Born Donna Mae Tjaden in Tacoma, Washington, on September 16, 1922, actress and singer Janis Paige left home at 18 and moved to Los Angeles, where she soon found work at the famed Hollywood Canteen as a singer. As many Warner Bros. contract players, including Bette Davis, were highly involved in entertaining at the Hollywood Canteen, Paige was quickly noticed by a producer and was soon signed to a contract with the studio. Initially, Warner Bros. put Paige in a number of second feature comedies and musicals, including Two Guys from Milwaukee (1946; with Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson) and The Time, the Place and the Girl (1946; with Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson). By the late 1940s, she moved up to bigger pictures such as the Technicolor musical Romance on the High Seas (1948; with Jack Carson and Doris Day). But Warner Bros. was not known for musical productions, so Paige soon found herself back in routine programmers, such as the noirish The House Across the Street (1949; with Wayne Morris and Bruce Bennett) and This Side of the Law (1950; with Viveca Lindfors). By 1951, unhappy with her film career and her first marriage to restauranteur Frank Martinelli, whom she wed in 1947, Paige shed both and left for New York.

Janis PaigeJanis PaigeJanis Paige

LEFT and CENTER: Cheesecake shots of Janis Paige. RIGHT: Paige in the 1970s

Paige made a big splash on Broadway, starring in Remains to Be Seen from 1951 to 1952 and The Pajama Game from 1954 through 1955. She left the production and returned to Hollywood when she was cast in the 1955-1956 CBS situation comedy It's Always Jan. Along the way she married television producer Artie Stander, who wrote and produced the series, in early 1956 but the marriage quickly dissolved. In the late 1950s Paige secured plum roles in Silk Stockings (1957; with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse) and on television in guest roles. Her film career heated up again in the early 1960s in such films as Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960; with Doris Day and David Niven), Bachelor in Paradise (1961; with Bob Hope and Paula Prentiss), and The Caretakers (1963; with Robert Stack and Polly Bergen).

the films of janis paige

Her Kind of Man (1946)

Janis Paige and Zachary ScottZachary Scott, Janis Paige, and Dane Clark

LEFT: With Zachary Scott in the Warner Bros. film noir thriller Her Kind of Man. RIGHT: With With Zachary Scott and Dane Clark

Cheyenne (1947)

Janis Paige

As Emily Carson in the Warner Bros. western Cheyenne

Winter Meeting (1948)

Janis Paige and John Hoyt

From the Bette Davis vehicle Winter Meeting with John Hoyt. This drama was released by Warner Bros.

The Younger Brothers (1949)

Wayne Morris, Janis Paige, and Robert Hutton

From the Warner Bros. Technicolor western The Younger Brothers with Wayne Morris and Robert Hutton

This Side of the Law (1950)

Kent Smith and Janis Paige

With Kent Smith in the Warner Bros. noir This Side of the Law. This film marked the end of Paige's contract with Warner Bros.

Fugitive Lady (1950)

Janis Paige and Massimo Serato

Paige stars in the Italian crime drama Fugitive Lady, shot in Italy and released in the U.S. by Republic. Also pictured is Massimo Serato

Mister Universe (1951)

Bert Lahr, Vince Edwards, Jack Carson, Janis Paige, and Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom

From the low-budget Eagle-Lion comedy Mister Universe with Bert Lahr, Vince Edwards, Jack Carson, and Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom

Silk Stockings (1957)

Janis Paige

Paige portrays Peggy Dayton in the big-budget MGM musical Silk Stockings, a musical remake of the 1939 comedy Ninotchka starring Greta Garbo

Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1958-1960 CBS TV Series)

Janis Paige and Harry Guardino

With Harry Guardino in a February 1959 episode of Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse titled Chez Rouge

Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960)

Janis Paige

From the MGM comedy Please Don't Eat the Daisies

Bachelor in Paradise (1961)

Janis Paige, Virginia Grey, and Paula PrentissJanis Paige and Bob HopeJanis Paige and Bob Hope

