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Actress Jane Lawrence Smith dead at 90

Aug. 22, 2005 at 2:07 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Actress/singer Jane Lawrence Smith, the widow of architect and sculptor Tony Smith, has died in New York. She was 90.

Her family said she died Aug. 5 at her home, the New York Times reported Monday.

Smith was one of the last survivors of the central circle of New York's Abstract Expressionist artists and their companions 1940s and '50s, the Times said. She was the subject of Jackson Pollock's black-and-white painting "No. 7," now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

She was in the original Broadway casts of "Oklahoma!," "Inside U.S.A." and "Where's Charley?," the musical based on "Charley's Aunt." She was in the 1944 Columbia Pictures movie "Sailor's Holiday" under the name June Lawrence and she was in three independent films.

She married Tony Smith in 1943 with Tennessee Williams as best man. Her family said she helped inspire aspects of the character Blanche DuBois in Williams' "Streetcar Named Desire."

Smith began an opera career in Germany in 1950 and the next year sang the part of Electra in the 1951 Salzburg Festival presentation of "Idomeneo," conducted by Georg Solti.

She is survived by her artist daughters, Kiki and Seton Smith, and a granddaughter.

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