More Than Madge the Manicurist: The Marvelous Jan Miner

By | November 29, 2018

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Promotional portrait of American actor Jan Miner (1917 - 2004) for the radio program, 'Second Mrs. Burton,' circa 1946. (Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

We all remember Madge the Manicurist, the sassy, innovative nail stylist who boldly soaked her customers’ hands in Palmolive dish soap. From 1966 until the early 1990s, Madge was the popular pitchwoman for the dish detergent brand and her zingers and one-liners made her a favorite among television commercial characters. Madge the Manicurist was played by the same actress, Jan Miner, for more than 25 years. What you probably don’t know is that Miner had an extensive career on the stage, radio, film, and television long before she quipped, “You’re soaking in it.” 

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Jan Miner, the Radio Star

A Boston native, Jan Miner found regular acting work on radio dramas during the 1940s and 1950s. She starred as Julie in Hilltop House, a long-running radio show, and had the title role in Lora Lawton. In addition, she worked on the radio version of Perry Mason as Della Street, Perry’s girl Friday. Her other radio credits include Boston Blackie, Casey, Crime Photographer, I Love Linda Dale, My Secret Story, and Radio City Playhouse