Profile Image of Karen X. Gaylord

Karen X. Gaylord

1921-01-04 - 2014-08-01

She was born Karen Xandra Gaylord on January 4, 1921, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to a working class family (she was also the oldest sibling out of a family that had four children; all of which were girls). Her father was employed as an engineer with the Northern Pacific Railway. Following her 1939 graduation from North Community High School she had intentions of going to college to study music and art however a school friend of her's noticed an announcement in the then published magazine, Movie Mirror, saying that the studios in California were accepting photographs with names and addresses in order to help recruit 'fresh' faces for films. Unknown, to Karen, her friend mailed in her picture and not long after she recieved a letter informing her that she had been selected to come to California for screen testing. Feeling this would be a good oppurtunity for herself, and the family, they all moved out to California and young Karen began floating around all of Tinsel Town's major studios doing several screen and wardrobe tests. In 1941, she made her film debut, uncredited, in The Chocolate Soldier with Nelson Eddy. Between 1941 and 1949, she appeared in approximatley 36 films and only recieved on screen billing once for her appearance in the 1944 Rita Hayworth feature Cover Girl. Her other screen appearances included Miss Annie Rooney (1942), Thrill of a Romance (1945), Night in Paradise (1946), Three Little Girls in Blue (1946), Linda Be Good (1947), A Song is Born (1948), and The Girl from Jones Beach (1949). In 1942, the Chamber of Commerce of Minneapolis, Minnesota, selected Karen as they're 1942 'Miss Minnesota' and later covered the cost of her airfare and keep to have her return to her hometown to accept the award. Not long after this, film producer Samuel Goldwyn hand picked Karen to become one of his six new Goldywn Girls. She was also in high demand as a stand-in and stood in place for such leading ladies as Linda Darnell, Barbara Stanwyck, Laraine Day, Evelyn Keyes, Gene Tierney, and Jeanne Crain. In 1949, she left the entertainment industry believing that she succeded in her spotlight time and moved to Clearwater, Florida, to finally begin her lifelong dream of teaching music and art. In 1950, she legally changed her name from Karen Xandra Gaylord to Jane Goerner and up until the 1990s she gave private lessons out of her suburban home. Afflicted with poor health in the last years of her life, she sold her home and moved to Ocala, Florida, to live with her sister and brother-in-law, where she later died in her sleep at the age of 93 on August 1, 2014. There were no funeral services or memorials, and her remains were donated to medical science via the body donation program at the College of Medicine at the University of Florida.