LEFT: With Virginia Grey and Paula Prentiss in MGM's Bob Hope vehicle Bachelor in Paradise. RIGHT: With star Bob Hope

The Caretakers (1963)

Diane McBain, Van Williams, and Janis Paige

With Diane McBain and Van Williams in the Warner Bros. drama The Caretakers

Follow the Boys (1963)

Russ Tamblyn, Paula Prentiss, Richard Long, Dany Robin, Roger Perry, Connie Francis, Ron Randell, and Janis PaigeJanis Paige, Paula Prentiss, Connie Francis, and Dany Robin

From the MGM romantic musical Follow the Boys. LEFT: With Russ Tamblyn, Paula Prentiss, Richard Long, Dany Robin, Roger Perry, Connie Francis, and Ron Randell. RIGHT: Paige, Paula Prentiss, Connie Francis, and Dany Robin contemplate how to catch up with their boyfriends in the Navy

Welcome to Hard Times (1967)

Janis Paige, Arlene Golonka, Fay Spain, Kalen Liu, Dan Ferrone, and Keenan Wynn

From the MGM western release Welcome to Hard Times. Pictured are Paige, Arlene Golonka, Fay Spain, Kalen Liu, Dan Ferrone, and Keenan Wynn. This film was originally shot for television but was deemed too violent to air

Rockhopper (1985)

Janis Paige and Parker Stevenson

With Parker Stevenson in CBS TV movie Rockhopper

janis paige today

Paige married third husband, songwriter Ray Gilbert, in France in 1962, and the couple remained married until his 1976 death. From the mid 1960s onward, Paige concentrated on television work, with guest-starring roles on such series as Mannix, Columbo, and Mary Tyler Moore, among others. She also spent some time as a regular on several TV series, including Santa Barbara, Baby Makes Five, and Trapper John, M.D. in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, Janis Paige, now 94 years old, has been occasionally performing in an autobiographical one-woman show in southern California and in New York.

