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Jan Clayton
Born August 26, 1917(1917-08-26)
Tularosa, New Mexico, United States
Died August 28, 1983 (aged 66)
West Hollywood, California, United States
Occupation Actress

Jan Clayton (August 26, 1917, Tularosa, New Mexico - August 28, 1983, West Hollywood, California) was a film, musical theatre, and television actress.

Contents

Career

None of her film roles were notable, except for an unbilled role as a singing inmate in The Snake Pit, but in 1945, she was selected to play Julie Jordan in the original Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic, Carousel. She left the show to star in the 1946 Broadway revival of Show Boat, as Magnolia, while Carousel was still continuing its Broadway run.

The 1946 production of Show Boat was the longest-running revival of a stage musical up to that time - 416 performances. Ms. Clayton can be heard on the original cast recordings of both Carousel (1945) and Show Boat (1946). The Show Boat album was the first American production of the show to be recorded with its original cast.

Clayton later played Jeff Miller (Tommy Rettig)'s mother on Lassie (aka Jeff's Collie in re-runs) on television. She played herself in an appearance on Peter Lawford's short-lived NBC sitcom, Dear Phoebe.

In 1954, she was one of the many guest stars in a spectacular tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein on television, known as the General Foods 25th Anniversary Show. The program featured all the then-surviving stars - with the exception of Alfred Drake - of all the classic shows that the team had written between 1943 and 1954. Clayton and John Raitt, in full makeup and costume, performed the If I Loved You scene (also known as the Bench Scene) from Carousel. It was the first opportunity for millions of viewers to see a scene from the musical - none of the film versions of the Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musicals had yet been released.

Personal Life

She was married to actor Russell Hayden from 1938 to 1943; they had one child, Sandra (b. 1940 - d. 1956). In 1946, Jan Clayton married attorney Robert Lerner, brother of famed Broadway lyricist Alan Jay Lerner. She and Lerner had three children, daughter Robin (b. 1948), daughter Karen (b. 1949), and son Joe (b. 1950), but divorced in 1958. Her third and final marriage was to pianist/film and television composer George Greeley. They married in 1966 and divorced two years later.

Affiliations

In later years, she appeared many times on television as a frequent guest star in many series. She also volunteered at the Alcoholism Council of Greater Los Angeles as a receptionist in the late 1970s, where she had received treatment for her own alcohol-related problems.

Death

Jan Clayton died of cancer in 1983, two days after her 66th birthday.

External links

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