One of film noir’s most deliciously sassy ladies was actress Jan Sterling. With her trim figure and platinum blonde hair, Jan became a fixture in the genre and a decadent delight to watch.
Jan Sterling was born in New York City on April 3rd, 1921 to well-to-do parents. She was schooled privately in London and Paris. It was in London where she attended Fay Compton's dramatic school. Returning to New York at age 17, she began her acting career in 1938 on Broadway. She appeared in a variety of productions during the 1940s and in 1947 made her film debut (uncredited) in Tycoon. Next up were Johnny Belinda (1948), Appointment with Danger (1950), Caged (1950), Mystery Street (1950), and Ace in the Hole (1951).
Jan was nominated for an Academy Award in 1954 and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The High and the Mighty (1954).
Continuing making films in the 50s her star status waned and she began appearing on television and in 1968 played Miss Foss on the soap The Guiding Light.
Sterling was married twice. In 1941 she wed actor John Merivale, which ended in divorce seven years later. She then married actor Paul Douglas in 1950 and remained with him until his death in 1959.
After Paul’s death, Jan returned to stage and television and got involved in humanitarian foundations. She moved to London in the late 1960s where she had a personal relationship with actor Sam Wanamaker and although they never married, she remained with him unto his death in 1993. They had one son.
Jan passed away on March 26, 2004, aged 82, at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.
Jan appeared in The Bloodline season 2 as Dianne Jordan.