Marni Nixon

Marni Nixon (born February 22, 1930) is an American soprano renowned for being a playback singer for featured actresses in well known movie musicals. This has earned her the sobriquet “The Ghostess with the Mostess”, and also “The Voice of Hollywood”.[1] She has also spent much of her career performing in concerts with major symphony orchestras around the world and in operas and musicals throughout the United States.

Marni Nixon behind the voice of Natalie Wood in “West Side Story.”

From “Mary Poppins”

Born Margaret McEathron in Altadena, California, Nixon began singing at an early age in choruses. At the age of 14, she became part of the newly formed Los Angeles Concert Youth Chorus – whose other members included a 13-year-old Marilyn Horne and a 19-year-old Paul Salamunovich, among many others – under famed conductor Roger Wagner; this choir evolved into the Roger Wagner Chorale in 1948, and later into the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 1964.

She went on to study singing and opera with Carl Ebert, Jan Popper, Boris Goldovsky and Sarah Caldwell. She embarked on a varied career, involving film and musical comedy as well as opera and concerts. She appeared extensively on American television, dubbed the singing voices of film actresses in The King and I, West Side Story and My Fair Lady, and acted in several commercial stage ventures. Her light, flexible, wide-ranging soprano and uncanny accuracy and musicianship have made her valuable in more classical ventures, and have contributed to her success in works by Anton Webern, Igor Stravinsky, Charles Ives, Paul Hindemith and Alexander Goehr, many of which she has recorded.

Marni Nixon Interview

Singing for Margaret O’Brien in 1949

Nixon’s opera repertory includes Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro,

both Blonde and Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Violetta in La traviata, the title role in La Périchole and Philine in Mignon. Her opera credits include performances at Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera and the Tanglewood Festival among others. In addition to giving recitals, she appeared with the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra among others. She taught at the California Institute of Arts from 1969–1971 and joined the faculty of the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, in 1980 where she taught for many years.[2]

On “To Tell The Truth”

“Hello Young Lovers” from “The King and I”

“Show Me” from “My Fair Lady”

Career highlights

Nixon’s dubbing career includes:[3]

Except for Dementia, in which she received on-screen credit as “Featured Voice”, the credits for her many dubbing roles did not appear on the titles of any of the films, and Nixon did not begin to be fully credited or widely acknowledged until the movies’ subsequent release on VHS decades later.

The Sound of Music

Nixon appeared on screen singing for herself as Sister Sophia in the film The Sound of Music, cast in the role by director Robert Wise. In the DVD commentary to the film, he comments that audiences were finally able to see the woman whose voice they knew so well.

When Hollywood musicals gave her less work, she started to perform on stage, as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and as Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she hosted a children’s television show in Seattle on KOMO-TV channel 4 called Boomerang. In 2001, she replaced Joan Roberts as Heidi Schiller in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim‘s Follies. In 2003, she returned to Broadway as a replacement in role of Guido’s mother in the revival of Nine.

In the 1998 Disney film Mulan, Nixon sang the role of Grandmother Fa.

In March 2007 she was involved in a concert version of My Fair Lady, in which she performed the non-singing role of Mrs. Higgins, Professor Higgins’s mother.

On June 18, 2007, Marni joined a group of volunteers who were inspired by the documentary film “Tocar y Luchar.”[1] They are trying to bring more music education to all children.[2]

Nixon performed on the U.S. National Tour of Cameron Mackintosh‘s U.K. revival of My Fair Lady through July 2008, replacing Sally Ann Howes in the role of Mrs. Higgins.

Under her own name, she has also recorded songs by Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Arnold Schönberg, Charles Ives, and Anton Webern.

One of her three husbands, Ernest Gold, composed the theme song to the movie Exodus. They had three children together, one of whom is the singer and songwriter Andrew Gold (“Lonely Boy” and “Thank You For Being a Friend”).

On October 27, 2008, Marni Nixon was presented with the Singer Symposium’s Distinguished Artist Award in New York City.

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

Quick Bio Facts:

Marni Nixon

Marni NixonAKA Margaret Nixon McEathron

Born: 22-Feb1930
Birthplace: Altadena, CA

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

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Voice of Hollywood

Husband: Ernest Gold (film composer, m. 1950, div. 1969, one son, two daughters)
Son: Andrew Gold (singer/songwriter, b. 2-Aug-1951)
Daughter: Martha Carr (b. 1954)
Daughter: Melanie Gold (b. 1962)
Husband: Lajos Frederick Fenster (m. 23-Jul-1971, div. 31-Jul-1975)
Husband: Albert Block (m. 1983)

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Mulan (5-Jun-1998)
I Think I Do (20-Jun-1997)
The Sound of Music (2-Mar-1965)
Mary Poppins (27-Aug-1964)

Gordon Jenkins

Gordon Hill Jenkins (May 12, 1910 – May 1, 1984) was an Americanarranger, composer and pianist who was an influential figure in popular music in the 1940s and 1950s, renowned for his lush string arrangements. Jenkins worked with the Andrews Sisters, Johnny Cash, The Weavers, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald, among other singers.[1]

Jenkins was born in Webster Groves, Missouri. He began his career doing arrangements for a St. Louis radio station.[specify] He was then hired by Isham Jones, the director of a dance band known for its ensemble playing, and this gave Jenkins the opportunity to develop his skills in melodic scoring. He also conducted The Show Is On on Broadway. Jenkins married high school sweetheart Nancy Harkey in 1931 and had three children: Gordon Jr., Susan, and Page. In 1946, he divorced Harkey and married Beverly Mahr, one of the singers in his band. They had a son, Bruce.

“Goodnight Irene” The Weavers, with the Gordon Jenkins Orchestra

After the Jones band broke up in 1936, Jenkins worked as a freelance arranger and songwriter, contributing to sessions by Isham Jones, Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, Andre Kostelanetz, Lennie Hayton, and others. In 1938, Jenkins moved to Hollywood and worked for Paramount Pictures and NBC, and then became Dick Haymes‘ arranger for four years. In 1944, Jenkins had a hit song with “San Fernando Valley”.

Sinatra singing, “The Night We Called It A Day”

In 1945, Jenkins joined Decca Records. In 1947, he had his first million-seller with “Maybe You’ll Be There” featuring vocalist Charles LaVere and in 1949 had a huge hit with Victor Young‘s film theme “My Foolish Heart“, which was also a success for Billy Eckstine. At the same time, he regularly arranged for and conducted the orchestra for various Decca artists, including Dick Haymes (“Little White Lies“, 1947), Ella Fitzgerald (“Happy Talk“, 1949, “Black Coffee“, 1949, “Baby“, 1954), Patty Andrews of the Andrews Sisters (“I Can Dream, Can’t I“, 1949) and Louis Armstrong (“Blueberry Hill“, 1949 and “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South“, 1951).

The liner notes to Verve Records‘ 2001 reissue of one of Jenkins’ albums with Armstrong, Satchmo In Style, quote Decca’s onetime A & R Director, Milt Gabler, saying that Jenkins “stood up on his little podium so that all the performers could see him conduct. But before he gave a

downbeat, Gordon made a speech about how much he loved Louis and how this was the greatest moment in his life. And then he cried.”

Dinah Washington sings, “Goodbye” by Gordon Jenkins

Benny Goodman performing, “Goodbye” It was a huge hit recording for the Goodman Orchestra.

During this time, Jenkins also began recording and performing under his own name. One of his enduring works while at Decca was a pair of Broadway-style musical vignettes, “Manhattan Tower” and “California” which saw release several times (78s, 45s, and LP) in the ’40s and ’50s. The two were paired on a very early Decca LP in 1949), and Jenkins was given the Key to New York City by its mayor when Jenkins’s orchestra performed the 16-minute suite on the Ed Sullivan show in the early ’50s. In 1956, he expanded “Manhattan Tower” to almost three times its length, released it (this time on Capitol Records), and performed it on an hour-long television show. (Both versions of “Manhattan Tower” are currently available on CD.) His “Seven Dreams” included a sequence which was the source for Johnny Cash‘s immensely popular recording, “Folsom Prison Blues“. His final long-form work was The Future, which comprised the entire third disk of Frank Sinatra‘s 1980 Grammy-nominated Trilogy album. Although the piece was savaged by critics, Sinatra reportedly loved the semi-biographical work and felt that Jenkins was treated unfairly by the media.

