Julie Andrews

Dame Julia Elizabeth Andrews, DBE (née Wells;[1] born 1 October 1935)[2] is an English film and stage actress, singer, and author. She is the recipient of Golden Globe, Emmy, Grammy, BAFTA, People’s Choice Award, Theatre World Award, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award honours. Andrews was a former British child actress and singer who made her Broadway debut in 1954 with The Boy Friend, and rose to prominence starring in other musicals such as My Fair Lady and Camelot, and in musical films such as Mary Poppins (1964) and The Sound of Music (1965): the roles for which she is still best-known. Her voice spanned four octaves until it was damaged by a throat operation in 1997.

Andrews had a major revival of her film career in 2000s in family films such as The Princess Diaries (2001), its sequel The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004), and the Shrek animated films (2004–2010). In 2003 Andrews revisited her first Broadway success, this time as a stage director, with a revival of The Boy Friend at the Bay Street Theatre, Sag Harbor, New York (and later at the Goodspeed Opera House, in East Haddam, Connecticut in 2005).

Andrews is also an author of children’s books, and in 2008 published an autobiography, Home: A Memoir of My Early Years.

Julie Andrews was born Julia Elizabeth Wells on 1 October 1935 in Walton-on-Thames,Surrey, England. Her mother, Barbara Wells (née Morris), was married to Julie’s father Edward C. “Ted” Wells, a teacher of metal and woodworking. [3][4]

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With the outbreak of World War II, Barbara and Ted Wells went their separate ways. Ted Wells assisted with evacuating children to Surrey during the Blitz, while Barbara joined Ted Andrews in entertaining the troops through the good offices of the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). Barbara and Ted Wells were soon divorced. They both remarried: Barbara to Ted Andrews, in 1939; and Ted Wells, to a former hairstylist working a lathe at a war factory that employed them both in Hinchley Wood, Surrey.[4][5]

Julia Wells lived briefly with Ted Wells and her brother John in Surrey. In about 1940, Ted Wells sent Julia to live with her mother and stepfather, who, the elder Wells thought, would be better able to provide for his talented daughter’s artistic training. According to her 2008 autobiography Home, while Julia had been used to calling Ted Andrews “Uncle Ted”, her mother suggested it would be more appropriate to refer to her stepfather as “Pop”, while her father remained “Dad” or “Daddy” to her. Julia disliked this change.

The Andrews family was “very poor and we lived in a bad slum area of London,” Andrews recalled, adding, “That was a very black period in my life.” In addition, according to Andrews’s 2008 memoir, her stepfather was an alcoholic. Ted Andrews twice, while drunk, tried to get into bed with his stepdaughter, resulting in Andrews putting a lock on her door.[6] But, as the stage career of Ted and Barbara Andrews improved, they were able to afford to move to better surroundings, first to Beckenham and then, as the war ended, back to the Andrews’s home town of Walton-on-Thames. The Andrews family took up residence at The Old Meurse, a house where Andrews’s maternal grandmother happened to have served as a maid.[5]

“A Spoon Full Of Sugar”

Julie Andrews’ stepfather sponsored lessons for her, first at the Cone-Ripman School, an independent arts educational school in London, then with the famous concert soprano and voice instructor Lilian Stiles-Allen. “She had an enormous influence on me”, Andrews said of Stiles-Allen, adding, “She was my third mother – I’ve got more mothers and fathers than anyone in the world.” In her 2008 autobiography Home, Andrews denies having perfect pitch.[4][7] After Cone-Ripman School, Andrews continued her academic education at the nearby Woodbrook School, a local state school in Beckenham.


Julie Andrews performed spontaneously and unbilled on stage with her parents for about two years beginning in 1945. “Then came the day when I was told I must go to bed in the afternoon because I was going to be allowed to sing with Mummy and Pop in the evening,” Andrews explained. She would stand on a beer crate to reach the microphone and sing, sometimes a solo or as a duet with her stepfather, while her mother played piano. “It must have been ghastly, but it seemed to go down all right.”[8][9]

Julie Andrews got her big break when her stepfather introduced her to Val Parnell, whose Moss Empires controlled prominent venues in London. Andrews made her professional solo debut at the London Hippodrome singing the difficult aria “Je Suis Titania” from Mignon as part of a musical revue called “Starlight Roof” on 22 October 1947. She played the Hippodrome for one year.[4][10] Andrews recalled “Starlight Roof” saying, “There was this wonderful American entertainer and comedian, Wally Boag, who made balloon animals. He would say, ‘Is there any little girl or boy in the audience who would like one of these?’ And I would rush up onstage and say, ‘I’d like one, please.’ And then he would chat to me and I’d tell him I sang… I was fortunate in that I absolutely stopped the show cold. I mean, the audience went crazy.”[11]

Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews

On 1 November 1948, Julie Andrews became the youngest solo performer ever to be seen in a Royal Command Variety Performance, at the London Palladium, where she performed along with Danny Kaye, the Nicholas Brothers and the comedy team George and Bert Bernard for members of King George VI’s family.[12][13]

Julie Andrews followed her parents into radio and television.[14] She reportedly made her television debut on the BBC program RadiOlympia Showtime on 8 October 1949.[15] She garnered considerable fame throughout the United Kingdom for her work on the BBC radio comedy show Educating Archie; she was a cast member from 1950 to 1952.[13]

Andrews appeared on West End Theatre at the London Casino, where she played one year each as Princess Badroulbadour in Aladdin and the egg in Humpty Dumpty. She also appeared on provincial stages across United Kingdom in Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood, as well as starring as the lead role in Cinderella.[14]

Julie and Carol Burnett at Carnegie Hall

In 1950 at the age of 14, Andrews was asked to sing at a party of a family friend, Katherine Norwalk, and it was then that she learned that Ted Wells was not her biological father.[16][4]

On 30 September 1954 on the eve of her 19th birthday, Julie Andrews made her Broadway debut portraying “Polly Browne” in the already highly successful London musical The Boy Friend.[2] To the critics, Andrews was the stand-out performer in the show.[17] Near the end of her Boy Friend contract, Andrews was asked to audition for My Fair Lady on Broadway and got the part.[18] In November 1955 Andrews was signed to appear with Bing Crosby in what is regarded as the first made-for-television movie, High Tor.[19]

Andrews auditioned for a part in the Richard Rodgers musical Pipe Dream. Although Rodgers wanted her for Pipe Dream, he advised her to take the part in the Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner musical My Fair Lady if it was offered to her. In 1956, she appeared in My Fair Lady as Eliza Doolittle to Rex Harrison‘s Henry Higgins. Rodgers was so impressed with Andrews’s talent that concurrent with her run in My Fair Lady she was featured in the Rodgers and Hammerstein television musical, Cinderella.[17] Cinderella was broadcast live on CBS on 31 March 1957 under the musical direction of Alfredo Antonini and attracted an estimated 107 million viewers.[20][21]

Julie and Carol Together Again

Miss Andrews married set designer Tony Walton on 10 May 1959 in Weybridge, Surrey. They had first met in 1948 when Andrews was appearing at the London Casino in the show Humpty Dumpty. The couple filed for a divorce on November 14, 1967.[13][22]

Between 1958 and 1962, Andrews appeared on such specials as CBS-TV’s The Fabulous Fifties and NBC-TV’s The Broadway of Lerner & Loewe. In addition to guest starring on The Ed Sullivan Show, she also appeared on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, What’s My Line?, The Jack Benny Program, The Bell Telephone Hour, and The Garry Moore Show. In June 1962 Andrews co-starred in a CBS special with Carol Burnett which was taped at Carnegie Hall in New York.

In 1960 Lerner and Loewe again cast her in a period musical as Queen Guinevere in Camelot, with Richard Burton and newcomer Robert Goulet. However movie studio head Jack Warner decided Andrews lacked sufficient name recognition for her casting in the film version of My Fair Lady; Eliza was played by the established film actress Audrey Hepburn instead. As Warner later recalled, the decision was easy, “In my business I have to know who brings people and their money to a movie theatre box office. Audrey Hepburn had never made a financial flop.”[23]

“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”

Andrews played the title role in Disney‘s Mary Poppins. Walt Disney had seen a performance of Camelot and thought Andrews would be perfect for the role of the British nanny who is “practically perfect in every way!” Andrews initially declined because of pregnancy, but Disney politely insisted, saying, “We’ll wait for you”.[24] Andrews and her husband headed back to the United Kingdom in September 1962 to await the birth of daughter Emma Katherine Walton, who was born in London two months later. The family returned to America in 1963 and Miss Andrews began the film.

As a result of her performance in Mary Poppins, Andrews won the 1964 Academy Award for Best Actress and the 1965 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. She and her Mary Poppins co-stars also won the 1965 Grammy Award for Best Album for Children. As a measure of “sweet revenge,” as Poppins songwriter Richard M. Sherman put it, Andrews closed her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes by saying, “And, finally, my thanks to a man who made a wonderful movie and who made all this possible in the first place, Mr. Jack Warner.”[24]

“I Could Have Danced All Night”

In 1964 she appeared opposite James Garner in The Americanization of Emily (1964), which she has described as her favourite film.[25] In 1966, Andrews won her second Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and was nominated for the 1965 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

After completing The Sound Of Music, Andrews appeared as a guest star on the NBC-TV variety series The Andy Williams Show, which gained her an Emmy nomination. She followed this television appearance with an Emmy Award-winning color special, The Julie Andrews Show, which featured Gene Kelly and The New Christy Minstrels as guests. It aired on NBC-TV in November 1965.

In 1966 Andrews starred with Paul Newman in the Hitchcock thriller Torn Curtain. By the end of 1967, Andrews had appeared in the television special Cinderella; the biggest Broadway musical of its time, My Fair Lady; the largest-selling long-playing album, the original cast recording of My Fair Lady; the biggest hit in Disney’s history, Mary Poppins; the highest grossing movie of 1966, Hawaii;[26] the biggest and second biggest hits in Universal’s history, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Torn Curtain; and the biggest hit in 20th Century Fox’s history The Sound of Music.[27]

Julie with Gene Kelly

Andrews, appeared in Star!, a 1968 biopic of Gertrude Lawrence, and Darling Lili (1970), co-starring Rock Hudson and directed by her soon-to-be second husband, Blake Edwards (they married in 1969). She made only two other films in the 1970s, The Tamarind Seed and 10.

In the 70’s, Edwards and Andrews adopted two daughters: Amy in 1974 and Joanna in 1975. Mr Edwards had a daughter from a previous marriage, Jennifer, and a son Geoffrey who were 3 and 5 years older than Emma, Andrews’s first daughter.[citation needed]

Andrews continued working in television. In 1969 she shared the spotlight with singer Harry Belafonte for an NBC-TV special, An Evening with Julie Andrews and Harry Belafonte. In 1971 she appeared as a guest for the Grand Opening Special of Walt Disney World, and that same year she and Carol Burnett headlined a CBS special, Julie and Carol At Lincoln Center.

In 1972–73, Andrews starred in her own television variety series, The Julie Andrews Hour, on the ABC network. The show won seven Emmy Awards, but was cancelled after one season. Between 1973 and 1975, Andrews continued her association with ABC by headlining five variety specials for the network. She guest-starred on The Muppet Show in 1977 and appeared again with the Muppets on a CBS-TV special, Julie Andrews: One Step Into Spring, which aired in March, 1978.

In 1981 she appeared in Blake Edwards’s S.O.B. (1981) in which she played Sally Miles, a character who agrees to “show my boobies” in a scene in the film-within-a-film.

In 1983 Andrews was chosen as the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year by the Harvard University theatrical society.[28] The roles of Victoria Grant and Count Victor Grezhinski in the film Victor/Victoria earned Andrews the 1983 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, as well as a nomination for the 1982 Academy Award for Best Actress, her third Oscar nomination.[2][29]

“Le Jazz Hot”

In December 1987 Andrews starred in an ABC Christmas special, Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas, which went on to win five Emmy Awards. Two years later she was reunited for the third time with Carol Burnett for a variety special which aired on ABC in December, 1989.

In 1991 Andrews made her television dramatic debut in the ABC made-for-TV movie, Our Sons, co-starring Ann-Margret.

In the summer of 1992 Andrews starred in her first television sitcom, Julie, which aired on ABC and co-starred James Farentino. In December 1992 she hosted the NBC holiday special, Christmas In Washington.

