Jayne Meadows, actress and panelist on game shows, dies at 95

Top 10 Actors Who Died Too Soon
Top 10 Actors Who Died Too Soon

Jayne Meadows, the actress and widow of comedian Steve Allen who is perhaps best known for her work as a celebrity panelist on such TV game shows as I've Got a Secret, has died. She was 95.

Meadows died of natural causes in her longtime Encino home on Sunday night, her son, Bill Allen, told Entertainment Tonight.

Allen, the first host of NBC's Tonight Show (from 1954-57), died in 2000 of a heart attack at age 78. Her late sister was Audrey Meadows, who played Alice, the wisecracking wife of Jackie Gleason's character, on The Honeymooners.

Meadows was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for her work on the series Meeting of Minds, St. Elsewhere and High Society.

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Her film résumé includes Undercurrent (1946) opposite Katharine Hepburn, Lady in the Lake (1947) with Robert Montgomery and Song of the Thin Man (1947), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Meadows also appeared on the games shows To Tell the Truth, The Match Game, What's My Line? and The Hollywood Squares.

"I've Got a Secret was my favorite," she said in a 2005 interview with the Archive of American Television. "The next day after the show I would go to the grocery store and the cab drivers would say: 'Jaynie, great show last night! How's Steve O?' It was the medium that came to every living room. Didn't matter if it was the Rockefellers or the guy who was struggling to pay the bills in the Bronx, I wasn't Miss Meadows from the movies, I was Jaynie."

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