Jeanette MacDonald
Singer, actress
Jeanette MacDonald
Jeanette MacDonald was an American singer and actress best remembered for her musical films of the 1930s with Maurice Chevalier and Nelson Eddy. During the 1930s and 1940s she starred in 29 feature films, four nominated for Best Picture Oscars, and recorded extensively, earning three gold records. She later appeared in opera, concerts, radio, and television.
Biography
Jeanette MacDonald's personal information overview.
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Popular photos of Jeanette MacDonald
News
News abour Jeanette MacDonald from around the web
Sybil Jason - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
When she was two the family moved to England, where she was soon picking out tunes on the piano; at three she was impersonating Maurice Chevalier, Greta Garbo and Jeanette MacDonald on stage; at four, she was headlining at London night clubs, singing,
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East Coast Earthquake: In the mood for these flicks? - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
Google News - over 5 years
Co-stars included Jeanette MacDonald, Spencer Tracy, Jack Holt and Jessie Ralph. "10.5" (2004): An earthquake of epic proportions hits the Pacific Northwest in this TV film -- and causes the West Coast to crumble away from the rest of the continent
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Family member reflects back on history of grand hotel; What happened to the ... - Redwood Times
Google News - over 5 years
Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Alan Ladd, Charles Laughton, Nelson Eddy, Jeanette MacDonald, Joan Fontaine, and Basil Rathbone were all visitors at the hotel. Dignitaries such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover and Lord Halifax also enjoyed the Benbow
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Ask Holly: Blue Moon Ice Cream - Baristanet
Google News - over 5 years
One bite of this and I was singing ” Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life” like Jeanette MacDonald. Yep, it is that good! If you are from the Midwest you have probably grew up having this flavor of ice cream and if you are craving it like I have been this summer
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Today's 5: What You Need to Know - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park launches its classic movie program with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald in "Love Me Tonight” at 7 pm 3. The Zoning Board of Appeals meets tonight at 7 pm in Oyster Bay. 4
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Go Back in Time With Lake Theatre - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
Jeanette MacDonald and Clark Gable appear in a 1936 promotional photograph for the Metro-Goldywn-Mayer production of San Francisco. MGM Studios - Publicity Photograph via Wikimedia Commons Find yourself in an air-conditioned theatre
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'Sweethearts' On-Screen, But What Happens Off? - NPR
Google News - over 5 years
The first commercial DVDs of Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy operettas have only just been released. One is their very first film, Naughty Marietta, from 1935, based on a 1910 Victor Herbert operetta. As in several of their films, the plot concerns a
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OPINION SHAPER: A bit of parental advice: name your children well - STLtoday.com
Google News - over 5 years
Louise was my mother's middle name, but I thought Jeanette came from the movie star of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy fame. Not long ago, I was surprised when my Aunt Irene told me my mother worked for a lady named Jeanette that she liked very much
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Glimpses of the Past - Green Bay Press Gazette
Google News - over 5 years
Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald were starring in "San Francisco" at the Orpheum. The movie was billed as a "throbbing drama." » Deaths — Mrs. A. Kiekhaefer, Morrison; Edward Gay Sr.; Miss Cecilia Kiley; Mrs. August Fischer; Martin Scray;
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A grand dame of the theater celebrates an 80th birthday - Ct Post
Google News - over 5 years
I remember meeting Van Johnson, Walter Abel, Claudette Colbert, Mary Rogers, Oscar Hammerstein and Jeanette MacDonald." At a midpoint in the celebration, Joseloff and Steinberg joined Michael Ross, the playhouse managing director, and Mark Lamos,
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'San Francisco' and 'Hop' - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Google News - over 5 years
The 1936 melodrama stars Clark Gable as a successful saloon operator in San Francisco's Barbary Coast who makes a singer (Jeanette MacDonald) into a star, only to lose her to the world of opera just before that 1906 earthquake
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Today in Music History - June 29 - mysask.com (press release)
Google News - over 5 years
In 1901, singer Nelson Eddy, whose duets with Jeanette MacDonald were great favourites in the 1930's and '40's, was born in Providence, RI Nelson Eddy died on March 6, 1967. In 1941, Polish pianist Ignace Jan Paderewski died in wartime exile in New
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Television movies for the week of June 26 - Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Google News - over 5 years
Jeanette MacDonald. An incognito French princess flees to New Orleans and flirts with an Indian scout. (G) (2:00) TCM: Wed. 2:15 PM (CC) • Neverwas '05. Aaron Eckhart. A psychiatrist takes a job at a residential facility where his troubled father was
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Redskins Championships: 1987 Game 7 vs. Buffalo - Washington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
”Caught me a pass today,” he warbled toward locker neighbor Kelvin Bryant, who had been playing Jeanette MacDonald to his Nelson Eddy for several minutes. “Kept my eye on the ball.” This was Rogers' generally unseen sly side
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The almanac - UPI.com
Google News - over 5 years
They include Cyrus Curtis, founder and publisher of the Ladies' Home Journal, in 1850; journalist and publisher Edward Scripps in 1854; British mountain climber George Mallory in 1886; singer-actor Jeanette MacDonald in 1903; legendary Tin Pan Alley
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Jeanette MacDonald
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1965
    Age 61
    MacDonald was interred on January 18, 1965, in a crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California which reads "Jeanette MacDonald Raymond".