“You and Me”

In 1993 she starred in a limited run at the Manhattan Theatre Club in the American premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s revue, Putting It Together. Between 1994 and 1995 Andrews recorded two solo albums – the first saluted the music of Richard Rodgers and the second paid tribute to the words of Alan Jay Lerner. In 1995 she starred in the stage musical version of Victor/Victoria. It was her first appearance in a Broadway show in 35 years. Opening on Broadway on 25 October 1995 at the Marquis Theatre, it later went on the road on a world tour. When she was the only Tony Award nominee for the production, she declined the nomination saying that she could not accept because she felt the entire production was snubbed.[30]

Miss Andrews was forced to quit the show towards the end of the Broadway run in 1997 when she developed vocal problems. She subsequently underwent surgery to remove non-cancerous nodules from her throat and was left unable to sing.[2] In 1999 she filed a malpractice suit against the doctors at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, including Dr. Scott Kessler and Dr. Jeffrey Libin, who had operated on her throat. Originally, the doctors assured the singing legend that she should regain her voice within six weeks, but Andrews’s stepdaughter Jennifer Edwards said in 1999 “it’s been two years, and it [her singing voice] still hasn’t returned.”[31] The lawsuit was settled in September 2000.[32]

“The Shady Dame From Seville”

Later that year Andrews was reunited with James Garner for the CBS made-for-TV movie, One Special Night, which aired in November 1999.

In the 2000 New Year’s Honours, Andrews was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE). She also appears at #59 on the 2002 List of “100 Greatest Britons” sponsored by the BBC and chosen by the public.

In 2001 Andrews received Kennedy Center Honors. The same year she reunited with Sound of Music co-star Christopher Plummer in a live television performance of On Golden Pond (an adaptation of the 1979 play).

In 2001 Andrews appeared in The Princess Diaries, her first Disney film since 1964’s Mary Poppins. She starred as Queen Clarisse Marie Renaldi and reprised the role in a sequel, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004). In The Princess Diaries 2, Andrews sang on film for the first time since having throat surgery. The song, “Your Crowning Glory”, was set in a limited range of an octave to accommodate her recovering voice.[33] The film’s music supervisor, Dawn Soler, recalled that Andrews, “nailed the song on the first take. I looked around and I saw grips with tears in their eyes.”[33]

Andrews continued her association with Disney when she appeared as the nanny in two 2003 made-for-television movies based on the Eloise books, a series of children’s books by Kay Thompson about a child who lives in the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Eloise at the Plaza premiered in April 2003, and Eloise at Christmastime was broadcast in November 2003. The same year she made her debut as a theatre director, directing a revival of The Boy Friend, the musical in which she made her 1954 Broadway debut, at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, New York. Her production, which featured costume and scenic design by her former husband Tony Walton, was remounted at the Goodspeed Opera House in 2005 and went on a national tour in 2006.

Sound of Music Medley 1965

From 2005 to 2006 Andrews served as the Official Ambassador for Disneyland‘s 18-month-long, 50th anniversary celebration, the “Happiest Homecoming on Earth“, travelling to promote the celebration, and recording narration and appearing at several events at the park.

In 2004 Andrews performed the voice of Queen Lillian in the animated blockbuster Shrek 2 (2004), reprising the role for its sequels, Shrek the Third (2007) and Shrek Forever After (2010). Later, in 2007, she narrated Enchanted, a live-action Disney musical comedy that both poked fun and paid homage to classic Disney films such as Mary Poppins.

In January 2007 Andrews was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Screen Actors Guild’s awards and stated that her goals included continuing to direct for the stage and possibly to produce her own Broadway musical.[29] She published Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, which she characterised as “part one” of her autobiography, on 1 April 2008.[34] Home chronicles her early years in UK’s music hall circuit and ends in 1962 with her winning the role of Mary Poppins. For a Walt Disney video release she again portrayed Mary Poppins and narrated the story of The Cat That Looked at a King in 2004.

In July through early August 2008, Andrews hosted Julie Andrews’ The Gift of Music, a short tour of the United States[35] where she sang various Rodgers and Hammerstein songs and symphonised her recently published book, Simeon’s Gift. These were her first public singing performances in a dozen years, due to her failed vocal cord surgery.[36]

On May 8, 2009, Andrews received the honorary George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Achievement in Music at the annual UCLA Spring Sing competition in Pauley Pavilion. Receiving the award she remarked, “Go Bruins. Beat SC … strike up the band to celebrate every one of those victories.”

On November 25, 2009, it was announced that “Andrews will be singing in a concert at The O2 Arena (London) on May 8, 2010. Accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and an ensemble of five performers, she will sing favourites from her stage and film career”.[37] However she appeared on British television on December 15, 2009, and said that rumours that she would be singing were not true. Instead, she said she will be doing a form of “speak singing“.

In January 2010, for the second consecutive time,[38] Andrews was the official USA presenter of the New Year’s Day Vienna concert.[39] Andrews also had a supporting role in the film Tooth Fairy, which opened to unfavourable reviews[40] although the box office receipts were successful.[41] On her promotion tour for the film she also spoke of Operation USA and the aid campaign to the Haiti disaster.[42]

On May 8, 2010, Andrews made her London comeback after a 21-year absence (her last performance there was a Christmas concert at the Royal Festival Hall in 1989). The evening, though well received by the 20,000 fans present, who gave her standing ovation after standing ovation,[43] did not convince the critics.[44]

On May 18, 2010, Andrews’ 23rd book (this one also written with her daughter Emma) was published. In June 2010 the book, entitled The Very Fairy Princess, reached number 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List for Children’s Books.[45]

On May 21, 2010, her film Shrek Forever After was released; in it Andrews reprises her role as the Queen.[46]

On July 9, 2010, Despicable Me–an animated movie in which Andrews lent her voice to Marlena, the evil mother of the main character (Gru, voiced by Steve Carell)–opened to rave reviews[47] and strong box office.[48]

Quick Bio Facts:

Julie AndrewsJulie Andrews AKA Julia Elizabeth Wells

Born: 1-Oct1935
Birthplace: Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Singer, Actor

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Mary Poppins

Julie Andrews is a singer and actress, best known for her family-friendly roles in the 1960s, as Mary Poppins, and as the wayward nun Maria in The Sound of Music. Despite doing raunchy comedies and even a topless scene in S.O.B., her image remains perpetually wholesome.

Andrews was born Julia Wells, but was quickly nicknamed Julie. Her mother, a piano teacher, took part-time work as accompanist for a radio singer, and eventually they became a performing duo. Julie Wells became Julie Andrews when her mother got a divorce and married the singer. She began her professional career as an addition to her mother and stepfather’s act when she was just ten years old. At 12, she first appeared on stage without her parents, in a local play.

As an adult, Andrews followed her stepfather as a radio singer, then starred in the original Broadway productions of The Boyfriend in 1954, My Fair Lady in 1956, and Camelot in 1960. All three plays were made into movies, none featuring Andrews. Moviemakers believed she had no “star power” beyond Broadway, and that she was not quite “Hollywood beautiful”. But her first film, Mary Poppins, changed that perception, winning Andrews the Oscar for Best Actress. In the 1960s, she also starred in The Sound of Music, in James A. Michener‘s huge Hawaii, and opposite Paul Newman in Alfred Hitchcock‘s Torn Curtain.

Andrews has been married to director Blake Edwards since 1969, and he has been involved in several of her big- and small-screen projects, including 10, S.O.B., Victor/Victoria, and a sitcom called Julie that was cancelled after six episodes in 1992.

Her singing voice, famous for its four-octave range, was damaged by a botched vocal chord surgery at New York’s Mount Sinai hospital in 1997. “I don’t think she’ll sing again”, Edwards has said. “It’s an absolute tragedy.” Andrews says she now has “a wonderful, deep, bass voice of about five notes and that’s about it.” A malpractice claim against the doctors was settled in 2000, under terms required to remain confidential.

Andrews has rebuilt her career with a variety of non-singing roles, and as a stage director. Most recently, she has appeared in The Princess Diaries and its sequel, and provided Queen Lillian’s voice for Shrek 2.

Under her legal name, Julie Edwards, she has also written children’s books, including The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles and Mandy.

Father: Ted Wells (woodworking teacher)
Mother: Barbara Morris (piano teacher)
Father: Ted Andrews (stepfather, singer)
Husband: Tony Walton (costume designer, m. 10-May-1959, div. 1967, one daughter)
Daughter: Emma Walton Hamilton (author, b. 27-Nov-1962)
Husband: Blake Edwards (film director, m. 12-Nov-1969)
Son: Geoffrey Edwards (stepson, film director)
Daughter: Jennifer Edwards (stepdaughter, actress)
Daughter: Amy Lee Edwards (adopted, b. 1974)
Daughter: Joanna Lynn Edwards (adopted, b. 1975)

Academy of Achievement (2004)
Oscar for Best Actress 1965 for Mary Poppins
Golden Globe 1965 for Mary Poppins
Golden Globe 1966 for The Sound of Music
Golden Globe 1967 World Film Favorite, Female
Golden Globe 1983 for Victor/Victoria
Emmy 1973 for The Julie Andrews Hour (shared)
Kennedy Center Honor 2001
Hollywood Walk of Fame 6901 Hollywood Blvd.
Dame of the British Empire 1999 New Year’s Eve
Cholecystectomy (Feb-1996)

Despicable Me (20-Jun-2010) [VOICE]
Shrek Forever After (21-Apr-2010) [VOICE]
Tooth Fairy (14-Jan-2010)
Enchanted (20-Oct-2007) Narrator [VOICE]
Shrek the Third (17-May-2007) [VOICE]
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (7-Aug-2004)
Shrek 2 (15-May-2004) [VOICE]
Eloise at Christmastime (22-Nov-2003)
Eloise at the Plaza (27-Apr-2003)
Unconditional Love (23-Aug-2002) Herself
The Princess Diaries (29-Jul-2001)
On Golden Pond (29-Apr-2001)
Relative Values (23-Jun-2000)
One Special Night (28-Nov-1999)
Hey, Mr. Producer! The Musical World of Cameron Mackintosh (8-Nov-1998) Herself
Victor/Victoria (1995)
Our Sons (19-May-1991)
Duet for One (25-Dec-1986)
That’s Life! (10-Sep-1986)
The Man Who Loved Women (16-Dec-1983)
Victor/Victoria (16-Mar-1982)
S. O. B. (1-Jul-1981)
Little Miss Marker (21-Mar-1980)
10 (5-Oct-1979)
The Tamarind Seed (11-Jul-1974)
Darling Lili (24-Jun-1970)
Star! (18-Jul-1968)
Thoroughly Modern Millie (21-Mar-1967)
Hawaii (10-Oct-1966)
Torn Curtain (14-Jul-1966)
The Sound of Music (2-Mar-1965)
The Americanization of Emily (27-Oct-1964)
Mary Poppins (27-Aug-1964)
Cinderella (31-Mar-1957)

Author of books:
Home: A Memoir of My Early Years (2008, memoir)

Sources: Wikipedia, youtube, imdb.com, nndb.com

1949 La Rosa di Bagdad Princess Zeila dubbed voice for the 1967 English-language version
1964 Mary Poppins Mary Poppins Academy Award for Best Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1964 Americanization of Emily, TheThe Americanization of Emily Emily Barham
1965 Salzburg Sight and Sound Herself short subject
1965 Sound of Music, TheThe Sound of Music Maria von Trapp Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
1966 Torn Curtain Dr. Sarah Louise Sherman
1966 Hawaii Jerusha Bromley
1967 Think Twentieth Herself short subject
1967 Thoroughly Modern Millie Millie Dillmount
1968 Star! Gertrude Lawrence
1970 Darling Lili Lili Smith (Schmidt)
1971 Moviemakers, TheThe Moviemakers Herself (uncredited) short subject
1972 Julie Herself documentary
1974 Tamarind Seed, TheThe Tamarind Seed Judith Farrow
1979 10 Samantha Taylor
1980 Little Miss Marker Amanda
1981 S.O.B. Sally Miles
1982 Victor/Victoria Victor/Victoria Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
1982 Trail of the Pink Panther Charwoman uncredited
1983 Man Who Loved Women, TheThe Man Who Loved Women Marianna
1986 That’s Life! Gillian Fairchild
1986 Duet for One Stephanie Anderson
1991 Fine Romance, AA Fine Romance Mrs. Pamela Piquet Cin cin – USA title
2000 Relative Values Felicity Marshwood
2001 Princess Diaries, TheThe Princess Diaries Queen Clarisse Renaldi
2002 Unconditional Love Herself performer: Getting to Know You
2003 Eloise at the Plaza Nanny
2003 Eloise at Christmastime Nanny
2004 Shrek 2 Queen Lillian voice
2004 Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, TheThe Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement Queen Clarisse Renaldi
2007 Shrek the Third Queen Lillian voice
2007 Enchanted Narrator voice
2010 Tooth Fairy, TheThe Tooth Fairy Lily
2010 Shrek Forever After Queen Lillian voice
2010 Despicable Me Gru’s Mom (Marlena) voice
2011 Enchanted 2 Narrator voice

Mary Martin

Mary Virginia Martin (December 1, 1913 – November 3, 1990) was an American actress and singer. She originated many roles over her career including Nellie Forbush in South Pacific and Maria in The Sound of Music. She was named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1989.

