It is with great sadness that we share the news that one of our founding members, Jane Abbott Alexander, passed away last week at the age of 92.
Jane Abbott Alexander, actress, artist, calligrapher, healer, passed away on Oct. 27, 2017 at home of natural causes. She was 92. After graduating from Univ. of Pennsylvania, Mary Jane Elizabeth DuFrayne left her Philadelphia birthplace and went to NY to study at American Academy of Dramatic Arts and to attend Sandy Meisner’s professional acting class at the Neighborhood Playhouse (where she’d meet her future husband Philip Abbott). Other classmates were Grace Kelly, Don Knotts and Steve McQueen who she slapped in the face while doing a scene and McQueen left the building. She played many ingénue roles during eight seasons at the Berkshire Playhouse in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, including “The Corn is Green” with Eva Le Gallienne and opposite Buster Keaton in “Three Men On A Horse.” She appeared on Broadway with Tom Ewell and Gena Rowlands in “The Seven Year Itch” and in “Four Twelves Are 48” directed by Otto Preminger. She toured the South Pacific with the USO company production of “Kiss and Tell” and saw up close the devastation that was Hiroshima. Her youngest child, Nelson, was born with severe disabilities and thus began her lifelong involvement with United Cerebral Palsy/Spastic Children’s Foundation. A recovering alcoholic with over 40 years sobriety she was particularly proud of her work helping other addicts. She loved her oil and watercolor painting and studied with Corita Kent, Jake Lee and Joyce Pike. Her unique handwriting style was encouraged by top calligraphy teacher, Maury Nemoy. She is survived by daughter Denise Abbott Shoemaker and husband Rick, sons David Abbott Alexander and wife Linda Pace, Nelson Abbott Alexander and grandchildren Emmett and Eva Marie Shoemaker.
Funeral mass was held Nov 5, 2017 at 10:30am at San Fernando Mission Rey Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to: United Cerebral Palsy, 6430 Independence Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91367, Attn: Amy Simons.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Nov. 3 to Nov. 5, 2017