“Caravan”

Jenkins headlined New York’s Capitol Theater between 1949 and 1951 and the Paramount Theater in 1952. He appeared in Las Vegas in 1953 and many times thereafter. He worked for NBC as a TV producer from 1955 to 1957, and performed at the Hollywood Bowl in 1964. By 1949, Jenkins was musical director at Decca, and he signed — despite resistance from Decca’s management — the Weavers, a Greenwich Village folk ensemble that included Pete Seeger among its members. The combination of the Weavers’ folk music with Jenkins’ orchestral arrangements became immensely popular, to the surprise of everyone involved. Their most notable collaboration was a version of Leadbelly‘s “Goodnight Irene” (1950) backed by Jenkins’ adaptation of the Israeli folk song, “Tzena, Tzena, Tzena“. Other notable songs they recorded together are “The Roving Kind“, “On Top of Old Smoky” (1951), and “Wimoweh” (1952).

“Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps” 1949

Jenkins later moved to Capitol Records where he worked with Frank Sinatra, notably on the albums Where Are You? (1957) and No One Cares (1959), and Nat King Cole, with whom he had his greatest successes; Jenkins was responsible for the lush arrangements on the 1957 album Love Is the Thing (Capitol’s first stereo release, which included “When I Fall in Love“, one of Cole’s best-known recordings), as well as the albums The Very Thought of You (1958) and Where Did Everyone Go? (1963). Jenkins also wrote the music and lyrics for Judy Garland’s 1959 album The Letter which also featured vocalist Charles LaVere, and conducted several of Garland’s London concerts in the early 1960s.

“Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”

Whilst most of Jenkins’ arrangements at Capitol were in his distinctive string-laden style, he continued to demonstrate more versatility when required, particularly on albums such as A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra (1957), which opens with a swinging version of Jingle Bells, and Nat King Cole’s album of spirituals, Every Time I Feel The Spirit (1960), which includes several tracks with a pronounced \textstyle\frac{2}{4} beat that might almost be described as rock. He also produced a diverse set of charts for his critically-acclaimed 1960 album Gordon Jenkins Presents Marshall Royal, a jazz-pop crossover project with Count Basie’s alto saxophonist which included both strings and a swinging rhythm section.

However, as rock and roll gained ascendancy in the 1960s, Jenkins’ lush string arrangements fell out of favour and he worked only sporadically, though Sinatra, who had left Capitol to start his own label, Reprise Records, continued to call upon the arranger’s services at various intervals over the next two decades, on albums such as All Alone (1962), the critically-acclaimed September of My Years (1965), for which Jenkins won a Grammy, Sinatra’s 1973 comeback album, Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back and She Shot Me Down (1981) – regarded by many “Sinatraphiles” as the singer’s last great work. Jenkins also worked with Harry Nilsson, arranging and conducting A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night (1973), an album of jazz standards. The Nilsson sessions, with Jenkins conducting, were recorded on video and later broadcast as a television special by the BBC.

“Maybe You’ll Be There”

Although best known as an arranger, Jenkins also wrote well-known several songs including “P.S. I Love You“, “Goodbye” (Benny Goodman‘s sign-off tune), “Blue Prelude”, “This Is All I Ask”, and “When a Woman Loves a Man“. Jenkins also composed the “Future” suite for Sinatra’s 1980 concept albumTrilogy: Past Present Future.

enkins died in Malibu, California in 1984 at age 73 of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

In November 2005, Gordon’s son Bruce (a sports columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle) published a biography of his father titled Goodbye: In Search of Gordon Jenkins. Other living relatives include sons Page and Gordon Jr., daughter Susan, nieces Phoebe Barnum and Leslie Mason, and grandson “Pogi” Tony.

Sources: Wikipedia, Youtube, imdb.com

Joan Sutherland

Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, OM, AC, DBE (7 November 1926 – 10 October 2010[1]) was an Australian dramatic coloratura soprano noted for her contribution in the renaissance of the bel canto repertoire from the late 1950s through to the 1980s. She died in Switzerland on 10th October 2010.

One of the most remarkable female opera singers of the 20th century, she was dubbed La Stupenda by a La Fenice audience in 1960 after a performance as Alcina. She possessed a voice of beauty and power, combining extraordinary agility, accurate intonation, “pin point staccatos,[2] a splendid trill and a tremendous upper register, although music critics often complained about the imprecision of her diction. Her friend Luciano Pavarotti once called Sutherland the “Voice of the Century“, while Montserrat Caballé described the Australian’s voice as being like “heaven”. Her highest note was a high F sharp in altissimo.[3]

The Great Joan Sutherland

Joan Sutherland was born in Sydney, Australia, of Scots parents, where she attended St Catherine’s School. As a child, she listened to and copied the singing exercises of her mother, a mezzo-soprano who had studied but never considered making a career. Sutherland was 18 when she started studying voice seriously with John and Aida Dickens. She made her concert debut in Sydney, as Dido in Purcell‘s Dido and Aeneas, in 1947. In 1951, she made her stage debut in Eugene Goossens‘s Judith. In 1951, after winning Australia’s most important competition, the Sun Aria, she went to London to further her studies at the Opera School of the Royal College of Music with Clive Carey. She was engaged by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as a utility soprano, and made her debut there on 28 October 1952, as the First Lady in The Magic Flute, followed in November by a few performances as Clotilde in Vincenzo Bellini‘s Norma, with Maria Callas as Norma.

From Anna Bolena 1984

During her early career, she was training to be a Wagnerian dramatic soprano, following the steps of Kirsten Flagstad, whom she greatly admired. In December 1952, she sang her first leading role at the Royal Opera House, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera. Other roles included Agathe in Der Freischütz, the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, Desdemona in Otello, Gilda in Rigoletto, Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Pamina in The Magic Flute. In 1953, she sang in Benjamin Britten‘s Gloriana a few months after its world premiere, and created the role of Jennifer in Michael Tippett‘s The Midsummer Marriage, on 27 January 1955.

Sutherland married Australian conductor and pianist, Richard Bonynge, on 16 October 1954. They had a son, Adam, born in 1956. Bonynge gradually convinced her that Wagner might not be her Fach after all, since she had such great ease with high notes and coloratura, and that she should perhaps explore the bel canto repertory.

Lucia di Lammermoor 1972

In 1957, she appeared in Handel‘s Alcina with the Handel Opera Society, and in Donizetti‘s Emilia di Liverpool, in which performances her bel canto potential was clearly demonstrated, vindicating her husband’s judgement. The following year she sang Donna Anna in Don Giovanni in Vancouver.

Caro Nome Rigoletto 1960

In 1958, at the Royal Opera House, she “stopped the show” with “Let the Bright Seraphim” from Handel’s Samson, an exceedingly difficult and demanding aria. The crowd was on its feet for ten minutes and the show came to a stop. It was one of the most extraordinary ovations that house had seen. Her future as a diva at the Royal Opera House seemed assured afterwards.

In 1959, she was invited to sing Lucia di Lammermoor at the Royal Opera House in a production conducted by Tullio Serafin and staged by Franco Zeffirelli. The role of Edgardo was sung by her fellow Australian Kenneth Neate, who had replaced the scheduled tenor at short notice.[4] It was a breakthrough for Sutherland’s career, and, upon the completion of the famous Mad Scene, she had become a star. In 1960, she recorded the album The Art of the Prima Donna, which remains today one of the most recommended opera albums ever recorded: the double LP set won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Performance — Vocal Soloist in 1962. The album, a collection consisting mainly of coloratura arias, provides an opportunity to listen to the young Sutherland at the beginning of her international career. It displays her seemingly effortless coloratura ability, high notes and opulent tones, as well as her exemplary trill, by which she is identified and for which she is widely admired.

With Pavaratti

By the beginning of the 1960s, Sutherland had already established a reputation as a diva with a voice out of the ordinary. She sang Lucia to great acclaim in Paris in 1960 and, in 1961, at La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera. Also in 1960, she sang a superb Alcina at La Fenice, Venice, where she was nicknamed La Stupenda (“The Stunning One”). Sutherland would soon be praised as La Stupenda in newspapers around the world. Later that year (1960), Sutherland sang Alcina at the Dallas Opera, with which she made her US debut.