Mary Martin’s life as a child, as Martin describes it in her autobiography My Heart Belongs, was secure and happy. She had close relationships with both her mother and father, as well as her siblings. Her autobiography details how the young actress had an instinctive ear for recreating musical sounds.

Martin’s father, Preston Martin, was a lawyer and her mother, Juanita Presley, was a violin teacher. Although the doctors told Juanita that she would risk her life if she attempted to have another baby, she was determined to have a boy. Instead, she had Mary, who became quite a tomboy. Her birth was an event as all of the neighbors gathered around Juanita’s bedroom window, waiting for the raising of a curtain to signal the baby’s arrival.

“Never Neverland”

Her family had a barn and orchard that kept her entertained. She played with her older sister Geraldine (whom she calls “Sister”), climbing trees and riding ponies. Martin adored her father. “He was a tall, good-looking, silver-haired, with the kindest brown eyes. Mother was the disciplinarian, but it was Daddy who could turn me into an angel with just one look” (p. 19). Martin, who said “I’d never understand the law” (p. 19), began singing outside the courtroom where her father worked every Saturday night at a bandstand where the town band played. She sang in a trio of little girls dressed in bellhop uniforms. “Even in those days without microphones, my high piping voice carried all over the square. I have always thought that I inherited my carrying voice from my father” (p. 19).

She remembered having a photographic memory as a child, making it easy to memorize songs, as well as get her through school tests. She got her first taste of singing solo at a fire hall, where she soaked up the crowd’s appreciation. “Sometimes I think that I cheated my own family and my closest friends by giving to audiences so much of the love I might have kept for them. But that’s the way I was made; I truly don’t think I could help it” (p. 20). Martin’s craft was developed by seeing movies and becoming a mimic. She’d win prizes for looking, acting and dancing like Ruby Keeler and singing exactly like Bing Crosby. “Never, never, never can I say I had a frustrating childhood. It was all joy. Mother used to say she never had seen such a happy child—that I awakened each morning with a smile. I don’t remember that, but I do remember that I never wanted to go to bed, to go to sleep, for fear I’d miss something” (p. 20).

“My Heart Belongs To Daddy”

As she grew older, Martin dated Benjamin Jackson Hagman while in high school, before being sent to the Ward-Belmont finishing school in Nashville, Tennessee. Besides imitating Fanny Brice at singing gigs, she thought school was dull and felt confined by the strict rules. She was homesick for Weatherford, her family and Hagman. During a visit, Mary and Benjamin convinced Mary’s mother to allow them to marry.[1] They did, and by the age of 17, Martin was legally married, pregnant with her first child (Larry Hagman) and forced to leave finishing school. However she was happy to begin her new life. She soon learned that this life was nothing but “role playing” (p. 39).

Their honeymoon was at her parents’ house, and Martin’s dream of life with a family and a white-picket fence faded. “I was 17, a married woman without real responsibilities, miserable about my mixed-up emotions, afraid there was something awfully wrong with me because I didn’t enjoy being a wife. Worst of all, I didn’t have enough to do” (p. 39). It was “Sister” who came to her rescue, suggesting that she should teach dance. “Sister” taught Martin her first real dance—the waltz clog. Martin perfectly imitated her first dance move, and she opened a dance studio. Here, she created her own moves, imitated the famous dancers she watched in the movies, and taught “Sister’s” waltz clog. “I was doing something I wanted to do—creating” (p. 44).

1960 Accepting the Tony Award for “Sound of Music”

Wanting to learn more moves, Martin went to California to attend the dance school at the Franchon and Marco School of the Theatre, and opened her own dance studio in Mineral Wells, Texas. She was given a ballroom studio under a certain deal—she had to sing in the lobby every Saturday. Here, she learned how to sing into a microphone and how to phrase blues songs. One day at work, she accidentally walked into the wrong room where auditions were being held. They asked her what key she’d like to sing “So Red Rose”. Having absolutely no idea what her key was, she sang regardless and got the job. She was hired to sing “So Red Rose” at the Fox Theater in San Francisco, followed by the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles. There would be one catch — she had to sing in the wings. She scored her first professional gig, unaware that she would soon be center stage.

Mary Martin as Maria in Sound of Music. 1959, original cast recoding. “My Favorite Things”

Soon after, Martin learned that her studio had been burnt down by a man who thought dancing was a sin.[2] She began to express her unhappiness — she needed to let go and be free. Her father gave her advice, saying that she was too young to be married. Martin left everything behind, including her young son, Larry, and went to Hollywood while her father handled the divorce for her. In Hollywood, Martin plunged herself into auditions—so many that she became known as “Audition Mary”. Her first professional audition and job was on a national radio network. She sang on a program called “Gateway to Hollywood” and was told that her job was “sustaining”. Little did she know that “sustaining” meant unpaid.[3] Among one of Martin’s first auditions in Hollywood, she was “determined to give them everything I could do”, before announcing her intention to sing “in my soprano voice, a song you probably don’t know, ‘Indian Love Call‘”. After singing the song, “a tall, craggly man who looked like a mountain” told Martin that he thought she had something special. He added, “Oh, and by the way, I know that song. I wrote it.” It was Oscar Hammerstein II (pp. 58-59). This marked the start of her career.

Mary Martin & Ethel Merman sing The Legendary Duet 1953

Mary Martin struggled for nearly two years to break into show business. As a struggling young actress, Martin endured humorous and sometimes frightful luck trying to make it in the world, from car crashes leading to vocal instruction, unknowingly singing in front of Oscar Hammerstein II, to her final break on Broadway granted by the very prominent producer, Lawrence Schwab.

Using her maiden name, Mary Martin began pursuing a performing career singing on radio in Dallas and in nightclubs in Los Angeles. Her performance at one club impressed a theatrical producer, and he cast her in a play in New York. That production did not open, but she got a role in Cole Porter’s Leave It to Me!. In that production, she became popular on Broadway and received attention in the national media singing “My Heart Belongs to Daddy“. “Mary stopped the show with “My Heart Belongs to Daddy”. With that one song in the second act, she became a star ‘overnight’.”[4] Martin reprised the song in Night and Day, (the Hollywood “biographical” movie about Porter) during the film in an audition as herself for Porter (Cary Grant).

My Heart Belongs to Daddy” catapulted her career and became very special to Mary — she even sang it to her ailing father in his hospital bed while he was in a coma. Martin did not learn immediately that her father had died. Headlines read “Daddy Girl Sings About Daddy as Daddy Dies.” Because of the show’s demanding schedule, Martin couldn’t even attend her father’s funeral.[5]

She received the Donaldson Award and the New York Film Critics Circle Award in 1943 for One Touch of Venus. A special Tony came her way in 1948 for “spreading theatre to the rest of the country while the originals perform in New York.” In 1955 and 1956, she received, first, a Tony Award for Peter Pan, and then an Emmy for appearing in the same role on television. She also received Tony Awards for South Pacific, and, in 1959, for The Sound of Music.

Although she appeared in nine films in her career, all between 1938 and 1943,[7] she was generally passed over for the filmed version of the musical plays in which she starred. She herself once explained that she did not enjoy making films, because she did not have the “connection” with an audience that she had in live performances. The closest she ever came to preserving her stage performances were her famous television appearances as Peter Pan (she had starred in a musical version on Broadway in 1954, and this production was subsequently performed on NBC television in RCA‘s compatible color in 1955, 1956 and 1960). While Martin did not enjoy making theatrical films, she did apparently enjoy appearing on television, as she did frequently. Her last feature film appearance was a cameo as herself in MGM’s Main Street to Broadway in 1953.[8]

Martin made an appearance in 1980 in a Royal Variety Performance in London, performing “Honeybun” from South Pacific.

In 1982 she was involved in a traffic accident that left her with two fractured ribs, a fractured pelvis, and a punctured lung. Also in the accident were Janet Gaynor, who died two years later from complications from her injuries, Gaynor’s husband Paul Gregory, who survived, and Martin’s press agent Ben Washer, who died in the accident.[9][10]

Martin appeared in the play Legends with Carol Channing in a one-year US national tour, opening in Dallas on January 9, 1986.[11]

With her son Larry Hagman.

She received the Kennedy Center Honors, an annual honor for career achievements, in 1989. Mary Martin died at age 76 from colorectal cancer at her home in Rancho Mirage, California on November 3, 1990.[12] She is buried in East Greenwood Cemetery in Weatherford, Texas.

Quick Bio Facts:

Mary MartinMary Martin – AKA Mary Virginia Martin

Born: 1-Dec1913
Birthplace: Weatherford, TX
Died: 3-Nov1990
Location of death: Rancho Mirage, CA
Cause of death: Cancer – unspecified
Remains: Buried, City Greenwood Cemetery, Weatherford, TX

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: White
Occupation: Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Peter Pan

Husband: Benjamin Jack Hagman (b. 3-Apr-1905, m. 1929, div, 1936, one son)
Son: Larry Hagman (actor, b. 21-Sep-1931)
Husband: Richard Halliday (m. 5-May-1940, d. 3-Mar-1973, one daughter)
Daughter: Heller

Hollywood Walk of Fame 6609 Hollywood Blvd (radio)
Hollywood Walk of Fame 1560 Vine Street (recording)
Kennedy Center Honor 1989

Peter Pan (8-Dec-1960)
Main Street to Broadway (13-Oct-1953) Herself
Night and Day (2-Jul-1946) Herself
Happy Go Lucky (4-Jan-1943)
Star Spangled Rhythm (18-Dec-1942) Herself
Birth of the Blues (31-Oct-1941)
Love Thy Neighbor (17-Dec-1940)
Rhythm on the River (28-Aug-1940)

Author of books:
My Heart Belongs (1976, memoir)

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube, nndb.com, imdb.com



  • America Applauds: An Evening for Richard Rodgers (1951)
  • The Ford 50th Anniversary Show (1953)
  • Salute to Rodgers and Hammerstein (1954)
  • Noel Coward & Mary Martin – Together With Music (1955)
  • Producers’ Showcase: Peter Pan (twice, in 1955 and 1956)
  • Annie Get Your Gun (1957)
  • Magic with Mary Martin (1959)
  • Peter Pan (1960)
  • Mary Martin: Hello, Dolly! Round the World (1966)
  • Mary Martin at Eastertime (1966)
  • Valentine (1979)
  • Over Easy (host from 1981-1983)

Rupert Holmes

Rupert Holmes (born February 24, 1947) is an AmericanBritish composer, singer-songwriter, musician and author of plays, novels and stories. He is best known for his number one pop hit “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” and the song “Him“, which reached the number 6 position on the Hot 100 U.S. pop chart, both in 1979; his 1985 Tony Award-winning musical Drood (originally The Mystery of Edwin Drood); and his 2007 Drama Desk Award-winning book for the Broadway musical Curtains.

Holmes was born David Goldstein in Northwich, Cheshire, England. His father, Leonard Goldstein, was a United States Army Warrant Officer and bandleader, his mother, Gwen, was English, and both were musical. Holmes has dual American and British citizenship. The family moved when Holmes was six years old to the northern New York City suburb of Nanuet, New York, where Holmes grew up and attended nearby Nyack High School and then the Manhattan School of Music (majoring in clarinet). Holmes’ brother, Richard, is an opera singer based in New York City and is the principal lyric baritone of the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, sings roles with regional opera companies, such as Glimmerglass Opera, Lake George, and Virginia Opera, among others, and has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera.

In 1969, Holmes married childhood friend Elizabeth “Liza” Wood Dreifuss, an attorney. Holmes’ daughter Wendy died suddenly in 1986, at the age of ten, of an undiagnosed brain tumor. He has two sons, Nick and Timothy (who has autism).

In his 20s, Holmes was a session musician (producing sessions, writing and arranging songs, singing and playing a few instruments). In March 1970, he and Ron Dante (The Cuff Links and The Archies) recorded “Jennifer Tomkins” for release on their second album, The Cuff Links. During the recording of that album, Dante was prohibited by the studio that produced The Archies from any involvement in new recording ventures and was forced to drop out of The Cuff Links. Holmes finished the project and released “Jennifer Tomkins” separately under a different studio name, The Street People.[1] The song was on the Billboard (magazine) pop charts for 15 weeks, beginning January 3, 1970, reaching a peak of 36. A follow up single called “Thank You Girl” reached 96 on the Billboard pop charts in April 1970.

