane Frazee found steady if unprestigious work at Monogram Pictures and Lippert Pictures, in addition to her Republic duties. This led to the even lower-budgeted and faster-paced field of westerns, and ultimately television (including the early adventure series Adventures of Superman).

The actress ended her screen career co-starring in short subjects produced by Warner Brothers. These were the popular Joe McDoakes comedies starring George O'Hanlon. The 10-minute shorts were domestic sketches noted for their wild comic exaggeration, and Frazee (who appeared without billing) earned her laughs with excellent comedy timing. The series lapsed in 1956.

After retiring from acting, Frazee started a real estate business.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Frazee's marriage to Glenn Tryon lasted five years and produced one son, Timothy. Jane Frazee died of a stroke in 1985.[2]

Filmography[edit]

Billed with sister Ruth as The Frazee Sisters[edit]

  • Captain Blue Blood (1935)
  • Study and Understudy (1936)
  • Up in Lights (1938)
  • Rollin' in Rhythm (1939)
  • Pharmacy Frolics (1939)
  • Arcade Varieties (1939)
  • Swing Styles (1939)

Films[edit]

Joe McDoakes short subjects[edit]

Jane Frazee co-starred as Joe's wife Alice, without screen credit:

  • So You Want to Be Your Own Boss (1954)
  • So You Want to Go to a Night Club (1954)
  • So You're Taking in a Roomer (1954)
  • So You Want to Know Your Relatives (1954)
  • So You Don't Trust Your Wife (1955)
  • So You Want to Be a Gladiator (1955)
  • So You Want a Model Railroad (1955)
  • So You Think the Grass is Greener (1956)
  • So You Want to Play the Piano

References[edit]

  1. ^ The New York Times Biography of Jane Frazee
  2. ^ a b Internet Movie Database Biography for Jane Frazee

External links[edit]