Her Metropolitan Opera debut took place on 26 November 1961, when she sang Lucia. After a total of 217 performances in a number of different operas, her last appearance there was on 19 December 1987, when she sang in Il trovatore. During 1978–82 period her relationship with the Met severely deteriorated when Sutherland had to decline the role of Constanze in Mozart‘s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, more than a year before the rehearsals were scheduled to start. The opera house management then declined to stage the operetta The Merry Widow especially for her, as requested; subsequently, she did not perform at the Met during that time at all, even though a production of Rossini‘s Semiramide had also been planned, but later she returned there to sing in other operas.[5]

Tosca

During the 1960s, Sutherland had added the greatest heroines of bel canto (“beautiful singing”) to her repertoire: Violetta in Verdi‘s La traviata, Amina in Bellini‘s La sonnambula and Elvira in Bellini’s I puritani in 1960; the title role in Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda in 1961; Marguerite de Valois in Meyerbeer‘s Les Huguenots and the title role in Rossini’s Semiramide in 1962; Norma in Bellini’s Norma and Cleopatra in Handel‘s Giulio Cesare in 1963. In 1966 she added Marie in Donizetti‘s La fille du régiment, which became one of her most adored roles, because of her perfect coloratura and lively, funny interpretation.

In 1965, Sutherland toured Australia with the Sutherland-Williamson Opera Company. Accompanying her was a young tenor named Luciano Pavarotti, and the tour proved to be a major milestone in Pavarotti’s career. Every performance featuring Sutherland sold out.

Singing Dvorak, “Songs My Mother Taught Me”

During the 1970s, Sutherland strove to improve her diction, which had often been criticised, and increase the expressiveness of her interpretations. She continued to add dramatic bel canto roles to her repertoire, such as Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda and Lucrezia Borgia, as well as Massenet‘s extremely difficult Esclarmonde, a role that few sopranos attempt. She recorded a very successful Turandot in 1972 under the baton of Zubin Mehta, though she never performed that role on stage.

Sutherland’s early recordings show her to be possessed of a crystal-clear voice and excellent diction. However, by the early 1960s her voice lost some of this clarity in the middle register, and she often came under fire for having unclear diction. Some have attributed this to sinus surgery; however, her major sinus surgery was done in 1959, immediately after her breakthrough Lucia at Covent Garden.[6] In fact, her first commercial recording of the first and final scene of Lucia reveals her voice and diction to be just as clear as prior to the sinus procedure. Her husband Richard Bonynge stated in an interview that her “mushy diction” occurred while striving to achieve perfect legato. According to him, it is because she earlier had a very Germanic “un-legato” way of singing.[7] She clearly took the criticism to heart, as, within a few years, her diction improved markedly and she continued to amaze and thrill audiences throughout the world.

In the late 1970s, Sutherland’s voice started to decline and her vibrato loosened to an intrusive extent. However, thanks to her vocal agility and solid technique, she continued singing the most difficult roles amazingly well. During the 1980s, she added Anna Bolena, Amalia in I masnadieri and Adriana Lecouvreur to her repertoire, and repeated Esclarmonde at the Royal Opera House performances in November and December 1983. Her last performance was as Marguerite de Valois (Les Huguenots) at the Sydney Opera House in 1990, at the age of 63, where she sang Home Sweet Home for her encore. Her last public appearance, however, took place in a gala performance of Die Fledermaus on New Year’s Eve, 1990, at Covent Garden, where she was accompanied by her colleagues Luciano Pavarotti and the mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne.

Oh Si Les Fleurs Avaient Des Yeux

According to her own words, given in an interview with The Guardian newspaper in 2002[8], her biggest achievement was to sing the title role in Esclarmonde. She considered those performances and recordings her best.

After retirement, Sutherland made relatively few public appearances, preferring a quiet life at her home in Switzerland. One exception was her 1994 address at a lunch organised by Australians for Constitutional Monarchy. In that address, she complained about having to be interviewed by a clerk of Chinese or Indian background when applying to renew her Australian passport. Her comments caused controversy among some sections of the community at the time.[9][10]

Sutherland had a leading role as Mother Rudd in the 1995 comedy film Dad and Dave: On Our Selection opposite Leo McKern and Geoffrey Rush.[11]

In 1997 she published an autobiography, The Autobiography of Joan Sutherland: A Prima Donna’s Progress. While it received generally scathing reviews for its literary merits,[12] it does contain a complete list of all her performances, with full cast lists.

In 2002 she appeared at a dinner in London to accept the Royal Philharmonic Society‘s gold medal, and gave an interview to The Guardian in which she lamented the lack of technique in young opera singers, and the dearth of good teachers.[8] By now, no longer giving master classes herself, she was asked why this was by Italian journalists in May 2007, replying: “Because I’m 80 years old and I really don’t want to have anything to do with opera any more, although I do sit on the juries of singing competitions.”[13] The Cardiff Singer of the World competition was the one that Sutherland was most closely associated with after her retirement. She began her regular involvement with the event in 1993, serving on the jury five consecutive times and later, in 2003, became its patron.[14]

With Marilyn Horne

On 3 July 2008, she fell and broke both of her legs while gardening at her home in Switzerland.[15] She completely recovered and attended the luncheon hosted by Her Majesty The Queen in honour of Members of the Order of Merit at Buckingham Palace in 2009. She died on 10 October 2010 at her home near Geneva, in Switzerland.[1] She had been in poor health since a fall. Her death was announced by her family on 11 October and they plan to hold a small funeral.[16][1]

From Alcina 1959

During her career and after, Sutherland received many honours and awards.

In 1961, she was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).[17] That year she was also named the Australian of the Year.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 9 June 1975, she was in the first group of people to be named Companions of the Order of Australia (AC) (the order had been created only in February 1975).[18]

She was elevated within the Order of the British Empire from Commander to Dame Commander (DBE) in the New Year’s Honours of 1979.[19]

On 29 November 1991, the Queen bestowed on Dame Joan the Order of Merit (OM).[20]

In January 2004 she received the Australia Post Australian Legends Award which honours Australians who have contributed to the Australian identity and culture. Two stamps featuring Joan Sutherland were issued on Australia Day 2004 to mark the award. Later in 2004, she received a Kennedy Center Honor for her outstanding achievement throughout her career.

Sutherland House and the Dame Joan Sutherland Centre, both at St Catherine’s School, Sydney, and The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre (JSPAC), Penrith, are all named in her honour.[21]

Quick Bio Facts:

Joan Sutherland

Joan SutherlandBorn: 7-Nov1926 Died 10-Oct-2010

Birthplace: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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

Nationality: Australia
Executive summary: Operatic soprano

Father: McDonald Sutherland (tailor, d. 1932)
Mother: Muriel
Husband: Richard Bonynge (conductor, m. 1954, one son)
Son: Adam

University: Rathbone Academy of Dramatic Art
University: Opera School, Royal College of Music (1951-52)

Australian of the Year 1961
Commander of the British Empire 1961
Dame of the British Empire 1979
Kennedy Center Honor 2004

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

Recordings

Recordings include:

Vincenzo Bellini
  • Beatrice di Tenda — Joan Sutherland (Beatrice), Luciano Pavarotti (Orombello), Cornelius Opthof (Filippo), Josephine Veasey (Agnese), Joseph Ward (Anichino/Rizzardo), Ambrosian Opera Chorus, London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Bonynge — Decca
  • I puritani — Joan Sutherland (Elvira), Pierre Duval (Arturo), Renato Capecchi (Riccardo), Ezio Flagello (Giorgio), Giovanni Fioiani (Gualtiero), Margreta Elkins (Enrichetta), Piero de Palma (Bruno), Coro e Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Richard Bonynge (conductor) —recorded 1963— Decca 448 969-2 / Decca 467 789-2 (part of a 10-CD set) / London POCL 3965-7
  • I puritani — Joan Sutherland (Elvira), Luciano Pavarotti (Arturo), Piero Cappuccilli (Riccardo), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Giorgio), Giancarlo Luccardi (Gualtiero), Anita Caminada (Enrichetta), Renato Cazzaniga (Bruno), Chorus of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, London Symphony Orchestra—Richard Bonynge, Recorded 1973, Decca
  • La sonnambula — Joan Sutherland (Amina), Nicola Monti (Elvino), Fernando Corena (Rodolfo), Sylvia Stahlman (Lisa), Margreta Elkins (Teresa), Angelo Mercuriali (Notary), Giovanni Fioiani (Alessio), Coro e Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Richard Bonynge recorded 1962—Decca 00289 448 9662 6 / 000320702 / 455 823-2 — Track listing
  • La sonnambula — Joan Sutherland (Amina), Luciano Pavarotti (Elvino), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Rodolfo), Isobel Buchanan (Lisa), Della Jones (Teresa), Piero De Palma (Notaro), John Tomlinson (Alessio), National Philharmonic Orchestra, London Opera Chorus, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1980—Decca 2LH417-424
  • Norma — Joan Sutherland (Norma), Marilyn Horne (Adalgisa), John Alexander (Pollione), Richard Cross (Oroveso), Yvonne Minton (Clotilde), Joseph Ward (Flavio), London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Richard Bonynge, Recorded 1964—Decca
  • Norma — Joan Sutherland (Norma), Margreta Elkins (Adalgisa), Ronald Stevens (Pollione), Clifford Grant (Oroveso), Etela Piha (Clotilde), Trevor Brown (Flavio), Opera Australia Chorus, Elizabethan Sydney Orchestra, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1978—DVD Arthaus Musik 100 180
  • Norma — Joan Sutherland (Norma), Montserrat Caballé (Adalgisa), Luciano Pavarotti (Pollione), Samuel Ramey (Oroveso), Diana Montague (Clotilde), Kim Begley (Flavio), Chorus and Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, Richard Bonynge, Recorded 1984—Decca
Georges Bizet
  • CarmenRegina Resnik (Carmen), Mario del Monaco (Don Jose), Joan Sutherland (Micaëla), Tom Krause (Escamillo), Georgette Spanellys (Frasquita), Yvonne Minton (Mercedes), Robert Geay (Zuninga), Jean Prudent (Le Dancaire), Alfred Hallet (Le Remendado), Claude Cales (Morales)
Giovanni Battista Bononcini
Léo Delibes
Gaetano Donizetti
  • Emilia di Liverpool (excerpts) / Lucia di Lammermoor (excerpts) — Joan Sutherland (Lucia), Margreta Elkins (Alisa), Joao Gibin (Edgardo), Tullio Serafin (conductor). Recorded 26 February 1959—Myto Records MCD 91545 (Probably these are excerpts from the same performance as the Melodram recording.)
  • Lucia di Lammermoor — Joan Sutherland (Lucia), Renato Cioni (Edgardo), Robert Merrill (Enrico), Cesare Siepi (Raimondo), Chorus & Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, John Pritchard (conductor), Decca, 1961.
  • Lucia di Lammermoor — Joan Sutherland (Lucia), Luciano Pavarotti (Edgardo), Sherrill Milnes(Enrico), Nicolai Ghiaurov (Raimondo), Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Richard Bonynge, Decca, 1971.
  • Lucia di Lammermoor — Joan Sutherland (Lucia), João Gibin (Edgardo), John Shaw (Enrico), Joseph Rouleau (Raimondo), Kenneth MacDonald (Arturo), Margreta Elkins (Alisa), Robert Bowman (Normanno), Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Tullio Serafin, recorded 1959—Golden Melodram GM 50024 or Giuseppe di Stefano GDS 21017 or Bella Voce BLV 107 218 (highlights). 2006 release: Royal Opera House Heritage Series ROHS 002.
  • Lucia di Lammermoor — Joan Sutherland (Lucia), André Turp (Edgardo), John Shaw (Enrico), Joseph Rouleau (Raimondo), Kenneth MacDonald (Arturo), Margreta Elkins (Alisa), Edgar Evans (Normanno), Chorus & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, John Pritchard, recorded 1961—Celestial Audio CA 345
  • Lucia di Lammermoor — Joan Sutherland (Lucia), Richard Tucker (Edgardo), Frank Guarrera (Enrico), Nicola Moscona (Raimondo), Robert Nagy (Normanno), Thelma Votipka (Alisa), Charles Anthony (Arturo), Metropolitan Opera House, Conductor: Silvio Varviso. Recorded 9 December 1961 for radio broadcasting.
  • La fille du régiment — Joan Sutherland (Marie), Luciano Pavarotti (Tonio), Monica Sinclair (La Marquise de Berkenfield), Jules Bruyère (Hortensius), Spiro Malas (Sulpice), Eric Garrett (Le Caporal), Edith Coates (La Duchesse de Crakentorp), Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Richard Bonynge. Recorded: Kingsway Hall, London, 17–28 July 1967. Original LP release: SET 372-3 (2 LPs), CD release: 414 520-2 DH2 (2 CDs).
  • L’elisir d’amore — Joan Sutherland (Adina), Luciano Pavarotti (Nemorino), Dominic Cossa (Belcore), Spiro Malas (Dulcamara), Maria Casula (Giannetta), Ambrosian Opera Chorus, English Chamber Orchestra, Richard Bonynge. Recorded: Kingsway Hall, London, 12–23 January & 1–10 July 1970. Original LP release: SET 503-5 (3 LPs), CD release: 414 461-2 DH2 (2 CDs), CD re-release: 475 7514 DOR2 (2 CDs).
  • Lucrezia Borgia — Joan Sutherland (Lucrezia Borgia), Ronald Stevens (Gennaro), Margreta Elkins (Maffio Orsini), Richard Allman (Don Alfonso), Robin Donald (Jacopo Liveretto), Lyndon Terracini (Don Apostolo Gazella), Gregory Yurisich (Ascanio Petrucci), Lamberto Furlan (Oloferno Vitellozzo), Pieter Van der Stolk (Gubetta), Graeme Ewer (Rustighello), John Germain (Astolfo), Neville Grave (Un servo), Eddie Wilden (Un coppiere), Jennifer Bermingham (Principessa Negroni), Australian Opera Chorus, Sydney Elizabethan Orchestra, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1977. VHS Video Cassette — Castle Video CV2845 (PAL); Polygram-Vidéo 070 031-3 (SECAM) Polygram 079 261-3 (PAL)
  • Lucrezia Borgia — Joan Sutherland (Lucrezia), Giacomo Aragall (Gennaro), Marilyn Horne (Orsini), Ingvar Wixell (Alfonso), London Opera Chorus, National Philarmonic Orchestra, Richard Bonynge (conductor), Decca, 1977.
  • Maria Stuarda — Joan Sutherland (Maria), Huguette Tourangeau (Elisabeta), Luciano Pavarotti (Leicester), Roger Soyer (Talbot), Margreta Elkins (Anna), James Morris (Cecil), Coro del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1975—Decca 00289 425 4102 / Lyrica LRC 1040/1041 — Track listing and excerpts
Charles Gounod
George Frideric Handel
  • Alcina — Joan Sutherland (Alcina), Margreta Elkins (Ruggiero), Lauris Elms (Bradamante), Richard Greager (Oronte), Narelle Davidson (Morgana), Ann-Maree McDonald (Oberto), John Wegner (Melisso), Chorus and Orchestra of Australian Opera, Richard Bonynge, recorded 1983. Celestial Audio CA 112
  • Alcina coupled with Giulio Cesare in Egitto (highlights) — Margreta Elkins (Giulio Cesare), Joan Sutherland (Cleopatra), Marilyn Horne (Cornelia), Monica Sinclair (Tolomeo), Richard Conrad (Sesto), New Symphonic Orchestra of London, Richard Bonynge—Decca 00289 433 7232 / 467063-2 / 467 067-2 — Track listing and excerpts
  • Athalia — Joan Sutherland, Emma Kirkby, Aled Jones, James Bowman, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, David Thomas, The Academy of Ancient Music, Christopher Hogwood (Conductor)
  • Messiah — Joan Sutherland, Grace Bumbry, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Adrian Boult (Conductor)—Decca 433 003-2
  • Rodelinda — Alfred Hallett (Grimoaldo), Raimund Herincx (Garibaldo), Joan Sutherland (Rodelinda), Dame Janet Baker (Eduige), Margreta Elkins (Bertarido), Patricia Kern (Unolfo), Chandos Singers, Philomusica Antiqua Orchestra, Charles Farncombe. An English language version, recorded live on June 24, 1959—Opera D’oro OPD 1189 (2 CDs) or Memories HR 4577–4578 or Living Stage LS 403 35147 (highlights).
  • Rodelinda — Joan Sutherland (Rodelinda), Huguette Tourangeau (Bertarido), Eric Tappy (Grimoaldo), Margreta Elkins (Eduige), Cora Canne-Meijer (Unolfo), Pieter Van Den Berg (Garibaldo), Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Richard Bonynge. Recorded 30 June 1973—Bella Voce BLV 10 7206.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Giacomo Meyerbeer
Jacques Offenbach
  • Les contes d’Hoffmann — Joan Sutherland, Plácido Domingo, Gabriel Bacquier, , L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande,Orchestre du Radio de la Suisse Romande, Pro Arte de Lausanne, Andre Charlet, Richard Bonynge, studio recording made at Victoria Hall, Geneva, first published in 1976.
Giacomo Puccini
Gioachino Rossini
  • Semiramide — Joan Sutherland (Semiramide), John Serge (Idreno), Joseph Rouleau (Assur), Spiro Malas (Oroe), Patricia Clark (Azema), Leslie Fyson (Mitrane), Michael Langdon (Spectre of Nino), Marilyn Horne (Arsace), London Symphony Orchestra, Richard Bonynge. Decca 425 481-2, recorded in 1966.
Ambroise Thomas
  • Hamlet — Joan Sutherland, Gösta Winbergh, James Morris, Sheril Milnes, Orchestra and Chorus of the Welsh National Opera. Decca, 433 857-2.
Giuseppe Verdi
Richard Wagner
  • Siegfried — Joan Sutherland as the Woodbird, Vienna Philharmonic (Sir Georg Solti) 1962 recording, London 414 110-2

