One of four children born to American missionaries, indefatigable Jayne Meadows (nee Cotter) and her family returned to America in the early 30s wherein Jayne was forced to learned the English language, only then speaking Chinese and other foreign languages. She developed an early interest in acting and her quick start on Broadway in 1941 eventually led to a post-war MGM contract, in which her icy glare and imposing stance made her a perfect manipulating "other woman." But she didn't grow as a film actress and was forced to seek other work. In the 50s she became a sparkling game show personality and met her witty match when she married actor/comedian Steve Allen in 1954. They formed an extremely strong personal and professional partnership which included stage ("Love Letters", in which they co-starred on and off for 11 years), film ("College Confidential") and especially TV ("Meeting of Minds", "Alice in Wonderland"). Jayne stood alongside Steve in many of his comedy series vehicles. Known for her infectious laugh and joie de vive, Jayne's confidence grew to include writing stage plays, teleplays, books and columns. She was his creative and business partner for 46 years until his death in 2000. Jayne's solo work took a deliberate back seat. Her younger sister (by two years) was the late actress Audrey Meadows, of "Honeymooners" fame, who died in 1996.
IMDb mini-biography by
Gary Brumburgh / GBrumburgh@pacbell.net