Jan Sterling

Jan Sterling

  • Highest Rated: 100% The Harder They Fall (1956)
  • Lowest Rated: 25% The High and the Mighty (1954)
  • Birthday: Apr 3, 1921
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Born into a prosperous New York family, Jan Sterling was educated in private schools before heading to England, where she studied acting with Fay Compton. Billed as Jane Sterling, she made her first Broadway appearance at the age of fifteen; she went on to appear in such major stage offerings as Panama Hattie, Over 21 and Present Laughter. In 1947, she made her movie bow--billed as Jane Darian for the first and last time in her career--in RKO's Tycoon. Seldom cast in passive roles, Sterling was at her best in parts calling for hard-bitten, sometimes hard-boiled determination. In Billy Wilder's searing The Big Carnival (1951), she played Lorraine, the slatternly, opportunistic wife of cave-in victim Richard Benedict, summing up her philosophy of life with the classic line "I don't go to church. Kneeling bags my nylons." In 1954, Jan was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of Sally McKee, a mail-order bride with a questionable past, in The High and the Mighty. In a prime example of giving one's all to one's art, Sterling submitted to having her eyebrows shaved off for a crucial scene; her brows never grew back, and she was required to pencil them in for the rest of her career. Also in 1954, Sterling travelled to England to play Julia in the first film version of George Orwell's 1984; though her character was a member of "The Anti-Sex League," Sterling was several months pregnant at the time. Having no qualms about shuttling between films and television, she showed up in nearly all the major live anthologies of the 1950s. She was also a panelist on such quiz programs as You're In the Picture (1961) and Made in America (1964). Married twice, Sterling's second husband was actor Paul Douglas. Jan Sterling retired from films in favor of the stage in 1969; she returned before the cameras in 1976 to portray Mrs. Herbert Hoover in the TV miniseries Backstairs at the White House.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet First Monday in October Christine Snow 1981
No Score Yet Backstairs at the White House Actor 1979
86% The Incident Muriel Purvis 1967
70% High School Confidential Arlene Williams 1958
No Score Yet Kathy O' Celeste Saunders 1958
No Score Yet The Female Animal Lily Frayne 1958
No Score Yet Slaughter on Tenth Avenue Madge Pitts 1957
No Score Yet 1984 Julia 1956
100% The Harder They Fall Beth Willis 1956
No Score Yet Man with the Gun Nelly Bain 1955
No Score Yet Female on the Beach Amy Rawlinson 1955
No Score Yet Women's Prison Brenda Martin 1955
25% The High and the Mighty Sally McKee 1954
No Score Yet The Human Jungle Mary 1954
No Score Yet Alaska Seas Nicky Jackson 1954
No Score Yet Split Second Dottie 1953
No Score Yet Pony Express Denny Russell 1953
No Score Yet Sky Full of Moon Dixie Delmar 1952
No Score Yet Flesh and Fury Sonya Barlow 1952
90% Ace in the Hole (The Big Carnival) Lorraine Minosa 1951
No Score Yet Rhubarb Polly Sickles 1951
No Score Yet The Mating Season Betsy 1951
No Score Yet Appointment With Danger Dodie 1951
No Score Yet Mystery Street Vivian Heldon 1950
No Score Yet The Skipper Surprised His Wife Rita Rossini 1950
No Score Yet Caged Smoochie 1950
No Score Yet Union Station Marge Wrighter 1950
89% Johnny Belinda Stella McGuire 1948

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

No Score Yet The Incredible Hulk
1978-1982
Stella Verdugo
  • 1981
No Score Yet Three's Company
1977-1984
Judge Sheffield
  • 1980
No Score Yet Little House on the Prairie
1974-1984
Laura Colby Ingalls
  • 1976
No Score Yet Kung Fu
1972-1975
Mary Jenkins
  • 1974
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
1955-1962
Fran Wanda Ferlini
  • 1961
  • 1958
No Score Yet Bonanza
1959-1973
Diane
  • 1960

QUOTES FROM Jan Sterling CHARACTERS

Lorraine
To Charles Tatum - 'I've met some hard boiled eggs in my time, but you.... you're twenty minutes'
Lorraine
[to Charles Tatum] I've met some hard boiled eggs in my time, but you... you're twenty minutes.
Lorraine
I hate kneeling, it bags my nylons.
Lorraine
Kneeling bags my nylons.