Holmes played the piano for both The Cuff Links and The Buoys, with whom he had his first international hit, “Timothy“, in 1971, a top-40 song about cannibalism.[2] He also wrote “Give Up Your Guns”, “The Prince of Thieves”, “Blood Knot” and “Tomorrow” for the band. “Timothy” charted at #17 and “Give Up Your Guns” at #84. Holmes also wrote jingles and pop tunes (including for Gene Pitney, the Platters, the Drifters, Wayne Newton, Dolly Parton, Barry Manilow and television’s The Partridge Family).[3]

As a recording artist, Holmes broke through with 1974’s Widescreen on Epic Records, which introduced him as a presenter of highly romantic, lushly orchestrated “story songs” that told a witty narrative punctuated by clever rhymes and a hint of comedy. Barbra Streisand discovered this album and asked to record songs from it, launching Holmes on a successful career. She then used some of his songs in the movie A Star Is Born. He also arranged, conducted and wrote songs on her 1975 album, Lazy Afternoon and five of her other albums.[4] Holmes’ second, self-titled album led Rolling Stone to compare him with Bob Dylan in the sense of being an artist of unprecedented originality that commanded attention.

Holmes’ production skills were also in demand during this period, and he took on this role for Lynsey De Paul on her album Tigers and Fireflies, which spawned the radio hit “Hollywood Romance”. The album also featured a song, the bluesy “‘Twas”, co-written by the two. He additionally produced Sparks‘ 1976 LP, Big Beat, though the album was not a success.

“Escape” was included on Holmes’ fifth album, Partners in Crime, and reached the Hot 100 No. 1 Hits of 1979. The song hit #1 late in December 1979, becoming the last song to top the pop chart in the 1970s. The song fell to #2 for the first week of January 1980 and then rebounded to #1 the next week, making Holmes the only artist to ascend to the #1 spot with the same song in different decades. Another popular song on that album was “Him“, which peaked at #6 on the Hot 100. He had another top-40 hit with “Answering Machine” (#32). In 1986, Holmes’s composition “You Got It All” (sometimes called “You Got It All Over Him”) was a #3 hit single for The Jets and was later recorded by pop superstar Britney Spears and featured in her internationally released version of Oops!… I Did It Again (2000). He also produced two songs for singer Judy Collins that appeared on her album Sanity and Grace.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1986 Tony Awards.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Holmes also played in cabarets and comedy clubs, mostly in New York City, telling often autobiographical anecdotes illustrated with his songs.

Rupert Holmes made his professional debut as a playwright with the musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, later known as Drood, in 1985. Holmes was encouraged to write a musical by Joseph Papp and his wife after they attended one of Holmes’s cabarets in 1983. The result, loosely based on the Charles Dickens unfinished novel, and inspired by Holmes’s memories of English pantomime shows he attended as a child, would earn Holmes the Tony Award for both book and score, as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations, among various other honors. Holmes also orchestrated Drood himself, making him one of the few Broadway composers to write his own orchestrations. Because the original novel was left unfinished after Dickens’s death, Holmes came up with the unusual idea of providing alternate endings for each character who is suspected of the murder, and letting the audience vote on a different murderer each night. The success of Drood would lead Holmes to focus more on writing plays (both musical and non-) in later years, though he has stated that he avoided musical theater for some time after the death of his daughter.

“What’s She Gonna Do Without Him?”

Holmes also wrote the Tony Award-nominated (“Best Play 2003”) Say Goodnight, Gracie, based on the relationship between George Burns and Gracie Allen. The play, which starred Frank Gorshin, was that Broadway season’s longest running play. He has also written the comedy-thriller Accomplice (1990), which was the second of Holmes’s plays to receive an Edgar Award (following Drood). Holmes has written a number of other shows, including Solitary Confinement, which played on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre in 1992 and set a new Kennedy Center box office record before its Broadway run; Thumbs, the most successful play in the history of the Helen Hayes Theatre Company; and the musical Marty (2002), starring John C. Reilly.[5] Holmes also joined the creative team of Curtains, after the deaths of both Peter Stone (the original book-writer) and Fred Ebb (the lyricist). Holmes rewrote Stone’s original book and contributed additional lyrics to the Kander and Ebb songs. Curtains played at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on Broadway, and David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk starred in the lead roles. Holmes and Peter Stone (posthumously) won the 2007 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical for Curtains.

“In The Same Boat #1”

“Show People”

Holmes wrote the book of The First Wives’ Club – The Musical, a musical theatre version of the film The First Wives Club, which played at The Old Globe in San Diego from July 17, 2009 through August 23, 2009.[6] The score is by Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and Eddie Holland.[7] Holmes had been engaged to write the musical in 2006.[8] The director of the San Diego debut was Francesca Zambello.[9] The principal cast included Karen Ziemba as Annie, Sheryl Lee Ralph as Elyse, Barbara Walsh as Brenda and John Dossett as Aaron.[10][11] The production received generally unenthusiastic reviews.[12] After the run, Zambello dropped out as director, and the producers announced that they are seeking a new creative team for a possible Broadway run.[13] Holmes has several other theatrical projects planned.[14] In 1996 Holmes created the television series Remember WENN for American Movie Classics, writing all 56 episodes of that series. In 2003 he published his first novel, Where the Truth Lies (later filmed by Atom Egoyan), followed in 2005 by Swing, a multimedia release combining a novel with a music CD providing clues to the mystery. Holmes’s newest novel, The McMasters Guide To Homicide: Murder Your Employer[15], is slated for release in 2010.

“Its A Business”

Quick Bio Facts:

Rupert HolmesRupert Holmes – Born: 24-Feb1947
Birthplace: Northwich, Cheshire, England

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Singer/Songwriter

Nationality: United States [1]
Executive summary: The Piña Colada Song

[1] Dual British and American citizenship, his father a US Army officer.

Father: (musician)
Wife: Elizabeth Wood Dreifuss (“Liza”, m. 1968, one daughter, two sons)
Daughter: Wendy (d. 1986 brain tumor)
Son: Nick
Son: Timothy

High School: Nyack High School, Nyack, NY
University: Manhattan School of Music

No Small Affair (9-Nov-1984)

Official Website:

Sources: YouTube, Wikipedia, nndb.com, imdb.com

Henry Mancini

Henry Mancini (April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994)[1] was an American composer, conductor and arranger, best remembered for his film and television scores. He won a record number of Grammy Awards (20), including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995. His best-known works are the jazz-idiom theme to The Pink Panther film series (“The Pink Panther Theme“), the Peter Gunn Theme from the television series, and “Moon River“. Mancini was born and raised Enrico Nicola Mancini in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the steel town of West Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. His parents emigrated from the Abruzzo region of Italy. Mancini’s father, Quinto, was a steelworker, who made his only child begin piccolo lessons at the age of eight. When Mancini was 12 years old, he began piano lessons. Quinto and Henry played flute together in the Aliquippa Italian immigrant band, “Sons of Italy”. After graduating from Aliquippa High School in 1942, Mancini attended the renowned Juilliard School of Music in New York. In 1943, after roughly one year at Juilliard, his studies were interrupted when he was drafted into the United States Army. In 1945, he participated in the liberation of a concentration camp in southern Germany.

“Baby Elephant Walk”

Upon discharge, Mancini entered the music industry. In 1946, he became a pianist and arranger for the newly re-formed Glenn Miller Orchestra, led by Tex Beneke. After World War II, Mancini broadened his composition, counterpoint, harmony and orchestration skills during studies with two acclaimed “serious” concert hall composers, Ernst Krenek and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.[2]

In 1952, Mancini joined the Universal Pictures music department. During the next six years, he contributed music to over 100 movies, most notably The Creature from the Black Lagoon, It Came from Outer Space, Tarantula, This Island Earth, The Glenn Miller Story (for which he received his first Academy Award nomination), The Benny Goodman Story and Orson WellesTouch of Evil. Mancini left Universal-International to work as an independent composer/arranger in 1958. Soon after, he scored the television series Peter Gunn for writer/producer Blake Edwards, the genesis of a relationship which lasted over 35 years and produced nearly 30 films. Together with Alex North, Elmer Bernstein, Leith Stevens and Johnny Mandel, Henry Mancini was one of the pioneers who introduced jazz music into the late romantic orchestral film and TV scores prevalent at the time.

1965 album Sarah Vaughan Sings the Mancini Songbook

Mancini’s scores for Blake Edwards included Breakfast at Tiffany’s (with the standard “Moon River“) and Days of Wine and Roses (with the title song, “Days of Wine and Roses“), as well as Experiment in Terror, The Pink Panther (and all of its sequels), The Great Race, The Party, and Victor/Victoria. Another director with whom Mancini had a longstanding partnership was Stanley Donen (Charade, Arabesque, Two for the Road). Mancini also composed for Howard Hawks (Man’s Favorite Sport?, Hatari! — which included the well-known “Baby Elephant Walk“), Martin Ritt (The Molly Maguires), Vittorio de Sica (Sunflower), Norman Jewison (Gaily, Gaily), Paul Newman (Sometimes a Great Notion, The Glass Menagerie), Stanley Kramer (Oklahoma Crude), George Roy Hill (The Great Waldo Pepper), Arthur Hiller (Silver Streak),[3] Ted Kotcheff (Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?), and others. Mancini’s score for the Alfred Hitchcock film Frenzy (1972) was rejected and replaced by Ron Goodwin‘s work.

Andy WIlliams singing “Moon River” in 1961.

Mancini scored many TV movies, including The Thorn Birds and The Shadow Box. He wrote his share of television themes, including Mr. Lucky (starring John Vivyan and Ross Martin), NBC News Election Night Coverage, NBC Mystery Movie,[4] What’s Happening!!,[5] Newhart, Remington Steele, Tic Tac Dough (1990 version) and Hotel. Mancini also composed the “Viewer Mail” theme for Late Night with David Letterman.[4] Lawrence Welk held Mancini in very high regard, and frequently featured Mancini’s music on The Lawrence Welk Show (Mancini, at least once, made a guest appearance on the show).

Mancini recorded over 90 albums, in styles ranging from big band to classical to pop. Eight of these albums were certified gold by The Recording Industry Association of America. He had a 20 year contract with RCA Records, resulting in 60 commercial record albums that made him a household name composer of easy listening music.

Peter Gunn Theme

Mancini’s range also extended to orchestral scores (Lifeforce, The Great Mouse Detective, Sunflower, “Tom and Jerry: The Movie”, Molly Maguires, The Hawaiians), and darker themes (“Experiment In Terror,” “The White Dawn,” “Wait Until Dark,” “The Night Visitor”).

Mancini was also a concert performer, conducting over fifty engagements per year, resulting in over 600 symphony performances during his lifetime. Among the symphony orchestras he conducted are the London Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He appeared in 1966, 1980 and 1984 in command performances for the British Royal Family. He also toured several times with Johnny Mathis and with Andy Williams, who had sung many of Mancini’s songs.

“Mr. Lucky”

Mancini had experience with acting and voice roles. In 1994 he made a one-off cameo appearance in the first season of the sitcom series Frasier, as a call-in patient to Dr. Frasier Crane’s radio show. Mancini voiced the character Al, who speaks with a melancholy drawl and hates the sound of his own voice, in the episode “Guess Who’s Coming to Breakfast?”[6] Mancini also had an uncredited performance as a pianist in the 1967 movie Gunn, the movie version of the series Peter Gunn, the score of which was originally composed by Mancini himself.

Mancini died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles. He was working at the time on the Broadway stage version of Victor/Victoria, which he never saw on stage. At the time of his death, Mancini was married to his only wife of 43 years, singer Virginia “Ginny” O’Connor, with whom he had three children. They met while both were members of the Tex Beneke orchestra just after World War II. In 1984, Ginny was one of the founders of the Society of Singers, a non-profit organization which benefits the health and welfare of professional singers worldwide. Additionally the Society awards scholarships to students pursuing an education in the vocal arts. One of Mancini’s twin daughters, Monica Mancini, is a professional singer; her sister Felice runs the The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (MHOF). Son Christopher is a music publisher and promoter in Los Angeles.

In 1996, the Henry Mancini Institute, an academy for young music professionals, was founded by Jack Elliott in Mancini’s honor, and was later under the direction of composer-conductor Patrick Williams. By the mid 2000s, however, the institute could not sustain itself and closed its doors on December 31, 2006. However, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation “Henry Mancini Music Scholarship” has been awarded annually since 2001. While still alive, Henry created a scholarship at UCLA and the bulk of his library and works are archived in the highly esteemed music library at UCLA.

In 2005, the Henry Mancini Arts Academy was opened as a division of the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. The Center is located in Midland, Pennsylvania, minutes away from Mancini’s hometown of Aliquippa. The Henry Mancini Arts Academy is an evening-and-weekend performing arts program for children from pre-K to grade 12, with some classes also available for adults. The program includes dance, voice, musical theater, and instrumental lessons.

