Thursday, August 26, 2010

Top 10 Famous and not so plain Jane's

1. Jane was Tarzan’s woman. The old series of films that starred Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan was for me the best depiction of a couple that allowed viewers to see the relationship between a man and a woman evolve and watch them breakdown the communication barriers. The show seemed a little archaic but the theme will always be current. Many actresses have played Jane through the years. The one that I remember most is Maureen O’Sullivan. There is the cute Disney version of Tarzan and then there are the classic black and white films that I grew up with. Jane comes into the jungle 20 years after Tarzan has been marooned there and living with the apes. I can’t remember who saw who but I knew at first it was intrigue and then it was love. Jane tamed the wild beast. Chetah, the ape was always his loyal companion but Jane was something special in Tarzan’s eyes. They later had a son, Boy. After marrying, Tarzan played by Johnny Weissmuller, continued to swing from the trees and protect his environment and left out that famous Tarzan yell every once in a while. Weissmuller was no slouch in the real world either; he won 5 Olympic Gold Medals for swimming. Back to the woman that played Jane’s character, Maureen O’Sullvian, played Jane in the Tarzan films from 1932 to 1942 and retired from show business in 1942 to care for her ailing husband John Farrow. He had left the Navy with typhoid. She and John were the parents of seven children. Mia Farrow came from that union. Tazan the Apeman was the first novel written by Edgar Rice Burrough’s. I have never read the books but have seen many of the films. They are great stories of man, survival and love and Jane had a huge role in those tales.


2. Jane Austen was a British novelist. Two of her most notable works were Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Jane never married but traces of her romantic interests can be found in biographies written about her. She died when she was 42 years old. She was primarily educated by her father and brothers. Ms. Austen had five brothers and one sister, Casandra. Sense and Sensibility, originally called Elinor and Marianne was her first full length novel. She began work on it sometime around 1796, as revealed in letters found to her sister. The novel was published in 1811 and was a contrast of Elinor, who had sense and Marianne who was emotional. Perhaps it was a comparison of her and her sister. She is a clever and at times witty writer. Pride and Prejudice is the story of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. The book, depending on the edition is over 360 pages long. Sad to think such a passionate woman never got to live out her dreams and spend the rest of her life with someone she deeply loved. Through her writings you can tell she loved someone to be able to feel the passion and be able to write about it.

3. Jane Goodall is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Talk about passionate; she spent 45 years studying the social and family interactions between chimpanzees. Jane Goodall described on the Jane Goodall Institute website that Tarzan had a big impact on her desire to live among the wild animals. She also thought she would have made a better jungle companion of the famed Tarzan then that “other” Jane. Battle of the Jane’s, a story that was never told. Her mother was a great influence, she told her, “You can do whatever you set your mind to”, and she did. She initially began her studies as an assistant for Louis S. B Leakey in Tanzania. Their studies were to observe the similarities between man and monkeys and would perhaps shed some light on evolution. Early on in her observations, Jane discovered that the chimpanzees used a self-created fishing tool to retrieve termites out of a mound for food. The tool was made from removing leaves from a stem. Man was thought to be the first to posses the tool making trait. Jane is now 76 years old and rarely does any field work, she is on the road. Jane spends her time speaking to government officials on conservation and often groups of young people relaying the message do what you can to better this world.

4. Jane Fonda is an incredible American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model, and fitness guru. The first film of hers that comes to mind is On Golden Pond. She plays opposite her own father, among other themes it delves into the turbulent relationship between a father and his daughter. Henry Fonda an amazing actor in his own right. Jane has said the story in part mimicked their own relationship and helped to heal the scars. Jane’s mother committed suicide in 1950; she was only 13 years old and voluntarily sought treatment at a psychiatric hospital. This information can be found in her 2005 biography. As a political activist during the Vietnam work, there were many soldiers that were not too fond of Fonda. So I will leave it at that. You can look up her interview with Barbara Walters in 1988 and a 60 minutes interview in 2005 of her regrets. She also fights for woman’s issues. I can attest to her workout video, she’s brutal but it is a good workout. Jane has her own website with a blog and she also has a Facebook page and she Twitters.


