Jane Cameron Agee was born in the beautiful Texas town of Corpus Christi, in the Gulf of Mexico 1939.
It is perhaps unfortunate that Jane is often best remembered as having been the wife of Hollywood film celebrity James Brolin (aka James Bruderlin); the couple were married in 1966 and duly divorced 20 years later in 1986.
The irony of Jane Cameron Agee being overshadowed by her illustrious spouse, James Brolin, is not lost in the fact that, when the couple first met, it was Jane Cameron Agee who had influential celebrity status. She was an aspiring actress and an established assistant casting director, Brolin was virtually unheard of. It was Jane who helped him to his first major break in the business; in 1968, he landed the part of Dr. Steven Kiley in the long running series Marcus Welby MD. James Brolin soon became a mega-star and was, almost inevitably, beguiled by all the trappings of a celebrity lifestyle.
1968 also heralded another major event in the lives of Jane and James ‘Brolin’, that being the birth of their son Josh Brolin. Josh, eventually, and somewhat reluctantly, found his way into acting. He’d seen the effect that the celebrity lifestyle had had upon his parents and was understandably apprehensive in taking a similar route. He soon build his own successful career, starting with a major role in Spielberg’s highly successful film, The Goonies. Josh Brolin still enjoys great celebrity.
1972 saw the birth of their daughter Jess, a joyous occasion that, overall, did little to alter the disastrous path their marriage was set upon. Rumours were abound regarding their seemingly ‘open marriage’ arrangement. James Brolin was a star and undoubtedly had many affairs, Jane tolerated his indiscretions but certainly did not approve.
Jane Agee and James Brolin amassed significant wealth between them. They owned several ranches and other real estate. It’s fair to say they enjoyed an opulent lifestyle. However storm clouds were gathering.
In 1986 things came to a head, James had found a new girlfriend, one who insisted on being the only woman in his life. Divorce proceedings were instigate. It turned out to be an acrimonious, draining and costly battle.
Within the year their marriage was over, Jane Cameron Agee was at last freed from the influences and trauma of celebrity. She continued to pursue her first true love, conservation and protection of wildlife.
Jane Cameron Agee – out of the shadows
Following their messy divorce, Jane, (now frequently known as Jane A Brolin), concentrated upon her conservation activities. In particular, she continued to develop her ranch in Templeton, California, as a refuse for all kinds of animals, including mountain lions, wolves, chimps and many other less exotic breeds. She had found complete contentment and purpose in her life.
Ironically, a flicker of celebrity limelight came calling in 1994; during this year Warner Brothers and Jane negotiated an exciting new TV series that was to feature her chimpanzees.
Alas, Jane Cameron Agee, wildlife activist, actress and casting director tragically died in Templeton on the 13th February 1995 as a result of injuries sustained in a road traffic accident.
The obituaries for Jane A Brolin were not major headlines, although most eulogies doggedly referred to her as ‘the ex-wife of James Brolin’.
Her status and worth went far beyond the facile trappings of celebrity; Jane was very much her own person and should be remembered for her, not insignificant, personal achievements.