Mancini was nominated for an unprecedented 72 Grammys, winning 20.[7] Additionally he was nominated for 18 Academy Awards, winning four.[8] He also won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for two Emmys.

Mancini won a total of four Oscars for his music in the course of his career. He was first nominated for an Academy Award in 1955 for his original score of The Glenn Miller Story, on which he collaborated with Joseph Gershenson. He lost out to Adolph Deutsch and Saul Chaplin‘s Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. In 1962 he was nominated in the Best Music, Original Song category for “Bachelor in Paradise” from the film of the same name, in collaboration with lyricist Mack David. That song did not win. However, Mancini did receive two Oscars that year: one in the same category, for the song “Moon River” (shared with lyricist Johnny Mercer), and one for “Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture” for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The following year, he and Mercer took another Best Song award for “Days of Wine and Roses“, another eponymous theme song. His next eleven nominations went for naught, but he finally garnered one last statuette working with lyricist Leslie Bricusse on the score for Victor/Victoria, which won the “Best Music, Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score” award for 1983. All three of the films for which he won were directed by Blake Edwards. His score for Victor/Victoria was adapted for the 1995 Broadway musical of the same name.

Le Jazz Hot from the movie Victor/Victoria, performed by Julie Andrews

On April 13, 2004 the United States Postal Service honored Mancini with a 37 cent commemorative stamp. The stamp shows Mancini conducting with a list of some of his most famous movies and TV show themes in the background. The stamp is Scott catalog number 3839.

Quick Bio Facts:

Henry ManciniHenry Mancini AKA Enrico Nicola Mancini

Born: 16-Apr1924
Birthplace: Cleveland, OH
Died: 14-Jun1994
Location of death: Los Angeles, CA
Cause of death: Cancer – Pancreatic
Remains: Cremated

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Composer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Moon River

Military service: US Army (1942-45)

Father: Quinto Mancini
Mother: Anna Pece
Wife: Virginia O’Connor (“Ginny”, m. 13-Sep-1947, until his death)
Daughter: Monica Mancini (twin)
Daughter: Felice Mancini (twin)
Son: Christopher Mancini

High School: Aliquippa High School, Aliquippa, PA
University: Juilliard School of Music

Hollywood Walk of Fame 6821 Hollywood Blvd (recording)
Oscar for Best Music Original Song 1962 for Breakfast at Tiffany’s (shared)
Oscar for Best Music Original Song 1963 for Days of Wine and Roses (shared)
Oscar for Best Music Original Song 1983 for Victor/Victoria (shared)
Songwriters Hall of Fame
Italian Ancestry

Author of books:
Did They Mention the Music? (1989, autobiography)

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube, nndb.com, imdb.com

Hit singles

Year Single Peak chart positions
US Country UK[1]
1960 “Mr. Lucky” 21
1961 “Theme from the Great Imposter” 90
“Moon River” 11 1 44
1962 “Theme from Hatari” 95
1963 “Days of Wine and Roses” 33 10
“Banzai Pipeline” 93
“Charade” 36 15
1964 “The Pink Panther Theme” 31 10
“A Shot In the Dark” 97
“Dear Heart” 77 14
“How Soon” 10
1965 “The Sweetheart Tree” 117 23
“Moment To Moment” 27
1966 “Hawaii (Main Theme)” 6
1967 “Two For the Road” 17
“Wait Until Dark” 4
1968 “Norma La De Guadalajara” 21
“A Man, a Horse and a Gun” 36
1969 “Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet” 1 1
“Moonlight Sonata” 87 15
“There Isn’t Enough To Go Around” 39
1970 “Theme from Z (Life Goes On)” 115 17
“Darling Lili” 26
1971 “Love Story” 13 2
“Theme from Cade’s County” 14 42
1972 “Theme from the Mancini Generation” 38
“All His Children”(with Charley Pride) 117 2
1973 “Oklahoma Crude” 38
1974 “Hangin’ Out”(with the Mouldy Seven) 21
1975 “Once Is Not Enough” 45
1976 “African Symphony” 40
“Slow Hot Wind” 38
1977 “Theme from Charlie’s Angels”” 45 22
1980 “Ravel’s Bolero” 101
1984 “The Thornbirds Theme” 23

Dionne Warwick

Dionne Warwick (born December 12, 1940) is an American singer and actress who became a United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization, and a United States Ambassador of Health.

Best known for her partnership with Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Warwick ranks as the 20th most popular hit-maker of the entire rock era (1955–1999), based on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts. According to Billboard Magazine, Warwick ranks second only to Aretha Franklin as the most popular female vocalist with 56 chart singles on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962 and 1998.

Warwick was born Marie Dionne Warrick to parents Mancel Warrick (1921-1990), who began his career as a Pullman porter and subsequently became a chef, a gospel record promoter for Chess Records and later a Certified Public Accountant; and Lee Drinkard Warrick (1921–2005), manager of The Drinkard Singers, the renowned family gospel group and RCA recording artists, in East Orange, New Jersey.

Dionne began singing gospel as a child at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.[1] She performed her first gospel solo at the age of six and frequently joined The Drinkard Singers. Warwick’s aunt, Emily “Cissy” Houston, and her sister Delia, who in time became better known professionally as Dee Dee Warwick, also performed with the family group. Other family members include Dionne’s brother, Mancel Warrick, Jr., who was killed in an accident in 1968 at the age of 21.

“I Say A Little Prayer”

Her first televised performances were in the mid-and late 1950s with the Drinkard Singers on local television stations in New Jersey and New York City. Warwick grew up in a racially mixed middle-class neighborhood. She stated in an interview on The Biography Channel in 2002 that the neighborhood in East Orange “was literally the United Nations of neighborhoods. We had every nationality, every creed, every religion right there on our street.” Warwick was untouched by the harsher aspects of racial intolerance and discrimination until her early professional career, when she began touring nationally.

Warwick graduated from East Orange High School in 1959 and was awarded a Scholarship in Music Education to the Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut (a school from which she earned her Doctorate of Music Education in 1973).

In 1958, Warwick, Myrna Utley, Carol Slade, and Warwick’s sister Delia, who by this time had begun to be known professionally as Dee Dee Warwick, formed their own group, which they called called “The Gospelaires.”[2] Their first performance together was at the world famous Apollo Theater, where they won the weekly amateur contest.[3] Various other singers joined The Gospelaires from time to time, including Judy Clay, whom Lee and Mancel Warrick adopted, Cissy Houston, and Doris Troy, whose chart selection “Just One Look,” when she recorded it in 1963, featured backing vocals from the Gospelaires.

Warwick recalled, in her 2002 A&E Biography, that “a man came running frantically backstage at The Apollo and said he needed background singers for a session for Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor and old big-mouth here spoke up and said ‘We’ll do it!’ and we left and did the session. I wish I remembered the gentleman’s name because he was responsible for the beginning of my professional career.”

The backstage encounter led to the group being asked to sing background sessions at recording studios in New York. Soon, the group was in demand in New York music circles for their background work for such artists as The Drifters, Ben E. King, Chuck Jackson, Dinah Washington, Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks, and Solomon Burke among many others.

Warwick remembered, in her A&E Biography, that after school, they would catch a bus from East Orange to the Port Authority Terminal, and then subway to recording studios in Manhattan, perform their background gigs and be back at home in East Orange in time to do their school homework. The background vocal work would continue while Warwick pursued her studies at Hartt.

While she was performing background on The Drifters’s recording of “Mexican Divorce,” Warwick’s voice and star presence were noticed by the song’s composer, Burt Bacharach, a Brill Building songwriter who was writing songs with many other songwriters, including lyricist Hal David. According to a July 14, 1967, article on Warwick from Time, Bacharach stated, “She has a tremendous strong side and a delicacy when singing softly—like miniature ships in bottles.” Musically, she was “no play-safe girl. What emotion I could get away with!” And what complexity, compared with the usual run of pop songs.

“Walk On By”

During the session, Bacharach asked Warwick if she would be interested in recording demonstration recordings of his compositions to be used to pitch the tunes to record labels. One such demo, “It’s Love That Really Counts”–destined to be recorded by Scepter-signed act The Shirelles–caught the attention of Scepter Records President Florence Greenberg. Greenberg, according to Current Biography 1969 Yearbook, told Bacharach, “Forget the song, get the girl!”

Warwick was signed to Bacharach’s and David’s production company, according to Warwick, which in turn was signed to Scepter Records in 1962 by Greenberg. The partnership would provide Bacharach with the freedom to produce Warwick without the control of recording company executives and company A&R men. Warwick’s musical ability and education would also allow Bacharach to compose more challenging tunes. The demo version of “It’s Love That Really Counts,” along with her original demo of “Make It Easy on Yourself,” would surface on Dionne’s debut Scepter album, titled Presenting Dionne Warwick, which was released early in 1963.

Her first solo single for Scepter Records was released in November, 1962. The song was titled “Don’t Make Me Over“, the title (according to the A&E Biography of Dionne Warwick) supplied by Warwick herself when she snapped the phrase at producers Burt Bacharach and Hal David in anger. Warwick found “Make It Easy on Yourself“—-a song on which she had recorded the original demo and had wanted to be her first single release—-had been given to another artist, Jerry Butler. From the phrase, Bacharach and David created their first top 40 pop hit (#21) and a top 5 US R&B hit. Warrick’s name was misspelled on the single’s label, and she began using the new spelling (i.e., “Warwick“) both professionally and personally.[4] According to the July 14, 1967 Time magazine article, after “Don’t Make Me Over” hit in 1962, she answered the call of her manager (“C’mon, baby, you gotta go”), left school and went on a tour of France, where critics crowned her “Paris’ Black Pearl,” having been introduced on stage at Paris Olympia that year by Marlene Dietrich. Rhapsodized Jean Monteaux in Arts: “The play of this voice makes you think sometimes of an eel, of a storm, of a cradle, a knot of seaweed, a dagger. It is not a voice so much as an organ. You could write fugues for Warwick’s voice.”

The two immediate follow-ups to “Don’t Make Me Over”—-“This Empty Place” (with “B” Side “Wishin’ and Hopin’” later covered by Dusty Springfield) and “Make The Music Play”-—charted briefly in the top 100. Her fourth single, “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” released in December 1963, was Warwick’s first top 10 pop hit (#8) in the USA and also an international hit. This was followed by “Walk On By” in April 1964, a major international hit and million seller that solidified her career. For the rest of the 1960s, Warwick was a fixture on the US and Canadian charts, and much of Warwick’s output from 1962-1971 was written and produced by the Bacharach/David team.

“What The World Needs Now” and “Alfie”

Warwick weathered the British Invasion better than most American artists. Her UK hits were most notably “Walk On By” and “Do You Know the Way to San José?” In the UK, a number of Bacharach-David-Warwick songs were covered by UK singers Cilla Black, Sandie Shaw and Dusty Springfield, most notably Black’s “Anyone Who Had a Heart” which went to #1 in the UK. This upset Warwick and she has described feeling insulted when told that in the UK, record company executives wanted her songs recorded by someone else. Warwick even met Cilla Black while on tour in the UK. She recalled what she said to her: “I told her that “You’re My World” would be my next single in the States. I honestly believe that if I’d sneezed on my next record, then Cilla would have sneezed on hers too. There was no imagination in her recording.” [1] [2] “You’re My World”–recorded in no time by Black—was not released as a single by Warwick, but it did appear on a later album, Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls, released in 1968.

Warwick was named the Bestselling Female Vocalist in the Cash Box Magazine Poll in 1964, with six chart hits in that year. Cash Box also named her the Top Female Vocalist in 1969, 1970 and 1971. In the 1967 Cash Box Poll, she was second to Petula Clark, and in 1968’s poll second to Aretha Franklin. Playboy‘s influential Music Poll of 1970 named her the Top Female Vocalist. In 1969, Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Society named her Woman of the Year.

In a May 21, 1965 Time Magazine cover article entitled “The Sound of the Sixties,” Dionne Warwick’s sound was described as follows:
“Swinging World. Scholarly articles probe the relationship between the Beatles and the nouvelle vague films of Jean-Luc Godard, discuss ‘the brio and elegance’ of Dionne Warwick’s singing style as a ‘pleasurable but complex’ event to be ‘experienced without condescension.’ In chic circles, anyone damning rock ‘n’ roll is labeled not only square but uncultured. For inspirational purposes, such hip artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers and Andy Warhol occasionally paint while listening to rock ‘n’ roll music. Explains Warhol: ‘It makes me mindless, and I paint better.’ After gallery openings in Manhattan, the black-tie gatherings often adjourn to a discotheque.”