5. Jane Eyre is a famous novel written by Charlotte Bronte and published in 1847. She was an English writer and poet. Jane Eyre was written under the pen name Currer Bell, She was one of three sisters that all disguised their names when they wrote a collaborative book of poems. . Anne was Acton Bell, Emily was Ellis. Emily Bronte wrote Wuthering Heights in the same year that Charlotte wrote Jane Eyre and Anne wrote Agnes Grey. An important topic in the novel is the depiction of a male-dominated society. Jane attempts to assert her own identity. Through Jane, Bronte opposes Victorian stereotypes about women, articulating her own feminist philosophy.


6. Jane Acton may not be a household name to every one but she is in ours. I met Jane on a Trafalgar tour in California this June. She has had extensive experience being a tour director she was chosen to head up the NATO conference spouse program when Ronald Reagan was president and came to Colorado Springs. Since then she has led many well known names across the country from actors and their families to political high profile people and everyone in between. By 16 she had a long list of accomplishments in the entertainment field. She had won the gold medal in dance 35 times and actually won over 160 awards nationally and also on the international level. At the age of 16 she was awarded by Proxy from Queen Elizabeth the 2nd for outstanding accomplishments in dance from the Royal Academy of Dance in London. Jane choreographed over 16 Broadway musicals and also had her own Broadway performing group called The Timesquare Singers. Ms. Acton had her own stage magic show for 5 years and was groomed and trained by Gene Kownacki who had been the star magician for the Kennedys and Washington, D. C. ’s social world and the White House. In 1978 she was lucky to entertain at the White House under Pres. Carter and for Gretchen Poston, the White House social director. Currently Ms. Acton is working on On Stars Across the Midnight Sky the story of Black Wings, African American Pioneer Aviators; and 3 other feature films and several Television shows. Jane will be the Executive Producer, Dennis Napolitano will be the music composer and Clay Adams the technical director for the film. Her dream is to win an OSCAR! With her drive, determination and passion, I believe this will come true.

7. Jane’s Fighting Ships is a reference of information on all the world’s warships. It was first published in 1898 as Jane’s All the World’s Fighting Ships written by John F. T. Jane. It is published annually in book form, online, CD-Rom and microfiche. The information is arranged by nation. It includes a ship’s name, the dimensions, armaments and photographs. It is a unit of Jane Information Group which is currently owned by IHS Inc. Their products include defense, security, transport and law enforcement magazine. You are able to partially read their articles at janes.com but must purchase a full subscription to view the entire site.


8. Jane Seymour an English actress was born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg and took the stage name Jane Seymour also the name of King Henry’s third wife at the age of 17. As an actress she has portrayed many notable roles. One distinction, she was a “Bond Girl” in 1973’s Live and Let Die. IGN ranked her as 10th in a Top 10 Bond Babes list. In 1984 she purchased a home with then husband David Flynn in St. Catherine’s in Somerset England, after the divorce she lived in Malibu California and rented her home to the English rock band Radiohead who recorded their album OK Computer at the house. The band Cure also took up residence at the home at one point. This multi-talented woman has written over 8 books. She is a celebrity ambassador of the organization Childhelp. Jane and her husband James Keach have twin sons. Jane is also a painter in watercolor and oils and has been exhibited in fine art galleries over the past nine years. She was selected as one of the official painters of the 2005 Torino Winter Olympics, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

9. Jane Wyman was an American singer, dancer and character actress on film and television. I remember her from Falcon Crest. She played a very nasty family matriarch; she was very good in the role. Former President Ronald Reagan was her third husband. They married in 1940 and were divorced in 1948. The union produced 3 children, Maureen Reagan, adopted son Michael and Christine born prematurely and died the next day. She is the only ex-wife of an American President.

10. BeJane.com is new website I just discovered. I can’t recommend it highly yet only because I haven’t had the time to delve into it but it looks very interesting. The newsletter offers hot tips, hip facts, groovy ideas and fun chats.

What I have discovered is there is nothing plain about Jane at all.

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