Actress, singer, and teacher Jane Norman Beazley has passed away at the age of 83 at her home in Bala Cynwyd. The beloved star spent 17 years bringing delight and wonder to baby boomers as the adorable pixie Pixanne.
Beazley, then Jane Norman, had spent four years working as a kindergarten teacher when she reached out to WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with an idea for a children’s show. Norman was a child prodigy herself and had been composing music since the age of 3. In 1960 she sat at a piano with the WCAU-TV station manager and played a few of her songs. The manager was star struck and three weeks later Norman introduced the world to Pixanne.
Norman’s goal was simple. She wanted every little boy and girl who watched her show to feel special, as if she was singing directly to them.
The show was a hit, and in 1965 it was one of the first children’s programs to be shown in color. After it was canceled in 1969, Jane and her former sales director turned husband, Frank Beazley, reached out to WNEW-TV in New York City. The show continued in syndication through the mid 1970s.
Sadly only a few clips of the show exist today after the majority of archived tapes were destroyed in a warehouse fire. Nevertheless, Beazley was often stopped in public by fans of the show. Even in her 80s people would recognize her as Pixanne and thank her for bringing so much joy to their childhood.
Beazley is survived by her son, Richard Norman, her step-son Peter Beazley, two step-granddaughters, and her great-grandchildren.