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Janis Paige
Janis Paige
Janis Paige in recent photo
Personal Information
Gender: Female
Born: (1922-09-16)September 16, 1922
Birthplace: Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
Died: June 2, 2024(2024-06-02) (aged 101)
Deathplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Actress, Singer
Years active: 1944–2001
Character/Series involvement
Series: All In The Family
Episodes appeared in: 4 episodes in seasons 7 & 9
Character played: Denise
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Janis Paige (born September 16, 1922-June 2, 2024) was an American film, musical theatre, and television actress. She appeared as Denise, a lovely divorcee who briefly woos Archie in the Season 7 episodes "Archie's Brief Encounter (Parts 1 & 2)" and "Archie's Brief Encounter (Part 3)". She returns as Denise in the Season 9 episode "Return of the Waitress" (episode #9).

Early life and career[]

Born Donna Mae Tjaden in Tacoma, Washington, she began singing in public at age five in local amateur shows. She moved to Los Angeles after graduating from high school and was hired as a singer at the Hollywood Canteen during World War II]].

The Hollywood Canteen was a studio-sponsored club for members of the military. A Warner Brothers agent saw her potential and signed her to a contract. She began co-starring in low budget musicals, often paired with Dennis Morgan or Jack Carson. She later co-starred in adventures and dramas, in which she felt out of place. Following her role in Two Gals and a Guy (1951), she decided to leave Hollywood.

Paige appeared on Broadway and was a huge hit in a 1951 comedy-mystery play, Remains to Be Seen, co-starring Jackie Cooper. She also toured successfully as a cabaret singer.

Stardom came in 1954 with her role as "Babe" in the Broadway musical The Pajama Game. (Doris Day played the part on film.) After a six years away, Paige returned to Hollywood in Silk Stockings (1957), which starred Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse, the Doris Day comedy Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960), and as a love-starved married neighbor in Bachelor in Paradise (1961) with Bob Hope.

A rare dramatic role was as "Marion," an institutionalized prostitute, in The Caretakers (1963).

Musical theatre[]

Paige returned to Broadway in 1963 in the short-lived Here's Love, and as one of a succession of actresses playing the title role in the musical Mame. She also appeared in touring productions of musicals such as Annie Get Your Gun, Applause, Ballroom, Gypsy: A Musical Fable, and Guys and Dolls.


In the 1955-1956 television season, Paige starred in her own CBS situation comedy series It's Always Jan, co-starring Merry Anders. The 26-week program preceded the first season of Gunsmoke on the Saturday evening schedule. The plot, set in New York City, centered around Paige as Jan Stewart, a widowed mother, and her two female roommates played by Anders and Patricia Bright.[1]

She appeared as troubadour Hallie Martin in the 1964 Fugitive episode "Ballad For a Ghost". Miss Paige had a recurring role as "Auntie V", Tom Bradford's erstwhile sister, in Eight Is Enough.

She also appeared on 87th Precinct,The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, Trapper John, M.D., Columbo and Caroline in the City. In the 1980s and 1990s, she was seen on soap operas such as General Hospital (as Katharine Delafield's flashy Aunt Iona, a lady counterfeiter; Capitol (as Sam Clegg's first wife, Laureen), and Santa Barbara (replacing the older Dame Judith Anderson as matriarch Minx Lockridge). In 1982 she appeared on St. Elsewhere as a female flasher who stalked the hallways of the hospital to "cheer up" the male patients. Although her character said she was "celebrating her 50th birthday," Ms. Paige was actually 60 at the time of filming.

In 1986, she only appeared with Richard Kline and Bert Convy on Super Password.


Paige has been married to:

  • Frank Louis Martinelli Jr, restaurateur; married 1947, divorced 1950
  • Arthur Stander, television writer and creator of It's Always Jan; married 1956, divorced 1957
  • Ray Gilbert, composer and music publisher; married 1962, died 1976; he wrote the classic song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah". She has no children.

Personal life[]

Paige has been married three times. She married Frank Louis Martinelli Jr., a restaurateur, in 1947; they divorced in 1951.[2] She married Arthur Stander, television writer and creator of It's Always Jan, in 1956 and divorced him in 1957.[3]Template:Sfn Paige married Ray Gilbert, composer and music publisher in 1962. Gilbert died March 3, 1976.[3] All of Paige's marriages were childless.

Paige is a Republican who supported the campaign of Dwight Eisenhower during the 1952 presidential election[4].

In 2001, Paige found that her voice was cracking with nearly irreparable vocal-cord damage. She went to a singing teacher a friend recommended. Paige's voice ended up worse with her not being able to talk at all. "He literally took my voice away," she said. "I lost all my top voice. I couldn't hold a pitch for a second. Finally, I couldn't make a sound. He said that this will all come back. It didn't." Another singing teacher told her to go to the voice clinic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. "There were bits of skin hanging off my vocal cords", she said. "They told me to go home and not talk for three months." She finally was introduced by a doctor to another voice teacher, Bruce Eckstut. He helped her regain her voice and singing voice.[5]

In 2017, aged 95, Paige wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter in which she stated that Alfred Bloomingdale had attempted to rape her when she was 22 years old.[6]


  1. Wesley Hyatt, "Comedy Time". Retrieved on November 13, 2010.
  2. "Janis Paige divorces husband", The Madera Tribune, Madera Printing and Publishing Company, May 25, 1951. Retrieved on August 31, 2016. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Janis Paige. NNDB. Soylent Communications. Retrieved on August 31, 2016.
  4. Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 34, Ideal Publishers
  5. King, Susan. "Janis Paige regains her voice", Los Angeles Times (.com), Tronc, Inc., February 24, 2012. Retrieved on August 31, 2016. 
  6. Harassment in Hollywood's Golden Age: Survivor Janis Paige's Firsthand Story. The Hollywood Reporter (2017). Retrieved on 2017-10-28.

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