Jane Powell

Jane Powell (born Suzanne Lorraine Burce; April 1, 1929) is an American singer, dancer and actress.

After rising to fame as a singer in her home state of Oregon, Powell was signed to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer while still in her teens. Once there, the studio utilized her vocal, dancing and acting talents, casting her in such musicals as Royal Wedding, with Fred Astaire, A Date with Judy, with friend Elizabeth Taylor, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, with Howard Keel. In the late 1950s, her film career slowed, only to be replaced with a busy theater and television career.

As of 2010, Powell lives with her fifth husband, former child star Dickie Moore, in New York City and Connecticut, and is still active in television and theater.

The only child born to Paul E. Burce (a Wonder Bread employee) and Eileen Baker Burce (a housewife) in Portland, Oregon, Powell began dance lessons at the age of two. Powell was born a brunette, with straight hair. In an attempt to liken her appearance to Shirley Temple, Powell’s mother took her to get her first permanent the same year she began dance lessons. It wasn’t until she starred in Technicolor pictures that she became a blonde.[1]

At five, she appeared on the children’s radio program Stars of Tomorrow. She also took dance lessons with Agnes Peters, and it was there that the Burce family met Scotty Weston, a talent scout and dance instructor. He convinced the family to move to Oakland for Powell to take dance lessons, in hopes of her being discovered. However, Weston’s lessons were held in a large, dark, damp ballroom packed full of other starlet hopefuls, and after three months of living in a hotel room and eating meals cooked on a hot plate, the family moved back to Portland. Paul Burce had quit his job of 14 years to move to Oakland, and was unable to get it back when they returned. The family moved into an apartment building owned by friends, and Paul soon became the manager after the friends left. While there, and while helping her father take the garbage out, Powell would sing. Tenants insisted that Powell should take lessons, and after saving their money, began singing lessons for her.[2]

At 12, Powell had her career taken over by a local promoter, Carl Werner, who helped her get selected as the Oregon Victory Girl. She traveled around the state for two years, singing and selling victory bonds. It was during this time that she first met Lana Turner. Powell presented her with flowers and sang for her. Years later, when they met again at MGM, Turner did not remember her. According to Powell, even after meeting her many times, Turner never remembered who she was.[2]

During her time as the Oregon Victory Girl, Powell had two weekly radio shows. During the first, she sang with an organ accompaniment, and during the second, she sang with an orchestra and other performers.[2] She had attended Beaumont Grade School in Portland and Grant High School (Portland, Oregon).

During the summer of 1943, Paul and Eileen Burce took their daughter on vacation to Hollywood. There, she appeared on Janet Gaynor‘s radio show Hollywood Showcase: Stars over Hollywood.[3] The show was a talent competition, and among the other contestants were Kathie Lee Gifford‘s mother, Joan Epstein. Powell won the competition, and soon auditioned with Louis B. Mayer at MGM as well as David O. Selznick. Without even taking a screen test, Powell was then signed to a seven-year contract with MGM.[4][5] Within two months, Powell had been loaned out to United Artists for her first film, Song of the Open Road.[6]

“How Could You Believe Me?”

From Royal Wedding

Powell’s character in Song of the Open Road was named Jane Powell, and it was from this that her stage name was taken.[7]

In 1945, Powell sang Because at the wedding of Esther Williams and Ben Gage.[8] Within her first few years at MGM, Powell made six films, appeared on radio programs, performed in theatre productions (including The Student Prince)[9] and even sang at the inauguration ball for President Harry S. Truman on January 20, 1949. When not making films, Powell traveled to theaters around the country doing a vaudeville act, which she hated. [10]

“Love Is Where You Find It”

Powell’s second film was Delightfully Dangerous, which Powell called the “worst movie she’s ever made.”[2] During her third film, Holiday in Mexico, Powell met her future friend, Roddy McDowall. Holiday in Mexico was her first Technicolor film; her first two films had been black and white.

“Jitterbug Whodunit” with Judy Garland and Ray Bolger

Powell’s charm and spunk made her stand out in her follow-up vehicle Three Daring Daughters, originally titled The Birds and the Bees,[11] in which she co-starred with Jeanette MacDonald, who took the young performer under her wing. The film proved another hit and she was given top billing in a string of Joe Pasternak-produced musicals including A Date with Judy (1948) with schoolmate Elizabeth Taylor, and Nancy Goes to Rio (1950) with Ann Sothern.

Powell worked side by side with Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding (1951), when she was brought in to replace June Allyson, who had become pregnant, and then Judy Garland, who dropped out due to illness. According to film historian Robert Osborne, in a six-minute scene in the movie, Powell and Astaire match witty banter, sing and dance in a performance that showcased the actress’s energy and talent. “We can also see her comic ability, in that number”, Osborne said. “She’s hilarious — chewing gum, swinging her hips, and acting like a ‘tough broad’. It’s too bad MGM didn’t capitalize more on her comedic side.”[5] Her best-known film is probably Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), opposite Howard Keel, which gave her the opportunity to play a more mature character than previous films. Her other films include: Rich, Young and Pretty (1951), Small Town Girl (1953), Three Sailors and a Girl (1953), Athena (1954), Deep in My Heart (1954), Hit the Deck (1955), and The Girl Most Likely (1957). In 1956 Powell recorded a song, “True Love”, that rose to 15 on the Billboard charts and 107 on the pop charts for that year, according to the Joel Whitburn compilation. This was her only single to make the charts.

“Wonder Why” with Vic Dimone

In 1956, Powell performed the song “I’ll Never Stop Loving You” at the 28th Academy Awards.[12]

Her roles include the touring productions of Unsinkable Molly Brown, Most Happy Fella, The Boy Friend, Brigadoon, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady, Carousel, Meet Me in St. Louis, Peter Pan, The Girl Next Door and How She Grew, and Irene, in which she made her Broadway debut, following Debbie Reynolds in the title role.[13] She and Howard Keel also appeared on stage together in a revival of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, I Do! I Do![13][14] and South Pacific[13]

Powell also toured in 1964 in a musical review entitled, “Just 20 Plus Me!” It was done to a recorded track and featured Powell with 20 handsome “chorus boys”. Asked after the performance if the production was going to be made available on a commercial recording, she said simply, “No.”

“Peanut Vendor” with Xaviar Cugat

In the early 1980s she toured in the comedies Same time next year, Marriage-go-round and Chapter Two.

