Jayne Meadows


      Emmy-award winner (1990) and five-time Emmy nominee Jayne Meadows' performance in Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers was called a "triumph," "superb," "the performance of a lifetime," by the critics and won the 1993 Drama-Logue Award for Best Performance by a Stage Actress in a drama.  With her husband, Steve Allen, she recently performed A.R. Gurney's two-character play, Love Letters, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Hawaii.
    Jayne's career is the stuff dreams are made of -- a Broadway comedy star in her teens -- a film dramatic actress performing opposite the likes of Hepburn, Niven and Peck  -- a television star with innumerable prestigious dramatic and comedy roles as well as five television series:  "I've Got A Secret" (CBS - 7 years), "Medical Center" (CBS - 3 years), "Meeting of Minds" (PBS - 4 years), "It's Not Easy" (ABC) and a featured recurring role on the CBS TV comedy series, "High Society" for which she received an Emmy nomination (1995).
    Throughout, Jayne has enjoyed extraordinary critical acclaim and has received many honors, including, most prominently, the American Book Award 1988, her five Emmy nominations (1979, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1995) a Grammy nomination (1985) and the 1990 prestigious International Platform Association Award for her one-woman show, Powerful Women in History, with which she toured the United States for six years.

     She received the Susan B. Anthony Award for her contribution in portraying women in positive roles, and in 1981 was presented with the first award given by the National Organization for Women for her TV portrayal of Ms. Anthony.  She is also the recipient of several Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from various universities.
    As a teenager, Jayne made her debut on Broadway in the comedy Spring Again, and went on to star in six more Broadway shows.  However, it was the Broadway hit The Gazebo (opposite Walter Sleazak) that established Jayne as a top comedienne.  She had been called to Hollywood to begin a successful film and television career and her return to Broadway in the revival of Kaufman and Hart's classic Once in a Lifetime was met with rave notices.
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    Hollywood established Jayne, the Broadway comedienne, as Jayne, the serious dramatic actress, in such films as:  Undercurrent, with Katherine Hepburn; David and Bathsheba, with Gregory Peck; Lady in the Lake, with Robert Montgomery; Enchantment, with David Niven; The Song of the Thin Man, with William Powell and Myrna Loy; Fat Man, with Rock Hudson; Dr. Kildare, with Lionel Barrymore and Luck of the Irish, opposite Tyrone Power -- to name a few.
   In recent years she has been in such box office hits as:  City Slickers (Billy Crystal's mother); City Slickers II (Billy Crystal's mother), Casino, with Steve Allen and Joe Pesci; Robert Altman's Player; Norman is That You? with Pearl Bailey; College Confidential, with Steve Allen; and Murder by the Numbers, with Shari Belafonte.
   On television she starred in virtually all the prestigious dramatic programs of the Golden Age of Television:  Hallmark Hall of Fame, Pulitzer Prize Playhouse, Studio One, General Electric Theater, U.S. Steel Hour, Robert Montgomery Presents, the DuPont Show of the Week and Kraft Television Theater.
    During all the above activity, Jayne managed to appear as a regular panelist on CBS's top-rated I've Got a Secret for seven years, a popular program consistently rated one of the top ten prime-time shows for the duration of her tenure.   I've Got a Secret made her a household name and the second highest-rated actress on the CBS network after Lucille Ball.

   Among her dramatic credits are:  four years on the award-winning Meeting of Minds, for which she co-wrote and performed the epic characters Marie Antoinette, Cleopatra, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Catherine the Great, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger, and the 90-year-old Florence Nightingale (Emmy nomination, 1979);   two episodes on St. Elsewhere (Emmy nomination, 1987); Murder She Wrote, Sisters, and Medical Center (three years).
    A few of her Movies-of-the-Week include Alice in Wonderland (as the Queen of Hearts for CBS), Hawaiian Honeymoon (Disney-NBC), Bob Hope's Nice, Deadly Weekend (NBC), Ten Speed and Brownshoe (ABC), the James Dean Story (CBS -- as Hedda Hopper), Miss All American Beauty (CBS).   Miss Meadows also was the co-host with Arthur Godfrey of the first two years of the Miss Universe pageant.
  Jayne's television comedy career has been equally full with multiple appearances on the Red Skelton, Steve Allen and Milton Berle shows, as well as appearances with Bob Hope and Sid Caesar.
   Jayne, also an accomplished writer in several media, wrote the original story for a segment of Fantasy Island, and her first play, The Eternal Bed, was produced at the Stop-Gap Theater in Los Angeles.  Carte Blanche magazine published a column under Jayne's byline for five years.
    Jayne and her talented and versatile husband, Steve Allen, appeared together in concert in a wide variety of venues, from Las Vegas to Carnegie Hall.