Jo Ann Sayers

Jo Ann Sayers (born Miriam Lucille Lilygren, October 22, 1918 – November 14, 2011)[3] was an American actress who was active in Broadway and in Hollywood films. Her film career spanned the 1930s through the 1950s.

Jo Ann Sayers
Miriam Lucille Lilygren

(1918-10-22)October 22, 1918
DiedNovember 14, 2011(2011-11-14) (aged 93)
Alma materUniversity of Washington
Years active1938-1953
Spouse(s)Anthony A. Bliss (1942–1967) (3 children)
Charles K. Agle (1968–1987) (his death)
ChildrenEileen B. Andahazy-Chevins
Anthony A. Bliss Jr.[1][2]


Sayers was born in Seattle, Washington.[4] She was a budding actress as a child, participating in dances, taking piano and violin lessons, and acting in school plays. She enrolled in Pre-law at the University of Washington, also taking drama classes. A talent scout noted her in a student production and invited her to Hollywood for a screen test. She was offered a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Her first credited film role was in 1938.

In 1940, she was selected for the titular role in the Broadway production of My Sister Eileen, opposite Shirley Booth, who was two decades Sayers' senior, which opened on December 26, 1940.[5]


She remained in the Broadway cast until June 1942, when she left to marry Anthony A. Bliss (1913-1991), a New York lawyer and patron of the performing arts.[6]

They married on June 10, 1942 and had three children, but later divorced. Sayers later worked in summer theater, radio and television. She married a second time in 1968 to architect Charles K. Agle;[4] they remained together until his death in Princeton, New Jersey.


Sayers continued to support the arts and was a member of the Princeton University Concerts Committee, the president of Friends of Music at Princeton University, and a community fellow of Mathey College at the University.


Sayers died on November 14, 2011, aged 93, in Princeton, New Jersey.[7]

Selected filmography


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