In 1996 and 1997 she appeared in the off-broadway production After-Play.

In 2000 she appeared in the off-broadway production Avow, for which she received great reviews for a role which showed off her excellent comedic timing.

During the 1950s and 1960s Powell appeared regularly on television. These credits included guest spots on nearly all the major variety shows of the period such as Perry Como, The Andy Williams Show, The Kraft Music Hall, Frank Sinatra, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Red Skelton Show, Eddie Fisher, The Dinah Shore Show, The Dean Martin Show, The Smothers Brothers, Jonathan Winters, This is Tom Jones, The Garry Moore Show, The Jerry Lewis Show and The Judy Garland Show. She did a stint as one of the What’s My Line? Mystery Guests on the popular Sunday night CBS-TV programme. She also appeared as guest panelist on the same show. TV specials included “Meet Me in St. Louis”, “Young at Heart”, “Feathertop”, “Danny Thomas Show 1967”, “Victor Borge Show”, “Ruggles of Red Gap” on Producers’ Showcase and “Hooray for Love”. Dramatic guest spots included both The Dick Powell Show and The June Allyson Show. She also had a failed TV pilot for a sitcom called “The Jane Powell Show”. Powell was also a regular guest on TV variety shows in Australia when she visited there to perform her nightclub act. She also had a one-off TV special in that country in 1964.

From Hit The Deck with Ann Miller and Debbie Reynolds

In the 1970s she appeared in 3 TV movies Wheeler and Murdoch,[15] The Letters[16] and Mayday at 40,000 Feet!.[17]

In the 1980s she again guested on “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island”. Another guest spot was on “Murder She Wrote”. In 1985 she started a 9 month run in the daytime soap Loving playing a tough mother and business woman.

At the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s she also had a regular guest spot on Growing Pains (playing Alan Thicke‘s mother).

She was a temporary replacement on As The World Turns for Eileen Fulton as Lisa Grimaldi in 1991, 1993, and 1994.

In 2000 she appeared in two TV movies in supporting roles in The Sandy Bottom Orchestra[18] and Perfect Murder, Perfect Town.[18]

Her last major TV appearance was a guest spot on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit[19] in 2002.

She has also appeared on numerous TV Talk shows and co-hosted The Mike Douglas Show in 1970.

Powell lives in Manhattan and (since 1985), in Wilton, Connecticut,[5] with her fifth husband, former child actor Dick Moore. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Actors’ Fund of America, and still acts and performs to the present day, most recently in a 2002 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

In 2003, she made a return to the stage as Mama Mizner in the Stephen Sondheim musical Bounce. Despite Powell’s great reviews in the part, Bounce was not critically successful and did not move to Broadway.

For one evening, she returned to her hometown, Portland, Oregon, narrating Sergei Prokofiev‘s Peter and the Wolf with Pink Martini on December 31, 2007. She also appeared on March 9, 2008, with Pink Martini at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City; she sang a duet of “Aba Daba Honeymoon” with lead singer China Forbes. In March 2009 she appeared and sang “Love is Where You Find It” in a show in which Michael Feinstein celebrated Movie Musicals and MGM Musicals in particular. She performed again with Pink Martini at the Hollywood Bowl on September 10, 2010.

“Its A Most Unusual Day”

She has three children from her first two marriages, and has been married five times in total.

Her first marriage was to former figure skater Gearhardt “Geary” Anthony Steffen. He was a former skating partner to Sonja Henie, turned insurance broker. They married on November 5, 1949, and divorced on August 6, 1953.[20][21] They had two children, Gearhardt Anthony “G.A.” (pronounced Jay) Steffen III (born 1951) and Suzanne “Sissy” Ilene Steffen (born November 21, 1952)[22] Friend and fellow actress Elizabeth Taylor served as one of her bridesmaids, with Powell returning the favor during Taylor’s 1950 wedding to Conrad “Nicky” Hilton.

“Talk To The Trees”

On November 8, 1954, Powell married Patrick W. Nerney, an automobile executive nine years her senior, in Ojai, California. Nerney had previously been married to actress Mona Freeman, with whom he had a daughter, also named Mona.[23] Daughter Lindsey Averill Nerney (Powell states she named her for the California-based olive processor) was born from the union on February 1, 1956.[24] The couple divorced in 1963.[25]

“Quando Men Vo” from La Boheme

Powell’s fifth marriage, to former child star Dickie Moore, has been her longest. Powell and Moore have been married since 1988, when they met while Moore was researching for his own autobiography, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, But Don’t Have Sex or Take the Car.”[26]

Her autobiography was published in 1988. For her 80th birthday, her husband and Robert Osborne, a film historian and host of Turner Classic Movies, organized a party at a New York hotel for forty-five of Powell’s friends and family members.

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

Quick Bio Facts:

Jane Powell

Jane PowellAKA Suzanne Lorraine Burce

Born: 1-Apr1929
Birthplace: Portland, OR

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

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Boyfriend: Stanley Catron (dancer, dated 1944)
Husband: Geary Anthony Steffen, Jr. (figure skater, m. 5-Nov-1949, div. 6-Aug-1953, 2 children)
Son: Geary (b. 1961)
Daughter: Suzanne Ileen (b. 1952)
Husband: Patrick Nerney (m. 8-Nov-1954, div. 1963, one daughter)
Daughter: Lindsey (b. 1956)
Husband: James Fitzgerald (m. 27-Jun-1965, div. 1975)
Husband: David Parlour (m. 21-Oct-1978, div. 1981)
Husband: Dickie Moore (actor, m. 21-May-1988)

TELEVISION
Loving Rebecca Beecham (1985-86)
Growing Pains Irma (1988-90)

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Broadway: The Golden Age (Apr-2003) Herself
Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenét and the City of Boulder (27-Feb-2000)
The Female Animal (22-Jan-1958)
Enchanted Island (1958)
The Girl Most Likely (17-Dec-1957)
Hit the Deck (3-Mar-1955)
Deep in My Heart (9-Dec-1954)
Athena (4-Nov-1954)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (22-Jul-1954)
Three Sailors and a Girl (23-Nov-1953)
Small Town Girl (10-Apr-1953)
Rich, Young and Pretty (9-Jul-1951)
Royal Wedding (8-Mar-1951)
Two Weeks: With Love (23-Nov-1950)
Nancy Goes to Rio (10-Mar-1950)
A Date with Judy (21-Jun-1948)
Luxury Liner (1948)
Holiday in Mexico (15-Aug-1946)
Delightfully Dangerous (31-Mar-1945)
Song of the Open Road (2-Jun-1944)

Author of books:
The Girl Next Door and How She Grew (1988, memoir)

Features

Year Film Role Notes
1944 Song of the Open Road Jane Powell
1945 Delightfully Dangerous Sherry Williams
1946 Holiday in Mexico Christine Evans
1948 Three Daring Daughters Tess Morgan
A Date with Judy Judy Foster
Luxury Liner Polly Bradford
1950 Nancy Goes to Rio Nancy Barklay
Two Weeks with Love Patti Robinson
1951 Royal Wedding Ellen Bowen
Rich, Young and Pretty Elizabeth Rogers
1953 Small Town Girl Cindy Kimbell
Three Sailors and a Girl Penny Weston
1954 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Milly Pontipee
Athena Athena Mulvain
Deep in My Heart Ottilie van Zandt in ‘Maytime’
1955 Hit the Deck Susan Smith
1958 The Girl Most Likely Dodie
The Female Animal Penny Windsor
Enchanted Island Fayaway Also known as Typee
1975 Tubby the Tuba Celeste Voice
1999 Picture This
2003 Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There Herself

Short subjects

  • Screen Snapshots: Motion Picture Mothers, Inc. (1949)
  • 1955 Motion Picture Theatre Celebration (1955)

Recordings

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds (born April 1, 1932) is an American actress, singer, and dancer who was an MGM contract star. She is also a collector of movie memorabilia. Reynolds was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas, the second child of Maxine N. (née Harmon; 1913–1999) and Raymond Francis Reynolds (1903–1986), who was a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad.[1][2] Reynolds was a Girl Scout and a troop leader (a scholarship in her name is offered to high-school age Girl Scouts). Her family moved to Burbank, California, in 1939, and she was raised in a strict Nazarene faith. At age 16, while a student at Burbank’s John Burroughs High School, Reynolds won the Miss Burbank Beauty Contest, a contract with Warner Brothers, and acquired her new first name.

