Janis Paige, 93, responded to my request for an autograph on this knock-out still of her from the '40s—and her signature is still a thing of beauty.
I've always loved Paige (and the late Anne Francis—I for some reason think of them in the same mind-breath), and yet became confused and for a long while had thought she'd passed away. Probably, I was thinking of Francis. Once I updated my list of stars 80+ and realized I'd left Paige off, I located this stunning pic and sent it right off to her. A couple of months or less later, and here she is.
Keep reading for a great Mike Douglas-hosted interview of Paige and many other MGM musical stars back when they were promoting the That's Entertainment II documentary. In it, Paige displays her independence of thought in giving Douglas a decidedly non-B.S. answer, one in which she asserts her desire not to be controlled.
Keep in mind the show aired February 20, 1976. That means the stars (in order of appearance/speaking) were these ages at the time: Mike Douglas (50), Debbie Reynolds (44), Nanette Fabray (56), Janis Paige (53), Ann Miller (pictured on vintage movie mag; only 52!!!), Jane Powell (46), Gene Kelly (63), Fred Astaire (75), Hermes Pan (66). They all look great, but isn't it interesting that they project a much older aura than stars of the same ages today? Betty White is now 20 years older than Astaire was, Madonna is five years older than Miller was, Melissa McCarthy is a year older than Debbie Reynolds was.
Or maybe, just maybe, they seem older to me because I'm so familiar with them, and when I was growing up, I could place them all as being many decades older than myself? Maybe a kid with zero idea of who they are would guess their ages accurately?
Anyway, watch ...