Oscar-winning actress Jane Wyman, President Ronald Reagan's first wife and star of the long-running (1981-90) Lorimar prime-time soap
Falcon Crest, died Monday morning at her home in Palm Springs. She was 93.
"Janie was a wonderful, professional lady and working with her was like going to a picnic. She comes beautifully on time, she knows her lines, and she was prepared and I loved to direct her," Falcon Crest director Reza Badiyi tells TV Guide. "I did 47 episodes with her and every one of them was a pleasure for me to do. She was so nice to others, [including] the newcomers and other actors who hadn't done television. She would put them at ease and was very generous as an actress, and I'm [going to miss] her. She was very, very loyal, too."
After a lonely childhood and rough start, the Missouri-born Wyman began a film career in the 1930s, perfecting the role of brassy, quick-talking
dames. She won an Oscar in 1948 for her performance in Johnny Belinda, playing a deaf-mute rape victim. That same year she divorced Reagan, who was her third husband (she later married and divorced her fourth husband, musical director Fred Karger, twice).
While she may best be remembered by contemporary audiences as Falcon
's tough matriarch, Angela Channing, Wyman was actually in on the dawn of television, with her watershed 1955-58 series, Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre.
Her only daughter, Maureen Reagan, died of malignant melanoma in August 2001. Her adopted son, Michael Reagan, is a nationally syndicated conservative radio-show host. - Reporting by N.F. Mendoza