All articles and pages may contain affiliate links. You can read our disclosure policy here. Edward G Robinson

Jane Wyman



The Kid from Spain



Elmer, the Great

Gold Diggers of 1933



All the King’s Horses

College Rhythm



Broadway Hostess


George White’s 1935 Scandals

Stolen Harmony



King of Burlesque

Freshman Love

Anything Goes

Bengal Tiger

My Man Godfrey

Stage Struck

Cain and Mabel

Here Comes Carter

The Sunday Round-Up

Polo Joe

Gold Diggers of 1937



Smart Blonde

Ready, Willing, and Able

The King and the Chorus Girl


Little Pioneer

The Singing Marine

Public Wedding

Mr. Dodd Takes the Air

Over the Goal



The Spy Ring

He Couldn’t Say No

Fools for Scandal

Wide Open Faces

The Crowd Roars

Brother Rat



Tail Spin

The Kid from Kokomo

Torchy Blane… Playing with Dynamite

Kid Nightingale

Private Detective



Brother Rat and a Baby

An Angel from Texas

Flight Angels

Gambling on the High Seas

My Love Came Back

Tugboat Annie Sails Again



Honeymoon for Three

Bad Men of Missouri

The Body Disappears

You’re in the Army Now



Larceny, Inc.

My Favorite Spy

Footlight Serenade



Princess O’Rourke



Make Your Own Bed

The Doughgirls

Crime by Night



The Lost Weekend



One More Tomorrow

Night and Day

The Yearling




Magic Town



Johnny Belinda



A Kiss in the Dark

The Lady Takes a Sailor



Stage Fright

The Glass Menagerie



Three Guys Named Mike

Here Comes the Groom

The Blue Veil



The Story of Will Rogers

Just for You



Three Lives

Let’s Do It Again

So Big



Magnificent Obsession



All That Heaven Allows

Lucy Gallant



Miracle in the Rain



Holiday for Lovers






Bon Voyage!



How to Commit Marriage


Jane Wyman was nominated four times for a Best Actress in a Leading Role Academy Award and won once:

I never go into anything except with both feet and a lot of enthusiasm. ~ Jane Wyman

Jane Wyman: Learn more about her, review her filmography and more

Biographies, Actors

Jane Wyman was born Sarah Jane Mayfield on January 5, 1917 in St Joseph, Missouri, to Gladys Hope (née Christian; 1895 – 1960) and Manning Jeffries Mayfield (1895 – 1922). Her father was a meal company laborer and her mother was a doctor’s stenographer and office assistant. Wyman was the only child of this union and had no biological siblings.

In October 1921, her mother filed for divorce, and her father died unexpectedly the following year at age 27. After her father’s death, her mother moved to Cleveland, Ohio, leaving her to be reared by foster parents, Emma (née Reiss; 1866 – 1951) and Richard D. Fulks (1862 – 1928), the chief of detectives in Saint Joseph. She took their surname unofficially, including in her school records and on her first marriage certificate.

In 1928, aged 11, she moved to southern California with her foster mother. In 1930, the two moved back to Missouri, where Sarah Jane attended Lafayette High School in Saint Joseph. That same year, she began a radio singing career, calling herself “Jane Durrell” and adding years to her birth date to work legally, as she would have been under aged.

After dropping out of Lafayette in 1932 at age 15, she returned to Hollywood, taking on odd jobs as a manicurist and a switchboard operator, before obtaining small parts in such films as The Kid from Spain (as a “Goldwyn Girl”; 1932), My Man Godfrey (1936), and Cain and Mabel (1936).

Wyman married salesman Ernest Eugene Wyman (1906 – 1970) in Los Angeles, California on April 8, 1933. Wyman recorded her name as ‘Jane Fulks’ on the wedding certificate. She also listed foster parents Emma and Richard Fulks as her parents. In keeping with the tendency of making herself older than she really was, she gave her age as 19 on the document. Truthfully, she had turned 16 just 3 months prior. The couple would divorce after 2 years.

She signed a contract with Warner Brothers in 1936. By the time she starred in Public Wedding in 1937, she was already divorced from first husband Ernest Wyman. However, she would retain use of his surname for the remainder of her career.

Wyman married Myron Martin Futterman (1900 – 1965), a dress manufacturer, in New Orleans on June 29, 1937. As Wyman wanted children but Futterman did not, they separated after only three months of marriage and divorced on December 5, 1938.

In 1938, Wyman co-starred with Ronald Reagan in Brother Rat (1938), and its sequel Brother Rat and a Baby (1940). They were engaged at the Chicago Theatre, and married on January 26, 1940, at the Wee Kirk o’ the Heather Church, Glendale, California. She and Reagan had three children; Maureen Elizabeth Reagan (1941 – 2001), their adopted son Michael Edward Reagan (born March 18, 1945), and Christine Reagan (born prematurely on June 26, 1947, and died later the same day). This event irreparably tarnished their marriage. Wyman, who was a registered Republican, stated that their break-up was due to a difference in politics (Ronald Reagan was still a Democrat at the time). She filed for divorce in 1948; the divorce was finalized in 1949.