Debbie Reynolds regularly appeared in movie musicals during the 1950s and had several hit records during the period. Her song “Aba Daba Honeymoon” (featured in the 1950 film Two Weeks with Love as a duet with Carleton Carpenter) was a top-three hit in 1951. Her most high-profile film role was in Singin’ in the Rain (1952) as Kathy Selden. In Bundle of Joy (1956) she appeared with her then-husband, Eddie Fisher.

Her recording of the song “Tammy” (from her 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor) earned her a gold record,[3] and was the best-selling single by a female vocalist in 1957. It was number one for five weeks on the Billboard pop charts. In the movie (the first of the Tammy film series) she co-starred with Leslie Nielsen.

Debbie Reynolds talks about “Singing In The Rain”

In 1959 Reynolds recorded her first album for Dot Records, simply called Debbie, which included her own selection of 12 standards including “S’posin'”, “Moonglow”, “Mean To Me” and “Time After Time”. Bing Crosby paid tribute to Reynolds in the sleeve notes accompanying the album thus:

Someone recently said, and with reasonable accuracy I would think, that good singers make good actors. Evidence in support of this belief is available in the recent performances of Sinatra and Martin, for instance, but I would like to put forth also the proposition that the reverse is quite true: good actors make good singers. Assuming they can carry a tune. We all know that Debbie is better than a good actress — she’s VERY good, and we all know she can sing with a lilt and a listenable quality that’s genuinely pleasant and agreeable. Witness “Tammy”. It was small surprise to me then that when I listened to this beautiful album she has etched for Dot, I found myself captivated and enchanted. Quite obviously Debbie had spent a great deal of time selecting the songs to be included, because she’s made them her own, and invested them with a sincerity that’s inescapable — of contrasting moods to be sure, but the moods are there, and to me, mighty effective. And that, mes amis, is artistry.

Reynolds also scored two other top-25 Billboard hits with “A Very Special Love” (1958) and “Am I That Easy to Forget” (1960) — a pop-music version of a country-music hit made famous by both songwriters Carl Belew (in 1959), Skeeter Davis (in 1960), and several years later by singer Engelbert Humperdinck. During these years she also headlined in major Las Vegas showrooms.

“Tammy”

Her starring role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) led to a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She then portrayed Jeanine Deckers in The Singing Nun (1966).

In what Reynolds has called the “stupidest mistake of my entire career”,[4] she made headlines in 1970 after instigating a fight with the NBC television network over cigarette advertising on her eponymous television series; NBC cancelled the show.[4]

Marilyn Michaels and Debbie Reynolds on Love Boat

She continues to make appearances in film and television. On the NBC series Wings, she played Deedee Chapel, the mother of Helen Chapel-played by Crystal Bernard and the mother of Casey Chapel Davenport-played by Amy Yasbeck. The November 1994 episode was called If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother. From 1999 to its 2006 series finale, she played Grace Adler‘s ditzy mother Bobbi Adler on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace (1998–2006), which earned her a Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2000. She also plays a recurring role in the Disney Channel Original Movie Halloweentown film series as Aggie Cromwell. Reynolds made a guest appearance as a presenter at the 69th Academy Awards in 1997.

Reynolds has released several albums of both her vintage performances and her later recordings.

She is currently performing in her West End show Debbie Reynolds: Alive and Fabulous.

“You Made Me Love You”

Reynolds won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Catered Affair (1956).

She has received various nominations for awards including: an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy for The Debbie Reynolds Show (1970), a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Mother (1996) and a Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series, for her role of Bobbi Adler in the sitcom Will & Grace (2000). In 1996 and 1997, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy, in the American Comedy Awards.

“Dream of You”

Her foot and hand prints are preserved at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6654 Hollywood Boulevard.

In November 2006, Reynolds received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Chapman University (Orange, California). On May 17, 2007, she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Nevada, Reno, (Reno, Nevada) where she had contributed for many years to the film-studies program. In her acceptance speech, she referred to the University as “Nevahda…Arizona”.

“I Wanna Be Loved By You”

Reynolds has been married three times. She and Eddie Fisher were married in 1955. They are the parents of Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher. A public scandal ensued when Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor fell in love, and Reynolds and Fisher were divorced in 1959. Her second marriage, to millionaire businessman Harry Karl, lasted from 1960 to 1973. At its end, she found herself in financial difficulty because of Karl’s gambling and bad investments. (Under the community property laws of California, both spouses in a marriage are legally responsible for debts incurred by either.) Reynolds was married to real estate developer Richard Hamlett from 1984 to 1996. They purchased Greek Isles Hotel & Casino, a small hotel and casino in Las Vegas, but it was not a success. In 1997, Reynolds was forced to declare bankruptcy.[5]

Reynolds has been active in the Thalians Club, a charitable organization.

“Are You For Real”

She has amassed a large collection of movie memorabilia and displayed them, first in a museum at her Las Vegas hotel and casino during the 1990s and later in a museum close to the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. On several occasions she has auctioned off items from the collection. The collection is scheduled to re-open in the Gatlinburg, Tennessee, area in the future.

She resides in Los Angeles next door to her daughter Carrie.

Sources: wikipedia, youtube, imdb.com

Filmography

Features:

Short subjects:

  • A Visit with Debbie Reynolds (1959)
  • The Story of a Dress (1964)

Television work

Nana Mouskouri

Nana Mouskouri (Greek: Nάνα Μούσχουρη), born Ioánna Moúschouri (Greek: Ιωάννα Μούσχουρη) on October 13, 1934, in Chania, Crete, Greece, is a singer who is confirmed to have sold between 200 and 300 million records worldwide in a career spanning over five decades, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time.[1][2][3]. She was known as Nána to her friends and family as a child. (Note that in Greek her surname is pronounced with the stress on the first syllable – MOOS-hoo-ree – rather than the second.) She has recorded songs in many different languages, including Greek, English, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Catalan, Spanish, Hebrew, Welsh and Maori.

Nana Mouskouri’s family lived in Chania, Crete, where her father, Constantine, worked as a film projectionist in a local cinema. Her mother, Alice also worked in the same local cinema as an usherette. When Mouskouri was three, her father moved the family to Athens.

Mouskouri’s family worked extremely hard in order to send Nana and her elder sister, Jenny, to the prestigious Athens Conservatoire. Mouskouri had displayed exceptional musical talent from the age of 6. However, her sister, Jennie, initially appeared to be the more gifted of the two. Financially unable to support both girls’ studies, the parents eventually asked their tutor which one should continue. The tutor conceded that Jennie had the better voice, but Nana was the one with the true inner need to sing. Mouskouri has said that a medical examination revealed a difference in her two vocal cords and this could well account for her remarkable singing voice (in her younger years ranging from a husky, dark alto, which she later dropped, to a ringing coloratura mezzo), as opposed to her breathy, raspy speaking voice.[4]

Autumn Leaves

Mouskouri’s childhood was stamped by the German Nazi occupation of Greece. Her father became part of the anti-Nazi resistance movement in Athens. Mouskouri began singing lessons at age 12. As a child, she listened to radio broadcasts of singers such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Édith Piaf.

“Only Love”

In 1950, she was accepted at the Conservatoire. She studied classical music with an emphasis on singing opera. After eight years at the Conservatoire, Mouskouri was encouraged by her friends to experiment with jazz music. She soon began singing with her friends’ jazz group at night and they even managed to get a radio slot. However, when Mouskouri’s Conservatory professor found out about Mouskouri’s involvement with a genre of music that was not in keeping with her classical studies, he prevented her from sitting for her end-of-year exams. Mouskouri left the Conservatoire and began performing at the Zaki club in Athens.

She began singing jazz in nightclubs with a bias towards Ella Fitzgerald repertoire. In 1957, she recorded her first song, Fascination, in both Greek and English for Odeon/EMI Greece. By 1958 while still performing at the Zaki, she met Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis. Hadjidakis was immensely impressed by Nana’s phenomenal voice and immediately offered to write songs for her. In 1959 Mouskouri performed Hadjidakis’ Kapou Iparchi I Agapi Mou (co-written with poet Nikos Gatsos) at the inaugural Greek Song Festival. The song won first prize, and Mouskouri began to be noticed.