Theme from “Valley Of The Dolls”

The mid 1960s to early 1970s became an even more successful time period for Warwick, who saw a string of Gold selling albums and Top 20 and Top 10 hit singles. “Message to Michael“, a Bacharach-David composition that the duo was certain was a “man’s song”, became a top 10 hit for Warwick in May 1966. The January 1967 LP Here Where There Is Love was her first RIAA certified Gold Album and featured “Alfie“, and two 1966 hits “Trains and Boats and Planes“, and “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself“. “Alfie” had become a radio hit when disc jockeys across the nation began to play the album cut early in 1967. “Alfie” was released as the “B” side of a Bacharach/David ballad, “The Beginning of Loneliness” in which charted in the Hot 100. Disc jockeys flipped the single and made it a double-sided hit. Bacharach had been contracted to produce “Alfie” for the Michael Caine film of the same name and wanted Dionne Warwick to sing the tune but the British producers wanted a British subject to cut the tune. Cilla Black was selected to record the song, and her version peaked at #95 upon its release in the USA. A cover version by Cher used in the USA prints of the film peaked at #33. In the UK and Australia, Black’s version was a Top 10 hit. In a 1983 concert appearance televised on PBS, Warwick states she was the 43rd person to record “Alfie”, at Bacharach’s insistence, who felt Dionne could make it a big hit. Warwick, at first, balked at recording the tune and asked Bacharach “How many more versions of Alfie do you need?” to which Bacharach replied “Just one more, yours.” Bacharach took Warwick into the studio with his new arrangement and cut the tune the way he wanted it to be, which she nailed in one take. Warwick’s version peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on both the R&B Chart and the AC Charts. Warwick performed the song at the Academy Awards in 1967. Today, “Alfie” is considered a signature song for Warwick.

“A House Is Not A Home”

Later that same year, Warwick earned her first RIAA Gold Single for US sales of over one million units for the single “I Say a Little Prayer” (from her album The Windows of the World). When disc jockeys across the nation began to play the track from the album in the fall of 1967 and demanded its release as a single, Florence Greenberg, President of Scepter Records, complied and “I Say a Little Prayer” became Warwick’s biggest US hit to that point, reaching #4 on the US and Canadian Charts and # 8 on the R & B Charts. Aretha Franklin would cover the tune a year later hitting #10 on the hot 100,#3 on the R&B charts as well a turning the song into a million seller as well. The tune was also the first RIAA certified USA million seller for Bacharach-David.

Her follow-up to “I Say a Little Prayer”,”(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls“, was unusual in several respects. It was not written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, it was the “B” side of her “I Say a Little Prayer” single, and it was a song that she almost didn’t record. While the film version of Valley of the Dolls was being made, actress Barbara Parkins suggested that Warwick be considered to sing the film’s theme song, written by songwriting team Andre and Dory Previn. The song was to be recorded by Judy Garland, who was fired from the film. Warwick performed the song, and when the film became a success in the early weeks of 1968, disc jockeys flipped the single and made the single one of the biggest double-sided hits of the rock era and another million seller. At the time, RIAA rules allowed only one side of a double-sided hit single to be certified as Gold, but Scepter awarded Warwick an “in-house award” to recognize “(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls” as a million selling tune.

Warwick had re-recorded a Pat Williams-arranged version of the theme at A&R Studios in New York because contractual restrictions would not allow the Warwick version from the film to be included in the 20th Century Fox soundtrack LP. The LP Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls, released in early 1968 and containing the re-recorded version of the movie theme (#2–4 weeks), “Do You Know the Way to San José?” and several new Bacharach-David compositions, hit the #6 position on the Billboard Hot 100 Album Chart and would remain on the chart for over a year. The film soundtrack LP, without Warwick vocals, failed to impress the public, while Dionne Warwick in Valley of the Dolls earned an RIAA Gold certification.

The single “Do You Know the Way to San José?”, an international million seller and a Top 10 hit in several countries, including the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Japan and Mexico, was also a double sided hit with the “B” side “Let Me Be Lonely” charting at #79.

“Do You Know The Way To San Jose?”

More hits followed into 1971 including “Promises, Promises” (#19, 1968); “Who Is Gonna Love Me” (#32, 1968) with “B” side, “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me” becoming another double-sided hit; “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” (#6, 1969); “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (#15, 1969); “This Girl’s in Love with You” (#7, 1969); “Make It Easy on Yourself” (#37, 1970); “Who Is Gonna Love Me” (#33, 1968); “The April Fools” (#37, 1969); “Let Me Go To Him” (#32, 1970); and “Paper Mache” (#43, 1970). Warwick’s final Bacharach/David penned single was March 1971’s “Who Gets the Guy” and her final “official” Scepter single release was “He’s Moving On” backed with “Amanda” both from the soundtrack of the motion picture adaptation of Jacqueline Susann‘s The Love Machine.

Warwick had become the priority act of Scepter Records, according to the website “The Scepter Records Story” and producer/A&R chief, Luther Dixon in a 2002 A&E Biography of Burt Bacharach, with the release of “Anyone Who Had a Heart” in 1963. Other Scepter LPs certified RIAA Gold include Dionne Warwick’s Golden Hits Part 1 released in 1967 and The Dionne Warwicke Story: A Decade of Gold released in 1971. By the end of 1971, Dionne Warwick had sold an estimated thirty-five million singles and albums internationally in less than nine years and more than 16 million singles in the USA alone. Exact figures of Warwick’s sales are unknown and probably underestimated, due to Scepter Records apparently lax accounting policies and the company policy of not submitting recordings for RIAA audit. Dionne Warwick became the first Scepter artist to request RIAA audits of her recordings in 1967 with the release of “I Say A Little Prayer.”

On Wednesday, September 17, 1969, CBS Television aired Dionne Warwick’s first television special entitled “The Dionne Warwick Chevy Special.” Dionne’s guests were Burt Bacharach, George Kirby, Glen Campbell, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

In 1971, Dionne Warwick left the family atmosphere of Scepter Records for Warner Bros. Records, for a $5 million contract, the most lucrative recording contract ever given to a female vocalist up to that time, according to Variety. Warwick’s last LP for Scepter was the aforementioned soundtrack for the motion picture The Love Machine (in which she appeared in an uncredited cameo), released in July 1971. In 1975, Bacharach and David sued Scepter Records for an accurate accounting of royalties due the team from their recordings with Warwick and labelmate B. J. Thomas. They were awarded almost $600,000 and the rights to all Bacharach/David recordings on the Scepter label. The label, with the defection of Warwick to Warner Bros. Records, filed for bankruptcy in 1975 and was sold to Springboard International Records in 1976.

“Anyone Who Had A Heart”

Following her signing with Warners, with Bacharach and David as writers and producers, Dionne returned to New York City’s A&R Studios in late 1971 to begin recording her first album for the new label, the self-titled album Dionne (not to be confused with her later Arista debut album) in January 1972. The album peaked at #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 Album Chart. In 1972, Burt Bacharach and Hal David scored and wrote the tunes for the motion picture Lost Horizon. But the film was panned by the critics, and in the fallout from the film, the songwriting duo decided to terminate their working relationship. The break-up left Dionne devoid of their services as her producers and songwriters. Dionne was contractually obligated to fulfill her contract with Warners without Bacharach and David and she would team with a variety of producers during her tenure with the label.

Faced with the prospect of being sued by Warner Bros. Records due to the breakup of Bacharach/David and their failure to honor their contract with Dionne, she filed a $5.5 million lawsuit against her former partners for breach of contract. The suit was settled out of court in 1979 for $5 million including the rights to all Warwick recordings produced by Bacharach and David.

Warwick, for years an aficionado of psychic phenomena, was advised by famed astrologer Linda Goodman in 1971 to add a small “e” to her last name, making Warwick “WARWICKe” for good luck and to recognize her married name and her spouse, actor and drummer William “Bill” Elliott. Goodman convinced Warwick that the extra small “e” would add a vibration needed to balance her last name and bring her even more good fortune in her marriage and her professional life. Unfortunately, Goodwin proved to be mistaken about this. The extra “e,” according to Dionne, “was the worst thing I could have done in retrospect, and in 1975 I finally got rid of that damn ‘e’ and became ‘Dionne Warwick’ again.”

“Don’t Make Me Over”

Without the guidance and songwriting that Bacharach/David had provided, Warwick’s career slowed in the 1970s. There were no big hits until 1974’s “Then Came You“, recorded as a duet with the Spinners and produced by Thom Bell. Bell later noted, “Dionne made a face when we finished [the song]. She didn’t like it much, but I knew we had something. So we ripped a dollar in two, signed each half and exchanged them. I told her, ‘If it doesn’t go number one, I’ll send you my half.’ When it took off, Dionne sent hers back. There was an apology on it.” It was her first US #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Other than this success, Warwick’s five years on Warner Bros. Records—despite the fact that she worked the entire time—left her with few chart hits. Two notable songs recorded during this period were “His House and Me” and “Once You Hit The Road” (#79 R&B, #6 Adult Contemporary)—both of which were produced in 1975 by Thom Bell.

Warwick recorded five albums with Warners: Dionne, produced by Bacharach and David; Just Being Myself, produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland; Then Came You, produced by Jerry Ragovoy; Track of the Cat, produced by Thom Bell; and Love at First Sight, produced by Steve Barri and Michael Omartian. The singer’s five-year contract with Warners expired in 1977, and with that, Warwick ended her stay at the label. With the move to Arista Records and the release of her RIAA certified million seller “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” in 1979, Dionne was again enjoying top success on the charts. The song was produced by Barry Manilow. The accompanying album Dionne was certified Platinum in the United States for sales exceeding one million units. The album peaked at #12 on the Billboard Album Chart and #10 on the Billboard R & B Album Chart. Warwick had been personally signed and guided by the label’s founder Clive Davis, who stated to Dionne “You may be ready to give the business up, but the business is not ready to give you up.” Dionne’s next single release was another major hit for her. “Deja Vu” was co-written by Isaac Hayes and hit #1 Adult Contemporary as well as #15 on Billboard’s Hot 100. In 1980, Dionne was nominated for the NARAS Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female for “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female for “Déjà Vu”. Dionne became the first female artist in the history of the awards to win in both categories the same year. Her second Arista album, 1980’s No Night So Long, featured the title track which became a major success – hitting #1 Adult Contemporary and #23 on Billboard’s Hot 100 – and the album peaked at #23 on the Billboard Albums Chart.

In January 1980, while under contract to Arista Records, Dionne Warwick hosted a two-hour TV special called Solid Gold ’79. This was adapted into the weekly one-hour show Solid Gold, which she hosted throughout 1980 and 1981 and again in 1985-86.

After an appearance in the Top Forty in early 1982 with Johnny Mathis on “Friends In Love” – from the album of the same name – Warwick’s next hit later that same year was her full-length collaboration with Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees for the album Heartbreaker. The song “Heartbreaker” became one of Dionne’s biggest international hits, returning her to the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 – for the first time since 1979 – as well as #1 Adult Contemporary and #2 in the UK. Internationally, the tune was also a Top 10 hit in continential Europe, Australia (#1), Japan, South Africa, Canada, and Asia. The title track was taken from the album of the same name which sold over 3 million copies internationally and earned Dionne an RIAA USA Gold record award for the album. The album peaked at #25 on the Billboard Album Chart, #13 on the R&B Albums Chart and #3 in the UK. Dionne stated to Wesley Hyatt in his The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits that she was not fond of “Heartbreaker” but recorded the tune because she trusted The Bee Gees’ judgment that it would be a hit. The project came about when Clive Davis was attending his aunt’s wedding in Orlando, Florida in early 1982 and spoke with Barry Gibb. Barry mentioned that he had always been a fan of Dionne’s and Clive arranged for Dionne and The Bee Gees to discuss a project. Dionne and the brothers Gibb hit it off and the album and the title single were released in October 1982.

In 1983, Dionne released How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye produced by Luther Vandross. The album’s most successful single was the title track, “How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye“, a Warwick/Vandross duet, which peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became a Top 10 hit on the Adult Contemporary and R&B charts. The album, however, peaked at a disappointing #57 on the Billboard album chart. Of note was a reunion with the original Shirelles on Warwick’s cover of “Will You (Still) Love Me Tomorrow?” The album Finder Of Lost Loves followed in 1985 and reunited her with both Barry Manilow and Burt Bacharach, who was writing with his then current lyricist partner and wife, Carole Bayer Sager.

In 1985, Warwick contributed her voice to the multi-Grammy Award winning charity song We Are the World, along with vocalists like Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Ray Charles. The song spent four consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. It was the year’s biggest hit – certified four times Platinum in the United States alone.

