PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you grew up in Philadelphia in the 1960’s you likely caught “Pixanne” on television at some point.
Jane Norman, the actress born and raised in Philadelphia, who brought the popular children’s show into our lives, has died.
Norman grew up in East Oak Lane. She graduated from Temple in the 1950’s. She taught Kindergarten in Cheltenham for four years after college. Then in 1960, Norman went into WCAU with the idea for her future hit show.
“Came up with the idea of the ‘Pixanne’ character who would fly because I realized all kids loved flying,” Norman said recently in an interview with the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia.
The was picked up almost immediately and aired for nearly a decade in the city.
Norman’s Peter Pan-like character dazzled children with her realistic flying, which she said meant the world to her:
“I think I’d like to be remembered as someone who truly cared about people, wanted them to be happy, particularly young people.”
After “Pixanne” Norman produced other television shows, became a successful recording artist and wrote a best-selling book. In that same interview, she said she had no regrets in life:
“I know that sounds ridiculous, but how many people can say they have done everything they wanted to do?”
“She was a lot like the ‘Pixanne’ you saw on television, she was a loving, gentle person,” adds Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia CEO Gerry Wilkinson.
He says when you think top Philadelphia entertainers of the past, Norman’s name should be right up there:
“With Captain Noah and Sally Starr and Gene London. She really had an impact in this market.”
The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia inducted Norman into their Hall of Fame 2005.