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Natural Causes (1994) with Linda Purl, Tim Thomerson, and Ali MacGraw
Rockhopper (1985) with Parker Stevenson, Pat Carroll, Robert Wuhl, and Amy Yasbeck
No Man's Land (1984) with Frank Bonner, Donna Dixon, Terri Garber, Estelle Getty, and Sam J. Jones
The Other Woman (1983) with Hal Linden, Anne Meara, Warren Berlinger, Alley Mills, P.J. Soles, Jerry Stiller, and Selma Diamond
Love at the Top (1982) with Kathleen Coyne
Angel on My Shoulder (1980) with Peter Strauss, Richard Kiley, Barbara Hershey, and Scott Colomby
Valentine Magic on Love Island (1980) with Adrienne Barbeau, Dominique Dunne, Bill Daily, Howard Duff, Dody Goodman, Lisa Hartman, Rick Hurst, Christopher Knight, Mary Louise Weller, and Stuart Pankin
Cop on the Beat (1975) with Lloyd Bridges, Pat Crowley, Jim Backus, Dane Clark, Dean Stockwell, Della Reese, Edie Adams, Charles Drake, and Don Stroud
The Turning Point of Jim Malloy (1975) with John Savage, Peggy McCay, Gig Young, and Kathleen Quinlan
Roberta (1969) with Bob Hope, John Davidson, Irene Hervey, and Michele Lee
Welcome to Hard Times (1967) with Henry Fonda, Janice Rule, Keenan Wynn, John Anderson, Warren Oates, Fay Spain, Edgar Buchanan, Aldo Ray, Denver Pyle, and Lon Chaney Jr.
The Caretakers (1963) with Robert Stack, Polly Bergen, Diane McBain, Joan Crawford, Van Williams, Constance Ford, Robert Vaughn, and Susan Oliver
Follow the Boys (1963) with Connie Francis, Paula Prentiss, Russ Tamblyn, Richard Long, Ron Randell, and Roger Perry
Bachelor in Paradise (1961) with Bob Hope, Lana Turner, Jim Hutton, Paula Prentiss, Don Porter, Virginia Grey, and Agnes Moorehead
Hooray for Love (1960) with Art Carney, Alice Ghostley, Kenneth Nelson, Jane Powell, and Tony Randall
Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960) with Doris Day, David Niven, Spring Byington, Richard Haydn, Patsy Kelly, and Jack Weston
Silk Stockings (1957) with Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Peter Lorre, and George Tobias
Two Gals and a Guy (1951) with Robert Alda, Lionel Stander, and Arnold Stang
Mister Universe (1951) with Jack Carson, Vince Edwards, Bert Lahr, Robert Alda, Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom, and Joyce Mathews
This Side of the Law (1950) with Viveca Lindfors, Kent Smith, and Nita Talbot
Fugitive Lady (1950) with Massimo Serato
The House Across the Street (1949) with Wayne Morris, Bruce Bennett, Alan Hale, and Barbara Bates
The Younger Brothers (1949) with Wayne Morris, Bruce Bennett, Robert Hutton, Alan Hale, Fred Clark, and Tom Tyler
One Sunday Afternoon (1948) with Dennis Morgan, Don DeFore, and Dorothy Malone
Romance on the High Seas (1948) with Jack Carson, Don DeFore, Doris Day, and Oscar Levant
Wallflower (1948) with Robert Hutton, Joyce Reynolds, and Jerome Cowan
Winter Meeting (1948) with Bette Davis, Jim Davis, and John Hoyt
Cheyenne (1947) with Dennis Morgan, Jane Wyman, Bruce Bennett, Alan Hale, Tom Tyler, and Bob Steele
Love and Learn (1947) with Jack Carson, Robert Hutton, Martha Vickers, Otto Kruger, and Craig Stevens
The Time, the Place and the Girl (1946) with Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, and Martha Vickers
Two Guys from Milwaukee (1946) with Dennis Morgan, Joan Leslie, Jack Carson, and Rosemary DeCamp
Of Human Bondage (1946) with Paul Henreid, Eleanor Parker, Alexis Smith, Edmund Gwenn, and Patric Knowles
Her Kind of Man (1946) with Dane Clark, Zachary Scott, Faye Emerson, and George Tobias
Bathing Beauty (1944) with Red Skelton, Esther Williams, and Basil Rathbone

Santa Barbara, 1984-1993 NBC daytime drama. Paige portrayed Minx Lockridge during the 1992-1993 season
Baby Makes Five, 1983 ABC TV series. Paige portrayed Blanche Riddle
Gun Shy, 1983 CBS TV series. Paige portrayed Nettie McCoy
Trapper John, M.D., 1979-1986 CBS TV series. Paige portrayed Catherine Hackett during the 1985-1986 season
Lanigan's Rabbi, 1977 NBC TV series. Paige portrayed Kate Lanigan
It's Always Jan, 1955-1956 CBS TV series. Paige portrayed Jan Stewart

