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Martha Janet Lafferty
April 23, 1921
Altoona, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||February 19, 2007
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Complications from pneumonia|
|Resting place||Woodlawn Memorial Cemetery, Santa Monica|
Lou Busch (m. 1943–50)
Nick Mayo (m. 1953–71)
This article is about the big band singer and actress Janet Blair. For the singer-songwriter, see Janet Blair.
Janet Blair (April 23, 1921 – February 19, 2007) was a big band singer who went on to become a popular American film and television actress.
Born Martha Janet Lafferty in Altoona, Pennsylvania (she took her acting surname from Blair County, Pennsylvania), Blair was the daughter of musically oriented parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred B. Lafferty. Her father led the choir and sang solos in his church, and her mother played both piano and organ. She had a brother, Fred Jr., and a sister, Louise.
Blair began her acting career on film in 1941, being placed under contract to Columbia Pictures. Before that, she was a featured singer in the Hal Kemp Orchestra. During World War II she appeared as the pin-up girl in the March 1944 issue of Yank Magazine. She made a string of successful pictures, although she is today best remembered for playing Rosalind Russell's sister in My Sister Eileen (1942) and Rita Hayworth's best friend in Tonight and Every Night (1945). In the 1947 film The Fabulous Dorseys, Blair returned to her musical roots, portraying a singer. In the late 1940s, Blair had star billing in the crime drama I Love Trouble as well as in The Fuller Brush Man, a comedy with Red Skelton, but was dropped by Columbia and did not return to pictures for several years.
She made a rare dramatic appearance in the 1962 British horror film Night of the Eagle. She played the wife of Tony Randall in another film that year, the comedy Boys' Night Out, which starred James Garner and Kim Novak.
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