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Jane Withers (born April 12, 1926) is an American actress. Beginning a prolific career as a child actress at the age of three, Withers is a Young Artist Award???Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award honoree, best known for being one of the most popular child film stars of the 1930s and early 1940s, as well as for her portrayal of "Josephine the Plumber" in a series of TV commercials for Comet cleanser in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Withers was born in Atlanta, Georgia to parents Ruth and Walter Withers who taught Bible class at the local Presbyterian church. She began her career as a child actress at the age of three, first on local radio broadcasts in Atlanta as "Dixie's Dainty Dewdrop". In the early 1930s, Withers and her mother moved to Hollywood where she worked as a child model and a bit part player in several films in 1932 and 1933.
Withers's big break came when she landed a supporting role in the 1934 Shirley Temple film Bright Eyes. Her character Joy Smythe was spoiled and obnoxious, a perfect foil to Temple's sweet personality. In a 2006 interview on TCM's Private Screenings with Robert Osborne, Withers recalled that she was hesitant to take this role because she had to be so "mean" to Shirley Temple and she thought the public would hate her for it. In the movie, she tells Temple: "There ain't any Santa Claus, because my psychoanalyst told me!" Withers received positive notices for her work, and was awarded a long-term contract with Fox.
Through the remainder of the 1930s, Withers starred in several movies every year, including Ginger (1935), Paddy O'Day (1935), The Farmer Takes a Wife (1935), and Little Miss Nobody (1936). She was usually cast as a wholesome, meddlesome young girl in films less sugary than Temple's vehicles. Moviegoers flocked to see her films, and Withers became one of the top 10 box-office stars in 1937 and 1938. Her popularity was such that Fox gave her "name" co-stars: the Ritz Brothers (in Pack Up Your Trouble

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Jane Withers Latest News

Watery inspirations: How architects are reinventing the bathhouse

"Architects want an alternative to our existing bars and restaurants, and other consumption-based social spaces," says curator Jane Withers. "It's about how people behave, and sparking community in di...
Posted: October 11, 2016, 5:07 am

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Blu-ray

The story continues in The Hunchback of Notre Dame II as Quasi reunites with his gargoyle friends -- Hugo (Jason Alexander, Seinfeld), Victor (Charles Kimbrough, Murphy Brown) and Laverne (Jane Wither...
Posted: December 19, 2012, 1:23 am

A Mary Wickes Week Celebration! (#7): Mary Meets Walt Disney and My Nostalgic Connection to Miss Mary Wickes

In fact, Mary died before her lines were finished, so actress Jane Withers had to come in to expertly dub Wickes' trademark verbal signature. Mary was in the throes of macular degeneration when she re...
Posted: October 23, 2016, 4:02 am
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