Birthday: September 9, 1924
Died At Age: 76
Sun Sign: Virgo
Also Known As: Bettejane Greer
Born Country: United States
Born in: Washington, D.C., United States
Famous as: Actress
Height: 5'5" (165 cm), 5'5" Females
Spouse/Ex-: Edward Lasker (m. 1947–1963), Rudy Vallée (m. 1943–1944)
father: Dean McLean Greer, Jr.
mother: Bettie Greer
children: Alex Lasker, Lawrence Lasker, Steven Lasker
Died on: August 24, 2001
education: DePaul University
Jane Greer was an American actress who is best remembered for her portrayal of the villainous character Kathie Moffat in the 1947 flick ‘Out of the Past’. Born Bettejane Greer, she grew up to be a beautiful young woman and took part in several beauty contests, most of which she won. At the age of 15, an attack of facial palsy left her face paralyzed on one side. Although facial exercises helped her overcome her condition, the palsy attack gave her a permanent ‘patented look’ and garnered her the title 'The Woman with the Mona Lisa smile'. Blessed with a sweet voice, Greer started her show business career as a singer with big bands, most notably Enric Madriguera's orchestra. After a successful modelling stint, she moved to Hollywood and began acting as a film actress in 1945. The same year, she changed her name to “Jane.” She went on to have a successful career as both a film and a TV actress. Behind the screen, Greer had been married twice. She spent her later years with her partner Frank London, with whom she lived until his death in 2001, six months prior to her own death from cancer.
Childhood & Early Life
Jane Greer was born on September 9, 1924 in Washington, D.C., USA, to Bettie and Charles Durell McClellan Greer, Jr. She had a twin brother named Don.
At the age of 15, she suffered an attack of facial palsy that paralyzed the left side of her face. However, she recovered later.
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Jane Greer began her career as a band singer. She sang for many big bands, most notably with the orchestra of Enrique Madriguera in Washington, D.C.
She then went on to model for various brands. In 1942, she was spotted by Howard Hughes who sent her to Hollywood. Greer eventually signed with RKO Studios and did several big screen projects for the company, including ‘Dick Tracy’, ‘Build My Gallows High’, and ‘They Won't Believe Me’.
In 1951, she appeared in the comedy film ‘You're in the Navy Now’. Directed by Henry Hathaway, the movie focussed on the United States Navy during the initial months of the World War II.
She then played a role in ‘The Prisoner of Zenda’ that also starred Stewart Granger, James Mason, and Deborah Kerr. The film was released in 1952, and was declared a hit in France. That year, Greer played a mother of two lost kids in Joseph H. Lewis' adventure film 'Desperate Search'.
The year 1953 saw her in the musical comedy 'Down Among the Sheltering Palms'. The movie earned $1 million in USA against its budget of $1.4 million. Three years later, the actress was cast as Katherine Connors, an editorial employee of ‘Sight’ magazine in the thriller adventure 'Run for the Sun’.
She next featured in ‘Man of a Thousand Faces’ (1957), a film that detailed the life of silent film actor Lon Chaney. The film's writers earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
Her notable roles in the 1960s included those of Marian Spicer in the drama movie ‘Where Love Has Gone’ and Agnes Carol in the musical ‘Billie’. The decade also witnessed Greer in guest roles in the TV shows 'Stagecoach West', 'Thriller', and 'Burke's Law'.
During the 1970s, she did the crime film ‘The Outfit’, a TV film titled ‘A Christmas for Boomer’, and the sitcom 'Columbo'.
The talented actress moved forward in her career, commencing the 1980s with a recurring role in ‘Falcon Crest’. In 1986, she played Ruth Chadwick in ‘Just Between Friends’, a drama flick about two ladies whose friendship is tested by a tragedy.
In 1987, she made guest appearances in an episode each of ‘The Law & Harry McGraw’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’. Greer then appeared in a few episodes of season 2 of ‘Twin Peaks’.
In 1947, Jane Greer was cast as the femme fatale Kathie Moffat in Jacques Tourneur's film noir 'Out of the Past'. While the film went on to become one of the greatest of all films noir, the actress garnered much appreciation for her performance. The movie made a profit of $90,000 at the box office.
Family & Personal Life
Jane Greer married Rudy Vallee in December 1943. The couple parted ways just after three months, eventually divorcing on July 27, 1944.
On August 20, 1947, the actress married lawyer cum businessman Edward Lasker. They had three sons: Alex, Lawrence, and Steven. Greer and Lasker divorced in 1967.
From 1965 to 2001, she lived with her domestic partner, actor Frank London. London died six months before Greer’s death.
She suffered from cancer during her last days. On August 24, 2001, the actress breathed her last, at the age of 76.