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Emmy-Winning 'Father Knows Best' Star Jane Wyatt Dies

Emmy Award-winner, film star and stage veteran Jane Wyatt--best known for playing the quintessential 50's mother on "Father Knows Best"--has died at the age of 96.

Wyatt passed away on Friday, October 20th in her Bel Air, CA home.

Wyatt won three Emmy Awards for playing Margaret Anderson on "Father Knows Best," and also appeared in over a dozen Broadway plays.  Born on August 12th, 1910 in Campgaw, NJ, she renounced her early calling as a socialite to become an actress. 

She had her first major Broadway role in 1931's Give Me Yesterday, and also appeared on Broadway as Paula Jordan during the original run of Dinner at Eight.   Her other credits included Evensong, Somerset Maugham's For Services Rendered, Philip Barry's The Joyous Season, Lost Horizons, The Bishop Misbehaves, Save Me the Waltz, Clifford Odets' Night Music and Lillian Hellman's 1951 play The Autumn Garden, in which she created the role of Nina Denery and which marked her last Broadway appearance.

In addition to "Father Knows Best," her many TV appearances included "St. Elsewhere," "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," "The Love Boat," and "Marcus Welby, M.D." 

She was seen in numerous films, including Great Expectations, Lost Horizon, None But the Lonely Heart, Gentleman's Agreement, My Blue Heaven, and Interlude.

She was married to Edgar Bethune Ward from 1935 until his death in 2000.  She is survived by their sons Christopher and Michael, as well as by three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


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