More Than Madge the Manicurist: The Marvelous Jan Miner

By Karen Harris
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.”