Jane Wyman

As many of you may have heard, we have lost a great actress and a great, passionate, classy woman who was always very dear to me. She was the consummate professional, and you always knew where you stood with Jane. If you didn’t want to hear the truth, you didn’t ask Jane.

Jane Wyman and David Selby

Jane Wyman and David Selby on the set of Falcon Crest

I used to stay in the room next to Jane when we would film in Napa, CA. She would ring me and invite me over for a glass of wine or two and mass — which she never missed — performed by the lovely Father Bob. We would sometimes dine at her favorite spot, Bob Evans in Santa Monica. The food was not great, and the cigarette smoke was thick, but they loved Jane, and she was comfortable there. She was not the society gal, but did not take a back seat to anyone. She did not care for pomp. She was no-nonsense. My friend Abby Dalton said, “I asked Jane if God would answer my prayers. ‘Yes,’ Jane replied, ‘but God’s answer may be no.'”

Jane could freeze you with her beautiful dark eyes if she disapproved of something you did. She had a wonderful way of rolling her eyes and then her soft smile would light the darkest room, and you knew why she had portrayed those sweet young women.

Jane was always prepared, and would give me a wink after a scene as though to say, “nice job.” Such style, such quiet grace, such fun, such a commanding presence, such dedication. She once apologized to me for having to miss saying her lines for my close-up. She had to have surgery. I think she missed two or three days. I never wanted to be late to the set, but Jane was always there ahead of me. She would give me an “I gotcha” look as I entered.

I sit here and the tears flow for a dear, dear person who was so kind to me and taught me so much. I loved her as did others who were blessed to cross her path — that is unless they were late or didn’t know their lines.

David

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