Family Law, episode The Quality of Mercy, originally aired February 5, 2001
Caroline in the City, episode Caroline and the Bad Trip, originally aired May 6, 1997
Legend, episode Clueless in San Francisco, originally aired July 25, 1995
Room for Two, episode Whose Mouth Is It Anyway?, originally aired April 7, 1992
Shades of LA, episode Where There's No Will, There's a Weigh-In, originally aired October 31, 1990
Mission: Impossible, episode The Haunting, originally aired January 28, 1989
Night Court, episode Welcome Back, Momma, originally aired February 1, 1984
Trauma Center, episode Trail's End, originally aired November 10, 1983
Fantasy Island, episode The Devil Stick/Touch and Go, originally aired March 19, 1983
St. Elsewhere, episode Remission, originally aired February 22, 1983
Matt Houston, episode The Purrfect Crime, originally aired January 9, 1983
Too Close for Comfort, episode The Last Weekend, originally aired February 16, 1982
Lewis & Clark, episode The Family Affair, originally aired December 19, 1981
Flamingo Road, episode The Powers That Be, originally aired December 15, 1981
Bret Maverick, episode The Lazy Ace: Parts 1 and 2, originally aired December 1, 1981
Happy Days, episode Mother and Child Reunion, originally aired May 19, 1981
Fantasy Island, episode High Off the Hog/Reprisal, originally aired January 10, 1981
Eight Is Enough, episode Roll Over Bradford, originally aired April 2, 1980
Eight Is Enough, episode Letter to One Bradford, originally aired November 14, 1979
Eight Is Enough, episode Fathers and Other Strangers: Part 2, originally aired November 7, 1979
All in the Family, episode Return of the Waitress, originally aired November 26, 1978
The Rockford Files, episode Three Day Affair with a Thirty Day Escrow, originally aired November 10, 1978
Charlie's Angels, episode Angels Ahoy, originally aired November 8, 1978
Hawaii Five-O, episode The Case Against Philip Christie, originally aired October 19, 1978
Fantasy Island, episode The Beachcomber/The Last Whodunnit, originally aired September 30, 1978
Alice, episode The Cuban Connection, originally aired February 26, 1978
The Love Boat, episode A Selfless Love/The Nubile Nurse/Parents Know Best, originally aired February 25, 1978
Eight Is Enough, episode The Return of Auntie V, originally aired November 30, 1977
The Betty White Show, episode Mitzi's Cousin, originally aired September 19, 1977
Eight Is Enough, episode V Is for Vivian, originally aired April 26, 1977
The Nancy Walker Show, episode Dear Dr. Dora, originally aired December 2, 1976
All's Fair, episode Jealousy, originally aired September 27, 1976
All in the Family, episode Archie's Brief Encounter: Parts 1 and 2, originally aired September 22, 1976
Mary Tyler Moore, episode Menage-a-Lou, originally aired January 24, 1976
Police Story, episode Vice: 24 Hours, originally aired December 5, 1975
Doc, episode The Other Woman, originally aired September 20, 1975
Joe Forrester, episode The Return of Joe Forrester, originally aired May 6, 1975
Police Story, episode A Dangerous Age, originally aired September 10, 1974
Mannix, episode A Way to Dusty Death, originally aired September 23, 1973
Banacek, episode To Steal a King, originally aired November 15, 1972
Columbo, episode Blueprint for Murder, originally aired February 9, 1972
Sarge, episode Psst! Wanna Buy a Dirty Picture?, originally aired October 5, 1971
The Red Skelton Hour, episode The Spy with the Leaky Mouth, originally aired September 26, 1967
The Red Skelton Hour, episode Dial 'O' for Nothing, originally aired March 2, 1965
The Fugitive, episode Ballad for a Ghost, originally aired December 29, 1964
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed the Swinger on a Hook?, originally aired December 23, 1964
The Dick Powell Theatre, episode Last of the Private Eyes, originally aired April 30, 1963
Alcoa Premiere, episode Blues for a Hanging, originally aired December 27, 1962
The Red Skelton Hour, episode Ten Baby Fingers and 12 Baby Toes, originally aired November 20, 1962
87th Precinct, episode Girl in the Case, originally aired April 30, 1962
The Chevy Show, episode Happiest Day, originally aired April 23, 1961
Wagon Train, episode The Nellie Jefferson Story, originally aired April 5, 1961
The Ann Sothern Show, episode The Girls, originally aired October 20, 1960
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, episode Chez Rouge, originally aired February 16, 1959
The Red Skelton Hour, episode Bashful Clem, originally aired January 20, 1959
Schlitz Playhouse, episode Home Again, originally aired January 17, 1958
Studio 57, episode One of the Family, originally aired November 19, 1957
Lux Video Theatre, episode The Latch Key, originally aired June 27, 1957
The Philip Morris Playhouse, episode Make Me Happy, Make Me Sad, originally aired January 21, 1954
The Plymouth Playhouse, episode Baby and Me, originally aired June 14, 1953

janis paige links

Janis The Official Janis Paige website

Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen: Janis Paige

janis paige film now showing

Watch a 1956 episode of Janis Paige's series It's Always Jan titled Guilty Conscience
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