Obituaries for JANE WYMAN
Professor BERNARD F. DICK, author of the book "The President's Ladies: Jane Wyman and Nancy Davis" (published in 2014; preview) thoroughly researched all kinds of documents related to JANE's biography, including birth certificates, adoption papers, etc. The writer reasons that he was able to solve the mystery about JANE's birthday (either January 4 or 5 in either 1914 or 1917) by evaluating all these documents and drawing the conclusion from various circumstances in her biography that she was born on January 5, 1917. The most likely explanation for the 1914 myth is that JANE tried to make herself older when she made her first uncredited movie appearance in "The Kid from Spain" in 1932 because she had actually been a minor at that time (15 years old) and her real age would have been an obstacle in her contract with the production company.
Eulogy written by DAVID SELBY
(initially published on http://www.davidselby.com)
As many of you may have heard, we have lost a great actress and a great, passionate, classy woman who was always very dear to me. She was the consummate professional, and you always knew where you stood with Jane. If you didn't want to hear the truth, you didn't ask Jane.
I used to stay in the room next to Jane when we would film in Napa, CA. She would ring me and invite me over for a glass of wine or two and mass — which she never missed — performed by the lovely Father Bob. We would sometimes dine at her favorite spot, Bob Evans in Santa Monica. The food was not great and the cigarette smoke was thick but they loved Jane and she was comfortable there. She was not the society gal but did not take a back seat to anyone. She did not care for pomp. She was no-nonsense. My friend Abby Dalton said, "I asked Jane if God would answer my prayers. 'Yes,' Jane replied, 'but God's answer may be no.'"
Jane could freeze you with her beautiful dark eyes if she disapproved of something you did. She had a wonderful way of rolling her eyes and then her soft smile would light the darkest room, and you knew why she had portrayed those sweet young women.
Jane was always prepared, and would give me a wink after a scene as though to say, "nice job." Such style, such quiet grace, such fun, such a commanding presence, such dedication. She once apologized to me for having to miss saying her lines for my close-up. She had to have surgery. I think she missed two or three days. I never wanted to be late to the set, but Jane was always there ahead of me. She would give me an "I gotcha" look as I entered.
I sit here and the tears flow for a dear, dear person who was so kind to me and taught me so much. I loved her as did others who were blessed to cross her path — that is unless they were late or didn't know their lines.
Eulogy written by JEFF FREILICH
(originally sent to TV Guide editor MICHAEL AUSIELLO)
Jane Wyman was a little girl hiding inside a matriarch's body — fun-seeking and adventurous. I never met anybody more excited to be on a film set nor worked with an actor who commanded such respect without bluster or selfish demands. She was among the last of a dying breed of true Hollywood stars. To her, acting was a pleasure... a calling. Being a mother, on the other hand, was more work. During my second season, Jane voiced her concern to me about her son, Michael. She was worried that his interest in racing (boats, if I recall) might put him in danger and [she asked if there] was a small, reoccurring role I could create for him to keep him safe and closer to home. I asked about his acting ability. 'Let's put it this way,' she replied. 'He won't embarrass you.' Jane was impossible to turn down because she asked for so little. And her strong argument, as a caring mother, made her even more convincing. Michael and his team of Secret Service agents (as the son of a sitting president) were welcomed on the set. Jane was at peace for the remainder of the season. And, once again, she was right: Michael didn't embarrass us. In fact, he was quite good. Jane's talent, her charity and her company will be missed.