Jan Sterling Is Born

Most active in films during the 1950s, Sterling received a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The High and the Mighty (1954), and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the same performance. Her career declined during the 1960s, however she continued to play occasional roles for television and theatre.

The High and the Mighty is a 1954 CinemaScope drama adventure film with a star laden ensemble cast released through Warner Brothers. The film starred and was co-produced by John Wayne, directed by William A. Wellman, and written by Ernest K. Gann who was also the author of the novel on which the film was based. Composer Dimitri Tiomkin won an Academy Award for his original score while his title song for the film also was nominated for an Oscar but did not win. The film follows the lives and interactions among the passengers and crew on board a Douglas DC-4 airliner while making a trans-Pacific flight (Hawaii to California) during which a catastrophic prop failure and engine fire leads all to the brink of disaster. The High and the Mighty served as a template for later "disaster" themed films such as the Airport series (1970-79), The Towering Inferno (1974), The Hindenburg (1975) and Titanic (1997).