Jane-Lawrence Smith

Actress, Soloist, Soprano
She was born Jane Brotherton in Bozeman, Montana, US on 3/2/1915. She entered the theater world at the age of 16 and at 18 she took part in theatrical productions in New York. In 1943 she created a small role in the premiere of the musical Oklahoma!, on Broadway (as Gertie Cummings). In 1948 she appeared in various roles at the premiere of the musicals “Inside USA” and “Where's Charley?” She also appeared in roles in movies. In 1943 she married architect and minimalist sculptor Tony Smith. Their best man was their mutual friend and renowned playwright and author Tennessee Williams, who is said to have been inspired by Smith to create the character of Blanche Dubois [A Streetcar Named Desire]. She was actively involved in New York’s cultural life in the 1950s. She started her career as an opera soloist in Germany, in 1950. She appeared as Electra [Idomeneo, King of Crete/Idomeneo, re di Creta] at the Salzburg Festival. She was part of the circle of artists of the abstract expressionism movement in New York in the 1940s and 1950s, and was Jackson Pollock’s model for the black and white painting No. 7 (1952), now exhibited at New York Museum of Modern Art. After the death of her husband in 1980, she turned to acting again, specifically to avant-garde theater. She had a daughter, plastic artist Kiki Smith. She collaborated as a soloist with the GNO in the production of Tourandot in 1958. She died in New York on 5/8/2005.