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June 17, 2022

Jane Withers: One of the Most Popular Child Stars in Hollywood in the 1930s and Early 1940s

Born 1926 in Atlanta, Georgia, American actress and children’s radio show host Jane Withers began her entertainment career at the age of three and, during the Golden Age of Radio, hosted her own children’s radio program in her home city of Atlanta, Georgia.


In 1932, Withers and her mother moved to Hollywood, where she appeared as an extra in many films until landing her breakthrough role as the spoiled, obnoxious Joy Smythe opposite Shirley Temple’s angelic orphan Shirley Blake in the 1934 film Bright Eyes.

Withers made 38 films before retiring at age 21 in 1947. She returned to film and television as a character actor in the 1950s. From 1963 to 1974, she portrayed the character Josephine the Plumber in a series of television commercials for Comet cleanser.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Withers did voice work for Disney animated films. She was interviewed in numerous documentary retrospectives of the Golden Age of Hollywood, and also known for her philanthropy and her extensive doll collection.

Withers died in Burbank, California in 2021 at the age of 95. Take a look at these vintage photos to see lovely portraits of a very young Jane Withers in the 1930s and early ’40s.












































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