Monday, 25 July 2016

A committee should be organised to honour me



And so, farewell, a superstar. Responsible for myriad songs beloved of us theatrical types light-in-our-loafers, including I Could Have Danced All Night, Getting To Know You, I Feel Pretty, Wouldn't It Be Loverly, Hello Young Lovers and Somewhere, she, remarkably, only ever appeared on screen in one movie - The Sound of Music. As a nun.

The lady is (or rather was as news of her death was announced today), of course, the magnificent Marni Nixon - the behind-the-scenes vocal artiste who dubbed for Deborah Kerr in The King and I, for Natalie Wood (much to her consternation when she found out) in West Side Story and for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.

Facts:
  • Miss Nixon (unsurprisingly) was operatically trained, and made her solo debut singing “Carmina Burana” at the Hollywood Bowl in 1947; she returned to classical recordings in the 1980s, winning a Grammy.
  • Her talent for variety led her to be on stage as a frequent guest and side-kick for Liberace and Victor Borge, as well as many stage and television roles.
  • Although she fought for the credit, her name did not appear on the original multi-million selling soundtrack for West Side Story so she did not get the portion of the royalties she would have otherwise; apparently Leonard Bernstein eventually gave up 0.25 percent of his own earnings from the soundtrack to her.
  • In addition to all the famous "leading ladies" above, she also dubbed Marilyn Monroe's high notes in Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
  • Her son was the late, great singer-songwriter Andrew Gold.

Here's a fine example of Marni's talents, on that camp classic I Feel Pretty:



RIP Marni Nixon (born Margaret Nixon McEathron, 22nd February 1930 – 24th July 2016)

2 comments:

  1. 0.25%? What a mensch that Lenny was...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that was only after she made a fuss... Jx

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