In 1985, Warwick recorded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) benefit single “That’s What Friends Are For” alongside Gladys Knight, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder. The single, credited to “Dionne and Friends” was released in October and eventually raised over three million dollars for that cause. The tune was a triple #1 – R&B, Adult Contemporary, and four weeks at the summit on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1986 – selling close to two million 45s in the United States alone. In 1988, the Washington Post wrote: So working against AIDS, especially after years of raising money for work on many blood-related diseases such as sickle-cell anemia, seemed the right thing to do. “You have to be granite not to want to help people with AIDS, because the devastation that it causes is so painful to see. I was so hurt to see my friend die with such agony,” Warwick remembers. “I am tired of hurting and it does hurt.” The single won the performers the NARAS Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, as well as Song of the Year for its writers, Bacharach and Bayer Sager. It also was ranked by Billboard magazine as the most popular song of 1986. With this single Warwick also released her most successful album of the 1980s, titled Friends, which reached #12 on Billboard’s album chart.

In 1987 Dionne scored another hit with “Love Power“, her eighth career #1 Adult Contemporary hit that went to #5 R&B and #10 on Billboard’s Hot 100. “Love Power”, a duet with Jeffrey Osborne, was another written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, and featured in Warwick’s album Reservations for Two. The album’s title song, a duet with Kashif, was also a chart hit. Other artists featured on the album included Smokey Robinson and the late June Pointer. During the 1990s, Warwick hosted infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network which featured psychic Linda Georgian. The 900 number psychic service was active from 1991 to 1998. According to press statements throughout the 1990s, the program was the most successful infomercial for several years and Warwick earned in excess of three million dollars per year as spokesperson for the network. In 1998, Inphomation, the corporation owning the network, filed for bankruptcy and Warwick ended her association with the organization. Warwick’s longtime friend and tour manager Henry Carr acknowledged in a 2002 Biography Channel interview that “when Dionne was going through an airport and a child recognized her as ‘that psychic lady on TV’ Dionne was crushed and said she had worked too hard as an entertainer to become known as ‘the psychic lady’.”

Warwick’s most publicized album during this period was 1993’s “Friends Can Be Lovers“, which was produced in part by Ian Devaney and Lisa Stansfield. Featured on the album was “Sunny Weather Lover“, which was the first song that Burt Bacharach and Hal David had written together for Warwick since 1972. It was Warwick’s lead single in the US, and was heavily promoted by Arista, but failed to chart. A follow-up “Where My Lips Have Been” peaked at #95 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. 1994 marked the end of Warwick’s contract with Arista Records.

In 1990 Dionne recorded a song “It’s All Over” with former member of Modern Talking Dieter Bohlen (Blue System). The single peaked at #84 on U.S R&B charts and it appears on Blue System’s album “Deja Vu“.

In 1993, Forrest Sawyer, host of the ABC News/Entertainment program “Day One”, alleged financial improprieties by the Warwick Foundation, founded in 1989 to benefit AIDS patients, particularly Dionne Warwick’s charity concert performances organized to benefit the organization. ABC alleged the Foundation was operating at a near 90% administrative cost. ABC also alleged that Warwick flew first class and was accommodated at first class hotels for charity concerts and events in which she participated for the Foundation. Warwick, who had no executive, administrative or management role in the organization, challenged ABC to investigate the foundation further and alleged that the ABC report was racially motivated. An Internal Revenue Service investigation of the Warwick Foundation found no wrongdoing or criminal activity on the part of the Board of Directors or Warwick and its status as a non-profit charity was upheld. ABC maintained the report to be factually correct but the item has not been repeated since the original air date. The Foundation was later dissolved.

On 16 October 2002, Dionne Warwick was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

In 2004, Dionne Warwick’s first Christmas album was released. The CD, entitled “My Favorite Time of the Year” featured jazzy interpretations of many holiday classics. In 2007, Rhino Records re-released the CD with new cover art.

In 2005, Dionne Warwick was honored by Oprah Winfrey at her Legends Ball.

Warwick appeared on the May 24, 2006, fifth-season finale of American Idol. Millions of U.S. viewers watched Warwick sing a medley of “Walk On By” and “That’s What Friends Are For“, with longtime collaborator Burt Bacharach accompanying her on the piano.

In 2006, Warwick signed with Concord Records after a fifteen-year tenure at Arista which had ended in 1994. Her first and only release for the label was My Friends and Me, a duets album containing reworkings of her old hits, very similar in fashion to her 1998 CD “Dionne Sings Dionne” . Among her singing partners were Gloria Estefan, Olivia Newton-John, Wynonna Judd and Reba McEntire. The album peaked at #66 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album was produced by her son, Damon Elliott. A followup album featuring Warwick’s old hits as duets with male vocalists was planned but the project was cancelled. The relationship with Concord concluded with the release of My Friends and Me.

A compilation CD of her greatest hits and love songs “The Love Collection” entered the UK pop charts at number 27 on February 16, 2008.

Dionne Warwick’s second gospel album, “Why We Sing”, was released on February 26, 2008 in the UK and on April 1, 2008 in the USA. The album features guest spots by her sister Dee Dee Warwick and BeBe Winans.

On October 18, 2008, Warwick’s sister Dee Dee Warwick died in a nursing home in Essex County, New Jersey. She had been in failing health for several months which lead up to her death. Warwick was with her sister Dee Dee when she died.

On November 24, 2008 Dionne was the star performer on “Divas II” a UK ITV1 special. The show also featured Rihanna, Leona Lewis, Sugababes, Pink, Gabriella Climi and Anastacia.

In 2008 Dionne began recording an album of songs written by Sammy Cahn, reportedly produced by George Duke. As of late 2009 the album was in post-production, according to the artist’s blog. A release date has yet to be announced.

On October 20, 2009, Starlight Children’s Foundation and New Gold Music Ltd. released a song that Dionne recorded about 10 years prior called “Starlight.” The song was written by Dean Pitchford, prolific writer of “Fame” and creator of “Footloose,” and Bill Goldstein, whose versatile career includes the original music for NBC’s “Fame” TV series. Dionne, Dean and Bill are donating 100% of their royalties to Starlight Children’s Foundation as a way to raise money to support Starlight’s mission to help seriously ill children and their families cope with their pain, fear and isolation through entertainment, education and family activities.

“When Bill and Dean brought this song to me, I instantly felt connected to its message of shining a little light into the lives of people who need it most,” said Warwick. “I admire the work of Starlight Children’s Foundation and know that if the song brings hope to even just one sick child, we have succeeded.”

Dionne Warwick married actor and drummer William Elliott (CBS’s Bridget Loves Bernie-1972-73) in 1966 and the couple divorced in May 1967 after being wed for less than a year. They reconciled and were remarried in Milan, Italy, in August 1967 according to Time. Warwick has stated in many interviews that “It was a case of can’t do with, can’t do without, so I married him again.” On May 30, 1975, the couple separated and Warwick was granted a divorce in December 1975 in Los Angeles. The court denied Elliott’s request for $2,000 a month in support pending a community property trial and for $5,000, when Elliott insisted that he was making $500 a month in comparison to Warwick making $100,000 a month. Dionne stated in “Don’t Make Me Over: Dionne Warwick”, a 2002 Biography Channel interview, “I was the breadwinner. The male ego is a fragile thing. It’s hard when the woman is the breadwinner. All my life, the only man who ever took care of me financially was my father. I have always taken care of myself.” Warwick has been connected romantically with Philadelphia Eagles great Timmy Brown, French singer-songwriter Sacha Distel, actor Philip Michael Thomas (“Miami Vice“), Seagram heir and CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr., and Las Vegas restaurateur and actor Gianni Russo (“The Godfather”).

On January 18, 1969, while living in East Orange, NJ, Warwick gave birth to her first son, David Elliott. Elliott is a singer-songwriter (Luther Vandross’ “Here and Now” among others) and a former Los Angeles police officer. In 1993, David co-wrote with Terry Steele the Dionne Warwick-Whitney Houston duet “Love Will Find A Way” featured on her album Friends Can Be Lovers. Since 2002, David has toured with and performed duets with his famous mother periodically, and had his acting debut in the film “Ali” as the singer Sam Cooke. In 1973, Warwick’s second son Damon Elliott was born. Damon Elliott is a noted music producer (Mýa, Pink, Keyshia Cole) and arranged and produced his mother’s 2006 Concord release My Friends and Me.

Dionne Warwick made the Top 250 Delinquent Taxpayers List published in October 2007. California Revenue & Taxation Code Section 19195 directs the Franchise Tax Board to publish an annual list of the top 250 taxpayers with liened state income tax delinquencies greater than $100,000 in an effort to collect money from those taxpayers, some of whom have been delinquent since 1987. Dionne Warwick is listed with a tax delinquency of $2,665,305.83 in personal income tax and a tax lien was filed July 24, 1997.[5] As of 2010, Warwick is still delinquent although now owes $2,185,901.08.[6] Her publicist stated that she is actively paying off the debt.[7]

On May 8, 2010, she received an honorary Doctor of Arts from Lincoln College in Lincoln IL. http://www.lincolncollege.edu/pr/feed/42710b.html

Dionne Warwick now lives in Brazil. Warwick first visited Brazil in the early 1960s and has become so entranced by the South American country that she has bought a home there and has studied Portuguese.

Quick Bio Facts:

Dionne WarwickDionne Warwick AKA Marie Dionne Warrick

Born: 12-Dec1940
Birthplace: East Orange, NJ

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Singer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Walk On By

Shill for the Psychic Friends Network.

Father: Mancel Warrick (record promoter)
Mother: Lee Drinkard (musician)
Sister: Dee Dee Warwick (musician)
Husband: Bill Elliott (m. 1963, div. 1964, remarried 1965, div. 1975)
Son: David Elliott
Son: Damon Elliott
Boyfriend: Philip Michael Thomas (actor, ex-)
Boyfriend: Gianni Russo (actor, ex-)

University: Hartt School of Music, Hartford, CT

The Gospelaires Vocalist
The Drinkard Sisters Vocalist
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority
Tau Beta Sigma Sorority (uncertain)
Grammy multiple
Wedding: David Gest and Liza Minnelli (2002)
unknown detox facility
Drug Possession: Marijuana Miami Int’l Airport (May-2002)
Risk Factors: Smoking, Marijuana

Solid Gold Host (1980-81 and 1985-86)

Rent-a-Cop (15-Jan-1988)
We Are the World (28-Jan-1985) Herself
Slaves (2-Jul-1969)

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube, nndb.com, imdb.com, dionnewarwick.com

Dionne Warwick’s U.S. Charted Singles with peak Billboard magazine chart positions (*During 1964 Billboard’s Top 100 and R & B Charts were combined)

Year Song U.S. Hot 100 U.S R&B U.S. Adult Contem- porary CANADA Singles(CHUM-62-64) UK Singles
1962 Don’t Make Me Over 21 5 38
1963 Anyone Who Had a Heart 8 8* 2 11 42
1964 Walk On By(A-side)/”Any Old Time of Day(B-side) 6 6* 7 14 8
1964 “You’ll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)” (A-side)/”A House Is Not a Home(B-side) 34 34* 15 20
1964 “Reach Out for Me” 20 20* 12 23
1965 “Are You There (With Another Girl)” 39 35 13
1966 Message to Michael 8 5 12 6
1966 “Trains and Boats and Planes” 22 49 37 18
1966 I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself 26 20 36
1967 Alfie(B-side)/“The Beginning of Loneliness” (A-side) 15 5 10
1967 “The Windows of the World” 32 27 32 20
1967 I Say a Little Prayer(A-side) 4 8 4
→ 1968 (Theme from) Valley of the Dolls(B-side) 2 13 2 4 28
1968 Do You Know the Way to San José?” (A-side)/”Let Me Be Lonely” (B-side) 10 23 4 8 8
1968 “Who Is Gonna Love Me?” (A-side)/”(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me(B-side) 33 43 4 19
1968 “Promises, Promises” 19 47 7 8
1969 This Girl’s in Love with You 7 7 2 7
1969 “The April Fools” 37 33 8 32
1969 You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ 16 13 10 12
1969 I’ll Never Fall in Love Again 6 17 1 3
1970 “Let Me Go to Him” 32 45 5 30
1970 Make It Easy on Yourself 37 26 2 24
1974 Then Came You(with The Spinners) 1 2 3 7 29
1979 I’ll Never Love This Way Again 5 18 5 6 62
1979 Déjà Vu 15 25 1 34
1980 After You 65 33 10
1980 “No Night So Long” 23 19 1
1980 “Easy Love” 62 12
1981 “Some Changes Are For Good” 65 43 23
1982 “Friends in Love” (with Johnny Mathis) 38 22 5
1982 “For You” 14
1982 Heartbreaker 10 14 1 15 2
1983 Take The Short Way Home 41 43 5
1983 All the Love in the World 101 16 10
1983 “How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye” (with Luther Vandross) 27 7 4 99
1984 “Got A Date” 45
1984 “Finder Of Lost Loves” (with Glenn Jones) 47 12
1985 “Run To Me” (with Barry Manilow) 12 86
1985 That’s What Friends Are For
(Dionne & Friends: Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder)
1 1 1 1 16
1986 Whisper In The Dark 72 7
1987 “Love Power” (with Jeffrey Osborne) 12 5 1 21 63
1987 “Reservations For Two” (with Kashif) 62 7
1988 “Another Chance To Love” (with Howard Hewett) 24
1989 “Take Good Care Of You And Me” (with Jeffrey Osborne) 25
1991 It’s All Over(with Blue System) 84
1998 “What The World Needs Now Is Love” (with TheHipHopNationUnited) 87

Julius LaRosa

Julius LaRosa (born January 2, 1930) is an American traditional popular music singer who has worked in both radio and television since the 1950s.[1] La Rosa was born in Brooklyn, New York. He joined the United States Navy in 1947 after finishing high school[2] becoming a radioman who sang informally. The young sailor’s Navy buddies managed to promote him to Arthur Godfrey – at the time one of America’s leading radio and television personalities, and himself a Naval Reserve officer, whom the Navy often accommodated as a nod to the good publicity he gave the service. Godfrey, a personality in the early years of network television, heard LaRosa in Pensacola, Florida, where LaRosa was stationed, and offered him a job.[3] Godfrey, for his part, was impressed by La Rosa’s singing and had him flown to New York to appear on his television show, with Godfrey ending the spot by saying, “When Julie gets out of the Navy he’ll come back to see us.”

