Musical actress Janis Paige dies in WeHo at 101

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Janis Paige, a vibrant force on Broadway and in film, known for her comedic and musical talents, passed away at the age of 101 on June 2 at her West Hollywood residence. Her death was confirmed by a longtime friend who said she was in hospice care at the time of her passing, though no specific cause of death was given.

Paige’s career was marked by a blend of drama, musicals and comedy. She first captured attention with her roles in films like “Hollywood Canteen” (1944) and “Her Kind of Man” (1946), and later, her comedic prowess shone through in parts that showcased her dynamic presence and striking looks. She was celebrated for her work on Broadway in the musical “The Pajama Game” (1954), where she played a key role in a story about labor-management conflict in a pajama factory. This role won her acclaim and showcased the choreography of Bob Fosse, with the musical itself earning a Tony Award.

Her film career included memorable roles alongside stars like Fred Astaire in “Silk Stockings” (1957), where she famously danced hanging from a chandelier.

Paige also made significant television appearances, including a role on “All in the Family,” where she played a waitress who nearly tempted Archie Bunker into infidelity, drawing both fan ire and praise for her performance. Her career spanned various mediums, including roles in “It’s Always Jan” and “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies,” and she remained active in the entertainment industry well into her 90s.

Off-screen, Paige’s life was marked by her activism and her candid discussions about the challenges of being a woman in Hollywood, including a powerful essay she wrote in 2017 discussing sexual assault, contributing to the #MeToo movement.

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Mikie Friedman
Mikie Friedman
19 days ago

Janis Paige was married to the songwriter Ray Gilbert. He wrote the Oscar winning song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah from Song of the South. His daughter, Joanne, who was a one time, actress, singer, turned, casting director, lived next-door to me for many years, and she spoke about Janis…albeit not in glowing terms. But it was fun living in West Hollywood, so close to so many people connected to the entertainment industry!

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