Monday, October 23, 2006


Jane Wyatt (1910-2006)

Best known as Robert Young's sensible wife Margaret Anderson on Father Knows Best, Wyatt also appeared in numerous films such as Frank Capra's Lost Horizon, Clifford Odets' None But the Lonely Heart and both Boomerang! and Gentleman's Agreement for Elia Kazan.

After the 1940s, she worked almost exclusively in television, including playing Spock's human mother on Star Trek and the wife of Dr. Auschlander (Norman Lloyd) on St. Elsewhere.

By Adam Bernstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 23, 2006; B04
Jane Wyatt, 96, a onetime socialite who specialized in playing well-bred ingenues on stage and film and is best known as the understanding mother in the television sitcom Father Knows Best, died Oct. 20 at her home in Bel Air, Calif. The family said she died in her sleep but did not give further details.

Ms. Wyatt was dropped from the New York Social Register after becoming an actress, but she later reacquired her standing through marriage. Meanwhile, she enjoyed an active career on the Broadway stage and then in Hollywood.

She appeared in about 30 films, including Frank Capra's Lost Horizon (1937), based on James Hilton's novel about a Himalayan nirvana called Shangri-La, and None But the Lonely Heart (1944), in which she was a gentle musician who cared for Cary Grant's cockney ne'er-do-well.

Her name is probably familiar to a generation of television watchers because of Father Knows Best, which aired from 1954 to 1960, in reruns for three more years and in endless syndication after that.

To read the rest of The Washington Post obit, click here.

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