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Jane Withers, Former Child Star Who Later Portrayed Josephine the Plumber in TV Ads, Dies at 95


yanceycravat
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Jane Withers, a former child star known for her roles in “Bright Eyes” and “Ginger” and as the commercial character Josephine the Plumber, has died. She was 95.

Withers’ death was confirmed by her daughter, Kendall Errair. She died Saturday evening surrounded by her loved ones in Burbank, Calif. The cause of death was not disclosed.

“My mother was such a special lady,” Errair said in a statement. “She lit up a room with her laughter, but she especially radiated joy and thankfulness when talking about the career she so loved and how lucky she was.”

Born on April 12, 1926 in Atlanta, Ga., Withers was already a seasoned show business professional by the time she was six. Withers’ mother was so determined to have her make it as a star that she named her Jane so that “even with a long last name like Withers, it would fit on a marquee.”

The wish of Withers’ mother came true. After winning a local talent contest, Withers was cast on “Aunt Sally’s Kiddie Revue,” a Saturday morning children’s show, and was later given her own radio show at just 3 years old. Just before Withers’ sixth birthday, she traveled to Hollywood with her mother and began to book acting, voiceover and modeling gigs.

Withers’ big break came in 1934, when she was cast opposite Shirley Temple in 1934’s “Bright Eyes.” Withers played Joy Smythe, a spoiled, mean foil to Temple’s sweet character. Withers then signed a seven-year contract with Fox Film Corporation and scored her first starring role in “Ginger” (1935).

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On a personal note I had the great fortune to meet Miss Withers on a couple of occasions. Primarily at Robert Osborne's Star on the Walk of Fame event.

I believe the first time may have been at the Egyptian Theatre. I'm not sure. When I met Miss Withers that time I was overcome with a sense of spirituality I had never felt before. It almost brought me to tears. I was so choked up. I've met a lot of famous people and a lot of regular people too and never experienced anything like this.  I can only say I felt I was in the presence of someone, not just special, but Holy. I know that sounds quite hyperbolic but it's the only way I can describe it.

When I spoke to her again at the RO event I was overcome with the same feeling. Wanting to understand what I was feeling I later expressed these emotions to Dick Moore hoping he might offer some wisdom. He simply said, "Yes, she's a very special lady."

Again, I can't explain it. I don't know what it means. To this day and this very moment I'm still a little confused by it.

Surely if there are angels among us Jane Withers was one of them!

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1 hour ago, mr6666 said:

 

She was always fun and entertaining at the TCM Film Festivals.  The last time I saw her was before a screening of Giant.  She grew very close to James Dean while they were making the movie.

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I was first familiar with Jane Withers from her Comet TV commercials. As a teen, my Mother & I were watching BRIGHT EYES together and she told me the little brunette girl was the "Lady Plumber" which floored me. It was my first realization actors grow up & take different roles.

I couldn't stop laughing when she says, STOP THAT CRYING and whacks the doll across the head! 

Can't find that clip so here's one of her singing-

 

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I saw a doc on the making of Giant and learned that Janie (as Elizabeth Taylor called her) shot a lot of footage in Marfa of her fellow actors. She would focus on them surreptitiously to get candids. Whenever Elizabeth would spot Jane's camera on her, she would do a Tallulah style "oh DAHling."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, MikaelaArsenault said:

Jane Withers and James Dean:

e813580699adbb4e4382641bd2800fae.jpg

Jane said James Dean was not a very willing subject for her movies at first, so sh stopped pointing the camera at him. A few days later he asked something like, don't  you want to take my picture too? She found him more willing then.

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11 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

JANE WITHERS, SHIRLEY TEMPLE, BRIGHT EYES, 1934 Stock Photo - Alamy

 

"I'm gonna run you over and then run inside and bring out uncle ned to see you."

Shirley Temple, Jane Withers, 1930s Bright Eyes , My fav Shirley Temple  Movie <3 best scene ever haha! RIP Shirley Tem… | Temple movie, Shirley  temple, Jane withers

 

Think the word obnoxious was created because of her. (in that film).

Wonder how many people clapped when her mom slapped her silly at the end? :lol:

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Sucky Sucky News.

        The Heads Up Though, is  +Appreciated.

 

 

      Good Night to a Vivacious Skeezicks.

🌈🎨🌌🌌🌌🕊🌌

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Those Interested; Two "Birthday Cards" Coming Tonight for Two.. Young Ladies (Now Both, Only With Us In Spirit), Who ALWAYS Brought Their A-Game.

Then on Wednesday.. ..a Seperate. Special. Birthday Card For (one of) a Favourite Bomb Shell Dame of Mine.   Who Always Makes my Heart Twitterpated and my knees go "jello" ..

       No Word on the nephew yet, though.

 

 

 

 

 

    Details At Seven.

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4 hours ago, MikaelaArsenault said:

Jane Withers and James Dean:

e813580699adbb4e4382641bd2800fae.jpg

I Find That Picture Funny.

.. Though Much Appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Think i,ll be going cross-eyed though as i could swear im staring at Eastwood on those steps. 😂

       Probably Explicitly Just Me Though. lol

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15 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Sad to read this.

Markie Post died yesterday as well.

Two lovely ladies who entertained us.

Markie too?

Cripes,  she was just barely a year older than me(8 mos.)  And IMO just too young to go.   

And not only did Jane make me laugh as a kid watching those Shirley Temple flicks,  but Markie too, was a bright spot on NIGHT COURT.

Bummer.

Sepiatone

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16 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Sad to read this.

Markie Post died yesterday as well.

Two lovely ladies who entertained us.

Besides Night Court, I remember Markie Post in one of my favorite episodes of Cheers.  She played Diane's best friend who comes for a visit and hits it off with Sam at Diane's dinner party.   When Markie's character and Sam have a spaghetti sucking contest, Diane loses her cool and totally explodes.

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17 hours ago, yanceycravat said:

a former child star known for her roles in “Bright Eyes” and “Ginger” and as the commercial character Josephine the Plumber, has died. She was 95

Paddy O'Day (1936) has Jane Withers in a leading role and she is excellent. She plays a Irish girl fresh off of Ellis Island and now in NYC, separated from her family. She sings and dances and is totally charming, it shows she can play the good girl and not just the nasty one who was so mean to Shirley Temple in Bright Eyes.

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5 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Why so vulgar?

Thanks For a Hearty Dose of Humor This Afternoon Det J M.

   Why Take Up Gardening an Entire Thread about "What Makes You Put People On Ignore"?

  If there are attributes and characteristics of others that cause varying degrees of doom and gloom. Why Hypothesize and/or Commiserate Upon Such A Topic? Just Ignore.

  Why So Vulgar ?

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16 hours ago, Aritosthenes said:

Thanks For a Hearty Dose of Humor This Afternoon Det J M.

   Why Take Up Gardening an Entire Thread about "What Makes You Put People On Ignore"?

  If there are attributes and characteristics of others that cause varying degrees of doom and gloom. Why Hypothesize and/or Commiserate Upon Such A Topic? Just Ignore.

  Why So Vulgar ?

And on IGNORE!

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