Jane Dornacker~Remembering a Friend

Jane Dornacker’s, live on the air, final broadcast.
On October 22, 1986, at 4:44 PM a personal tragedy had taken place in my life. I would like to keep one of the funniest persons I have known in my life’s name alive. After seeing the commercial aircraft land in the Hudson River, I guess it managed to bring back a sad memory for me. Luckily, this time, everyone survived.

Memories are weird for most. A lot of times we tend to forget a lot of things in the past and then with a blink of an eye, something jogs the mind and those memories, good or bad, flood the senses.

Her name was Jane Dornacker, and she had done many things in her life to make it in the business. She sang in a rock, did comedy, and acted in such films as “The Right Stuff.” In the eighties she was working as a traffic reporter for a radio station, then NBC in New York.

NBC leased the choppers and for some reason they didn’t keep up the scheduled maintenance when they should have. Jane talked about that once before when the chopper went down and fell into the Hudson River. Luckily both Jane and the Pilot swam to safety that day.

On October 22, 1986, while listening to my friend on NBC’s Joey Reynolds Program that afternoon, Jane was funnier then ever while giving her take on the traffic scene. You heard her give her punch line which turned out to be her last. On air, over one million listeners heard Jane yell, “Hit the water, hit the water.” Then silence. Once again the N-copter failed and this time Jane was dead. Her husband had passed away a short time before she did.

Jane always talked about her daughter Naomi, and I was wondering what she was doing these days, some twenty years later. Friends of Jane got together and formed a Naomi Fund so the girl can at least be set for college. Jane had lots of friends and she was well loved in the industry. Robin Williams was hosting SNL that weekend and reminded everyone of the tragic loss.

Knowing Jane, I know she is probably looking down upon us laughing at something, or singing a song about phlegm. Yeah, I was just thinking about my old friend and wondering why the great ones struggle so hard all their lives and just as they can reach out and grab fame, they are gone. God knows and plans, and leaves us to wonder why.
RIP Jane~Oct,1,41-Oct,22,86
God Bless you Naomi
Uncle Bob

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6 thoughts on “Jane Dornacker~Remembering a Friend

  1. V, first of all learn the language. Second, I can’t understand the concept of what you are saying. I guess you never had friends. I was not only a friend but a huge fan, of any friend in the business. Brett Butler even got her start on Joey’s show so without anything further, I say, hia hia, and bia bia.

  2. Yes, definitely one of the funniest comedians I’ve EVER had the pleasure of seeing! Unfortunatly only saw her on video, first on the PBS TV series (forget the name) and then on some videos shown at the Warfield benefit concert for her daughter. Were any of those ever published? I’d love to get ahold of ’em! There was this one where she was playing a character explaining how to do a stress-relieving exercise, where you would alternately scrunch-up and then relax that little area at the top of your nose between your eyes. You would do it by imagining these alternating images. In my mind I can still see and hear her… “VAT!!! OLD mrs SMITH is having a BABY?!?!?!?”

    Ha ha ha, still brings tears to my eyes…

  3. Gosh, for some reason, out of the blue, I just remembered this story…her story, and the accident…and wanted to know the details of her life and her death and wondered what happened to her daughter. So I googled and here I am. Life is such a funny thing…I hope that her daughter has a beautiful life and is supported by the people that loved her and her parents, and their legacy.

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