“Love Changes Everything”

At the 1960 Greek Song Festival, she performed two more Hadjidakis compositions, Timoria and Kiparissaki. Both these songs tied for first prize. Mouskouri performed Kostas Yannidis‘ composition, Xypna Agapi Mou, at the Mediterranean Song Festival, held in Barcelona that year. The song won first prize, and she went on to sign a recording contract with Paris-based Philips-Fontana.

In 1961, Mouskouri performed the soundtrack of a German documentary about Greece. This resulted in the German-language single Weiße Rosen aus Athen (“White Roses from Athens”). The song was originally adapted from a folk melody by Hadjidakis. It became a success, selling over a million copies in Germany. The song was later translated into several different languages and it went on to become one of Mouskouri’s signature tunes.

Mouskouri married Yorgos (“George”) Petsilas in 1961. Mouskouri and Petsilas had two children, a son, Nicolas, born on 13 February 1968 and a daughter, Hélène, nicknamed Lénou, born on 6 July 1970. In 1974, Mouskouri and Petsilas separated and in 1975 were officially divorced.

Mouskouri currently lives primarily in Switzerland, with her second husband, André Chapelle, whom she married on 13 January 2003.

“Plaisir d’Amour”

In 1962, she met Quincy Jones, who persuaded her to travel to New York City to record an album of American jazz titled The Girl From Greece Sings. Following that she scored another hit in the United Kingdom with My Colouring Book.

“The White Rose of Athens”

In 1963 she left Greece to live in Paris. Mouskouri performed Luxembourg‘s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963 that year, À Force de Prier. The song achieved success, and helped win her the prestigious Grand Prix du Disque in France. Mouskouri soon attracted the attention of French composer Michel Legrand, who composed for her two major French hits Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1964) and an arrangement of Katherine K. DavisCarol of the Drum, L’Enfant au Tambour (1965).

In 1965 she recorded her second English-language album to be released in the United States, entitled Nana Sings. American calypso musician Harry Belafonte heard and liked the album. Belafonte brought Mouskouri on tour with him through 1966. They teamed for a live duo album entitled An Evening With Belafonte/Mouskouri. During this tour, Belafonte suggested that Mouskouri remove her signature black-rimmed glasses when on stage. She was so unhappy with the request that she wanted to quit the show after only two days. Finally, Belafonte relented and respected her wishes to perform while wearing glasses.

Mouskouri’s 1967 French album Le Jour Où la Colombe raised her to super-stardom in France. This album featured many of her French songs, Au Cœur de Septembre, Adieu Angélina, Robe Bleue, Robe Blanche and the French pop classic Le Temps des Cerises. Mouskouri made her first appearance at Paris’ legendary Olympia concert theatre the same year, singing French pop, Greek folk, and Hadjidakis numbers.

“The Rose”

In 1968, Mouskouri was invited to host a BBC TV series called Presenting Nana Mouskouri. The next year she released a full-length British LP, Over and Over. It became a smash hit that spent almost two years on the UK charts. She expanded her concert tour to Australia (where she met Frank Hardy, who followed her to the south of France in 1976), New Zealand and Japan. She recorded several Japanese songs for the Japanese market.

In France, she released a series of top-selling albums that included Comme un Soleil, Une Voix Qui Vient du Cœur, Vielles Chansons de France, and Quand Tu Chantes!.

In 1979, Mouskouri released another English-language album named Roses and Sunshine. This album consisting largely of folk and country material, and included work from such diverse sources as Neil Young, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan and John Denver. It was very well received in Canada, and one of the album’s tracks, “Even Now” (not the same song as the 1978 Barry Manilow hit), became a staple on beautiful music radio stations in the United States. She scored a worldwide hit in 1981 with Je Chante Avec Toi, Liberté, which was translated into several languages after its widespread success in France. The momentum from this album also helped boost her following German album, Mein Lieder sind mein Leben. In 1984, Mouskouri returned to Greece for her first live performance in her homeland since 1962.

In 1985, Mouskouri recorded Only Love, the theme song to the BBC TV series Mistral’s Daughter — based upon the novel by Judith Krantz — that reached #2 in the UK charts. The song was also a hit in its foreign language versions: L’Amour en Héritage (French), Come un’eredità (Italian), La dicha del almor (Spanish), and Aber die Liebe bleibt (German). The German version was also recorded with an alternate set of lyrics under the title Der wilde Wein but was withdrawn in favour of Aber die Liebe bleibt.

“Parlez Moi d’Amour”

That same year, Mouskouri made a play for the Spanish-language market with the hit single Con Todo el Alma. The song was a major success in Spain, Argentina and Chile.

She released five albums in different languages in 1987, and the following year returned to her classical conservatory roots with the double LP The Classical Nana (aka Nana Classique), which featured adaptations of classical songs and excerpts from opera. By the end of 1987, she had performed a series of concerts in Asia, including South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand.

A French language autobiography appeared in 1989 titled “Chanter ma vie” (Singing my life).

In 2006, Greek publisher A.A. Livanis published a biography in Greek titled “To onoma mou ine Nana” (My name is Nana). In autumn 2007, the French and English versions of this biography appeared under the titles “Nana Mouskouri — Memoires — La fille de la Chauve-souris” (XO publishers) and “Nana Mouskouri — Memoirs” (Orion Publishing Group).[5]

Mouskouri’s 1991 English album, Only Love: The Best of Nana Mouskouri became her best-selling release in the United States. She spent much of the 1990s touring the globe. Among her early 1990s albums were spiritual music, Gospel (1990), the Spanish-language Nuestras Canciones, the multilingual, Mediterranean-themed Côté Sud, Côté Coeur (1992), Dix Mille Ans Encore, Falling in Love Again: Great Songs From the Movies. Falling in Love featured two duets with Harry Belafonte.

She recorded several more albums over 1996 and 1997, including the Spanish Nana Latina (which featured duets with Julio Iglesias and Mercedes Sosa), the English-language Return to Love, and the French pop classics, Hommages. In 1997, she staged a high-profile Concert for Peace at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. This concert was later released as an album, and aired as a TV special on PBS in the U.S.

In 1993, Mouskouri recorded the album, Hollywood. Produced by Michel Legrand it was a collection of famous songs from films, and served not only as a tribute to the world of cinema, but also as a .personal reference to childhood memories of sitting with her father in his projection room in Crete

Mouskouri was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in October 1993.[6] She took over from the previous ambassador, the recently deceased actress Audrey Hepburn. Mouskouri’s first U.N. mission took her to Bosnia to draw attention to the plight of children affected by Bosnian war. She went on to give a series of fund-raising concerts in Sweden and Belgium.

She was elected a Member of the European Parliament from 1994 until 1999, when she resigned from her position as an MEP. Several reasons have been given for this, one being her pacifism, and another being that she felt ill-equipped for the day-to-day work of a politician.[7] Mouskouri currently lives in Switzerland with Chapelle, and up until her final performance in 2008 performed hundreds of concerts every year throughout her career. In 2004, her French record company released an unprecedented 34-CD box set of more than 600 of Mouskouri’s mostly-French songs. In 2006 she made a guest appearance at that year’s Eurovision Song Contest which was held, for the first time ever, in her native Greece. In the same year, she announced her plans to retire. From 2006 until 2008, she conducted a farewell concert tour of Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, the United States, and Canada. On July 23, 2008, Mouskouri gave her final ‘Farewell Concert’ performance at the ancient Herodes Atticus Theatre, in Athens, Greece, before a packed stadium, including Greece’s prime minister and Athens mayor, plus the mayors of Berlin, Paris and Luxembourg, along with fans from around the world and thousands of her Athenian admirers.[2]

Universal Music Group, which has over the decades come to acquire virtually all the labels under which Mouskouri recorded, claims that Nana Mouskouri has sold more than 300 million discs worldwide[2][8], recording about 1,500 songs in 15 languages on 450 albums. She has more than 230 gold and platinum albums worldwide, making her a candidate for the best-selling female recording artist of all time.[3]

Sources: wikipedia, youtube, imdb.com