In 1939, Wyman starred in Torchy Plays With Dynamite. In 1941, she appeared in You’re in the Army Now, in which Regis Toomey and she had the longest screen kiss in cinema history: 3 minutes and 5 seconds.

Wyman finally gained critical notice in the film noir The Lost Weekend (1945). She was nominated for the 1946 Academy Award for Best Actress for The Yearling (1946), and won two years later for her role as a deaf-mute rape victim in Johnny Belinda (1948). She was the first person in the sound era to win an acting Oscar without speaking a line of dialogue. In an amusing acceptance speech, perhaps poking fun at some of her long-winded counterparts, Wyman took her statue and said only, “I accept this, very gratefully, for keeping my mouth shut once. I think I’ll do it again.” The Oscar win gave her the ability to choose higher-profile roles, although she still showed a liking for musical comedy. She worked with such directors as Alfred Hitchcock on Stage Fright (1950), Frank Capra on Here Comes the Groom (1951), and Michael Curtiz on The Story of Will Rogers (1952). She starred in The Glass Menagerie (1950), Just for You (1952), Let’s Do It Again (1953), The Blue Veil (1951) (another Oscar nomination), the remake of Edna Ferber’s So Big (1953), Magnificent Obsession (1954) (Oscar nomination), Lucy Gallant (1955), All That Heaven Allows (1955), and Miracle in the Rain (1956). She replaced the ailing Gene Tierney in Holiday for Lovers (1959), and next appeared in Pollyanna (1960), Bon Voyage! (1962), and her final big screen movie, How to Commit Marriage (1969).

Following her divorce from Reagan, Wyman married German-American Hollywood music director and composer Frederick M. “Fred” Karger (1916 – 1979) on November 1, 1952, at El Montecito Presbyterian Church, Santa Barbara. They separated on November 7, 1954, and were granted an interlocutory divorce decree on December 7, 1954; the divorce was finalized on December 30, 1955. They remarried on March 11, 1961, and Karger divorced her again on March 9, 1965. According to The New York Times report of the divorce, the bandleader charged that the actress had walked out on him. Wyman had a stepdaughter, Terry, from Karger’s first marriage to Patti Sacks.

Wyman, who had converted to Catholicism in 1953, never remarried. She was a member of the Good Shepherd Parish and the Catholic Motion Picture Guild in Beverly Hills, California.

Her first guest-starring television role was on a 1955 episode of General Electric Theater, a show hosted by her former husband Ronald Reagan. This appearance led to other roles.

In the spring of 1981 (a few months after her ex-husband became the president), Wyman’s career enjoyed a resurgence when she was cast as the scheming Californian vintner and matriarch Angela Channing in The Vintage Years, which was retooled as the primetime soap opera Falcon Crest.

Later in the show’s run, Wyman suffered several health problems. In 1986, she had abdominal surgery which caused her to miss two episodes (her character simply “disappeared” under mysterious circumstances). In 1988, she missed another episode due to ill health and was told by her doctors to avoid work. However, she wanted to continue working, and she completed the rest of the 1988–1989 season while her health continued to deteriorate. Months later in 1989, Wyman collapsed on the set and was hospitalized due to problems with diabetes and a liver ailment. Her doctors told her that she should end her acting career. Wyman was absent for most of the ninth and final season of Falcon Crest in 1989–1990 (her character was written out of the series by making her comatose in a hospital bed following an attempted murder).

Against her doctor’s advice, she returned for the final three episodes in 1990, even writing a soliloquy for the series finale. Wyman ultimately appeared in almost every episode until the beginning of the ninth and final season, for a total of 208 of the show’s 227 episodes. After Falcon Crest, Wyman acted only once more, playing Jane Seymour’s screen mother in a 1993 episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Following this, she retired from acting permanently. Wyman had starred in 83 movies and two successful TV series, and was nominated for an Academy Award four times, winning once.

After Falcon Crest ended, Wyman made a guest appearance on the CBS series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and then completely retired from acting, spending her retirement painting and entertaining friends. Wyman was a recluse and made only a few public appearances in her last years in part due to suffering from diabetes and arthritis. She did attend her daughter’s funeral in 2001 after Maureen died of melanoma. (Ronald Reagan was unable to attend due to his Alzheimer’s disease.) She also attended the funeral of her long-time friend Loretta Young in 2000. Wyman broke her silence about her former husband upon his death in 2004, issuing an official statement that read, “America has lost a great president and a great, kind, and gentle man.”

Wyman died at the age of 90 at her Rancho Mirage home on September 10, 2007. Wyman reportedly died in her sleep of natural causes. She was interred at Forest Lawn Mortuary and Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California.