Discharged from the Navy on a Friday, La Rosa went to Godfrey on the following Monday, and a week later he appeared on Godfrey’s variety show. He was a regular on both the morning Arthur Godfrey Time (broadcast on both the CBS radio and television networks) and the Wednesday night variety show Arthur Godfrey and His Friends. LaRosa was joining a show that was extremely profitable for the new CBS television network. But Arthur Godfrey was caught between the enmity of CBS owner Bill Paley and the admiration of CBS management for running a successful show. Godfrey was subject to aesthetic criticism by Paley, as noted by Time magazine in 1950. “[…][H]earing that William Paley thought the Godfrey TV show ‘lacked movement,’ Arthur brought on a line of hula dancers and leered into the TV camera: ‘Is that enough movement for you, Bill?'” The same Time magazine article also found Godfrey to be vulgar and “scatological”.[4] However CBS management realized the show was extremely successful and cost little to produce, in turn earning their admiration.[5]

1955 “Domani”

Julius La Rosa’s tenure on Godfrey’s shows lasted from November 19, 1951 to October 19, 1953. When Archie Bleyer, Arthur Godfrey’s bandleader, formed Cadence Records in 1952, the first performer signed was La Rosa. Cadence’s first single, which was also La Rosa’s first recording, was “Anywhere I Wander.” It reached the top 30 on the charts, and his next recording, “My Lady Loves To Dance“, was a moderate success, but La Rosa would hit gold with his third recording, “Eh, Cumpari” in 1953. It hit #1 on the Cash Box chart and #2 on the Billboard chart, and La Rosa got an award as the best new male vocalist of 1953. Like the other “Little Godfreys”, as the cast members were known, Godfrey discouraged La Rosa from hiring a manager or booking agent, preferring to have his staff coordinate and negotiate on La Rosa’s behalf.[6] He then hired his own agent and manager: Tommy Rockwell[7].

With hit recordings and his appearances on Arthur Godfrey’s shows, La Rosa’s popularity grew exponentially. At one point, La Rosa’s fan mail eclipsed Godfrey’s. A year after La Rosa was hired, he was receiving 7,000 fan letters a week.[8] On the morning of October 19, 1953 (in a segment of the show broadcast on radio only) after La Rosa had finished singing “Manhattan” on Arthur Godfrey Time, Godfrey actually fired him on the air,[9] announcing, “that was Julie’s swan song with us.” La Rosa tearfully met with Godfrey after the broadcast and thanked him for giving him his “break”. La Rosa was then met at Godfrey’s offices by his lawyer, manager and some reporters. Tommy Rockwell was highly critical of Godfrey’s behavior, angrily citing La Rosa’s public humiliation.

“Aren’t You Glad You’re You?”

Comedians began working the phrase “no humility” into their routines. Singer Ruth Wallis, known for her raunchy double entendre novelties, recorded “Dear Mr. Godfrey,”[10] a biting satire on the matter, which made it to #25 on the Billboard charts in November 1953. Days after firing La Rosa, Godfrey also fired bandleader Archie Bleyer, owner of La Rosa’s label Cadence Records, for producing spoken word records for Cadence featuring Chicago-based talk host Don McNeill, whose Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club on ABC Radio opposite Godfrey’s morning show was considered a direct competitor.

The firing did not hurt La Rosa’s career in the short run. Immediately afterwards, “Eh, Cumpari” became a major hit, followed by “Domani.” Ed Sullivan immediately signed La Rosa for appearances on his CBS Toast of the Town TV variety show, which sparked a feud between him and Godfrey. La Rosa’s first appearance on Toast of the Town following the firing got a 47.9 Trendex rating, and La Rosa would appear 12 more times on Sullivan’s show that year.

on “What’s My Line?”

La Rosa had a three times a week television series, The Julius La Rosa Show, during the summer of 1955, featuring Russ Case and his Orchestra. The short-lived series lasted only 13 weeks. La Rosa tired of revisiting the Godfrey affair, in part because it had been rehashed so many times, but he was also known to declare publicly that Godfrey was, indeed, the individual who made his career, but always adding, “He wasn’t a very nice man.”[11]

“A Fellow Needs A Girl”

Julius La Rosa appeared on television shows ranging from The Honeymooners in 1953 to What’s My Line? to The Merv Griffin Show to Laverne and Shirley in 1980. He also hosted an unsold game show pilot for NBC in 1977 called Noot’s Game. [12] In the 1980s, Julius La Rosa received a non-contract, recurring role in the NBC soap opera Another World. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Daytime Emmy award for this role.[13] He has also been a frequent contributor to comedian Jerry Lewis‘s marathon annual Labor Day telethon programs for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, often hosting the New York outpost of the shows. La Rosa eventually moved on to a long-time disk jockey position at New York’s WNEW and continued to sing and occasionally record. As late as 1999, Julius LaRosa was a disc jockey on WNJR hosting “Make Believe Ballroom Time”.[14] La Rosa, profiled by jazz critic and composer Gene Lees some years ago, has continued to work clubs and release records and compact discs. New York Times music critic Stephen Holden says: “His singing is very direct and unpretentious — he can wrap his voice tenaciously around a melody line and bring out the best in it.”[15]

On The Jerry Lewis Telethon 2002

Julius LaRosa said in 2008, “Music is ‘a very egotistical thing.'[…]’It makes me feel good […]’and fortunately, I have the capacity to make people feel good who hear me feeling good.'” [16] Julius LaRosa currently lives in Westchester County, New York.

“EhCumpari” on the Nat King Cole Show 1957

Harry James

Harry Haag James (March 15, 1916 – July 5, 1983)[1] was an American musician and bandleader. James was an instrumentalist of the swing era, employing a bravura playing style that made his trumpet work identifiable. He was one of the most popular bandleaders of the first half of the 1940s, and he continued to lead his band until just before his death, 40 years later.[2]

He was born in Albany, Georgia,[1] the son of a bandleader of a traveling circus.[2] By the age of 10 he was taking trumpet lessons from his father, who placed him on a strict daily practice schedule. Each day, James was given one page to learn from the Arban’s book and was not allowed to pursue any other pastime until he had learned that particular page.

Harry James and Helen Forrest, “I’ve Heard That Song Before”

In 1931 the family settled in Beaumont, Texas, where James began playing with local dance bands.

He joined the nationally popular Ben Pollack in 1935 but at the start of 1937, left Pollack to join Benny Goodman‘s orchestra, where he stayed through 1938.

“I Don’t Want To Walk Without You”

In February 1939 James debuted his own big band in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His hitYou Made Me Love You” was in the Top 10 during the week of December 7, 1941.[3] He toured with the band into the 1980s.

His was the first “name band” to employ vocalist Frank Sinatra, in 1939. He wanted to change Sinatra’s name to ‘Frankie Satin’ but Sinatra refused. His later band included drummer Buddy Rich.

He played trumpet in the 1950 film Young Man with a Horn,[4] dubbing Kirk Douglas. James’s recording of “I’m Beginning to See the Light” appears in the motion picture My Dog Skip (2000). His music is also featured in the Woody Allen film Hannah and Her Sisters. James recorded many popular records and appeared in many Hollywood movies.

Here’s the original of my very favorite song. Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer’s song, “Skylark. Performed by Helen Forrest and Harry James. 1941

He was second only to Glenn Miller as the most successful recording artist of 1942.[2]

James was married three times. On May 4, 1935, he married singer Louise Tobin, with whom he had two children. They divorced in 1943.[2] That same year, he married actress Betty Grable. They had two daughters, Victoria and Jessica, before divorcing in 1965. James married a third time in 1968 to Las Vegas showgirl Joan Boyd, whom he would divorce in March of 1970. Contrary to some assertions, he did not marry a fourth time. He had five children (two by Tobin, two by Grable, one by Boyd) and (as of his death) 16 grandchildren.

James owned several thoroughbred racehorses that won races such as the California Breeders’ Champion Stakes (1951) and the San Vicente Stakes (1954). He was also a founding investor in the Atlantic City Race Course. His knowledge of horse racing was demonstrated during a 1958 appearance on The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour entitled “Lucy Wins A Racehorse.[5]

Manhattan Serenade”

In 1983, James was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, but he continued to work, playing his last professional job on June 26, 1983, in Los Angeles, California, just nine days before his death in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1][6] Frank Sinatra gave the eulogy at the Bunkers Eden Vale Memorial Park in Las Vegas.[7]

“You Made Me Love You”

Quick Bio Facts:

Harry JamesHarry James AKA Harry Haag James

Born: 15-Mar1916
Birthplace: Albany, GA
Died: 5-Jul1983
Location of death: Las Vegas, NV
Cause of death: Cancer – Lymphoma
Remains: Buried, Bunkers Eden Vale Cemetery, Las Vegas, NV

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Musician

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Big Band-era bandleader

Both a skilled trumpet-player and a popular bandleader, Harry James began playing in dance bands when he was only 15. In 1936 he was invited to join Benny Goodman‘s orchestra, and became so popular with audiences that when he decided to start his own band in 1938 Goodman helped to finance the venture.

Shortly after The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra began performing publicly in 1939, then-unknown singer Frank Sinatra was brought on board. The singer remained active with the band for only a year, however: finances during this period were tight, and when a more lucrative offer was given to Sinatra by Tommy Dorsey, James let him out of his contract so he could pursue it. Despite this defection, the orchestra achieved considerable popularity throughout the early 40s, in part aided by appearances in feature films such as Best Foot Forward and I’ll Get By.

In 1943 James married Betty Grable, the top pin-up model in the country. Not a bad personal development, but his musical fortunes were not moving along such positive lines, and in 1946 he dissolved the orchestra. This retirement proved to be short-lived, however, and he continued performing on and off (particularly in Las Vegas) until nine days before his death in 1983.

Father: Everette James (musician)
Wife: Betty Grable (actress, m. 5-Jul-1943)

Endorsement of Liggett Group Chesterfield cigarettes
Risk Factors: Smoking

The Sting II (18-Feb-1983)
The Ladies’ Man (28-Jun-1961) Himself
The Opposite Sex (26-Oct-1956) Himself
The Benny Goodman Story (Dec-1955) Himself
I’ll Get By (2-Oct-1950) Himself
On Our Merry Way (3-Feb-1948)
Carnegie Hall (28-Feb-1947) Himself
If I’m Lucky (2-Sep-1946)
Bathing Beauty (27-Jun-1944) Himself
Two Girls and a Sailor (27-Apr-1944) Himself
Best Foot Forward (29-Jun-1943) Himself
Springtime in the Rockies (6-Nov-1942) Himself
Private Buckaroo (11-Jun-1942) Himself

Sources: Wikipedia, YouTube, nndb.com, imdb.com


  • If I’m Lucky (1946)
  • I’ll Get By (1950)
  • Outlaw Queen (1957)
  • Private Buckaroo (1942)
  • Riot in Rhythm (1957)

1955 De Soto commercial for Chrysler corp.

Hit Singles