Today is the birthday of Jane Frazee (Mary Jane Frehse, 1918-1985). Jane started out in show business at age six in a vaudeville act with her older sister Ruth called the Frazee Sisters. In addition to vaudeville, the pair appeared together in nightclubs, on radio, and in several movie shorts released between 1935 and 1939. At this juncture, the pair both took screen tests. Jane passed; Ruth didn’t.
In 1940, Jane began her career as a solo movie actress in the B movie musical Melody and Moonlight. She appeared in around 40 feature length pictures through the end of the 1940s, including several more Moonlight musicals, the Abbott and Costello hit Buck Privates (1941), Olsen and Johnson’s Hellzapoppin (1941), and numerous western musicals with the like likes of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. After this she appeared on television for a few years, and co-starred in the “Joe McDoakes” shorts from 1954 through 1956.
Jane Frazee was married four times; the best known of her husbands was silent movie star and director Glenn Tryon.
For more on vaudeville history and acts like Frazee Sisters, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.