Angular in features, reserved in demeanor and more-or-less plaintive in appearance, actress Jane Alexanders has played down the glamor card for the most part. Her true brilliance has come from the remarkable range and depth of her talent.
Angular in features, reserved in demeanor and more-or-less plaintive in appearance, actress Jane Alexanders has played down the glamor card for the most part. Her true brilliance has come from the remarkable range and depth of her talent. Heralded as one of the finest 70s actresses to arrive in films following a towering Broadway success, Jane went on to earn an Oscar nomination for her film debut, an acknowledgment given to very few of her acting peers. She was born Jane Quigley in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 28, 1939, the daughter of Thomas, an orthopedic surgeon, and Ruth Elizabeth (née Pearson) Quigley, a nurse. Jane attended Beaver Country Day School, an all-girls facility, just outside of Boston. Here is where she first aspired to acting and made her stage debut as an adolescent in a production of Treasure Island. Urged on by her father to find stability in her life, she first attended college before embarking on an acting career. She studied math as well as theater at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York, where she thought computer programming might be a convenient alternative in case her acting dreams fell through. However, a chance to study at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, wherein she became a member of the Edinburgh University Dramatic Society, dissolved any other career interests but acting. Following theater roles in The Inspector General and Look Back in Anger, Jane found critical success in 1967 when chosen to play the mistress of black boxer Jack Jefferson in the landmark production of The Great White Hope at the Arena Stage in Washington, DC. opposite James Earl Jones. She and Jones both won Tony and Drama Desk Awards for their performances when the play went to Broadway the following year.