Wyman, Jane: Oscar Winner (Johnny Belinda) Dies at 93

September 19, 2007–Jane Wyman, Oscar winner for the 1948 melodrama “Johnny Belinda,” in which she played a deaf mute, died Monday, September 17, at 93.

During her sixth decade in Hollywood, Wyman spent the 1980s running the winery on CBS' Falcon Crest, while her ex-husband, Ronald Reagan, was a popular U.S. Presdient.

For many years, she refused to talk about Ronald Reagan in interviews. She broke her silence about him only after he died in 2004, calling him “a great president and a great, kind, and gentle man.” Reagan had been equally discreet about her, devoting just two sentences in his autobiography to their eight-year marriage.

Wyman was much more than Reagan's first wife or the matriarch of CBS' popular 1981-90 nighttime soap. Despite the dubious achievements of her early movie career. Warner often cast her in secondary roles. She and Regis Toomey set a record for the longest screen kiss (north of 3 minutes) in “You're in the Army Now” (1941).

Wyman became famous for her brief, funny Oscar acceptance speech: “I accept this award very gratefully for keeping my mouth shut once. I think I'll do it again.”

Wyman developed into a dramatic actress in the late 1940s, reaching her peak in the 1950s with several Oscar nominations.

Besides her striking performance in “Johnny Belinda,” she played memorable roles in such popular films films as Billy Wilder's “The Lost Weekend,” “The Yearling,” as Gregory Peck's farmer wife; Hitchcock's “Stage Fright,” the melodrama “The Blue Veil.”

She made two appearances in Douglas Sirk polished melodrama, “Magnificent Obsession” and “All That Heaven Allows,” starring in both opposite the younger and handsome Rock Hudson.

But young viewers will likely remember her for playing Angela Channing for 9 years (1981-1990) on “Falcon Crest,” a strong-willed woman determined to control her own fate.