    More Details Hide Details Nelson Eddy, who told Jack Paar on The Tonight Show, "I love her MacDonald", broke down when interviewed by the press the evening of her death. He survived MacDonald by two years.
  • 1964
    Age 60
    MacDonald was again stricken in 1964.
    More Details Hide Details Nelson Eddy was with her when she was admitted to UCLA Medical Center, where on Christmas Eve she was operated on for abdominal adhesions. She was able to go home for New Year's, but in mid-January husband Raymond flew her back to Houston. It was hoped that pioneer heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey, who had recently operated successfully on the Duke of Windsor, could perform the same miracle for her. She checked in on January 12, and a program of intravenous feedings was begun to build her up for possible surgery. MacDonald died two days later on January 14 at 4:32 pm, with her husband at her bedside. According to press reports, MacDonald's last words to Raymond while he massaged her feet were "I love you". He replied "I love you, too"; she smiled and succumbed.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1963
    Age 59
    MacDonald suffered in her later years with heart trouble. She worsened in 1963 and underwent an arterial transplant at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.
    More Details Hide Details She had been signed to play the role of the Mother Abbess in the film version of The Sound of Music, but died before she could fulfill this commitment (the role went to Peggy Wood). Nelson Eddy, in Australia on a nightclub tour, pleaded illness and returned to the States at word of MacDonald's surgery. After the operation, she developed pleurisy and was hospitalized for two-and-a-half months. Her friends kept the news from the press until just before her release. Her large home was sold and she moved into a Los Angeles apartment that would not require so much of her energies. Her husband, Gene Raymond, moved into an adjoining apartment. Nelson Eddy took his own apartment in the opposite building.
  • 1959
    Age 55
    She began limiting her appearances and a reprisal of Bitter Sweet in 1959 was her last professional appearance.
    More Details Hide Details MacDonald and her husband, Gene Raymond, toured in Ferenc Molnár's The Guardsman. The production opened at the Erlanger Theater, Buffalo, New York on January 25, 1951 and played in 23 northeastern and midwestern cities until June 2, 1951. Despite less than enthusiastic comments from critics, the show played to full houses for virtually every performance. The leading role of "The Actress" was changed to "The Singer" to allow MacDonald to add some songs. While this pleased her fans, the show still closed before reaching Broadway. In the 1950s there were talks with respect to a Broadway return. In the 1960s, MacDonald was approached about starring on Broadway in a musical version of Sunset Boulevard. Harold Prince recounts in his autobiography, visiting MacDonald at her home in Bel Air to discuss the proposed project. Composer Hugh Martin also wrote a song for the musical entitled, "Wasn't It Romantic?".
  • 1956
    Age 52
    In December 1956 MacDonald and Eddy made their first TV appearance as a team on the Lux Video Theatre Holiday Special.
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    Her production of The King and I opened August 20, 1956 at the Starlight Theatre.
    More Details Hide Details While performing there, she collapsed. Officially it was heat prostration but in fact it was a heart seizure.
    On February 2, 1956 MacDonald starred in Prima Donna, a television pilot for her own series, written for her by her husband, Gene Raymond.
    More Details Hide Details The initial show featured guest stars Leo Durocher and Larraine Day, but it failed to find a slot.
  • FORTIES
  • 1953
    Age 49
    She also said that on January 16, 1953, she was going to have a recital at Carnegie Hall.
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    In 1953, MacDonald sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the inauguration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, which was broadcast on both radio and TV.
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  • 1952
    Age 48
    Shortly thereafter, she appeared as the mystery guest on the December 21, 1952 episode of What's My Line?
    More Details Hide Details After the panelists guessed her identity, she told John Daly she was in town in New York for the holidays.
    On November 12, 1952, she was the subject of Ralph Edwards' This Is Your Life.
    More Details Hide Details Nelson Eddy appeared as a voice from her past, singing the song he sang at her wedding to Gene Raymond. His surprise appearance brought her to tears.
  • 1950
    Age 46
    MacDonald appeared on early TV, most frequently as a singing guest star. She sang on The Voice of Firestone on November 13, 1950.
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  • 1948
    Age 44
    Her 1948 Hollywood Bowl concert was also broadcast over the air, in which she used Eddy's longtime accompanist, Theodore Paxson.
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  • 1945
    Age 41
    In November 1945, she did two more performances of Roméo et Juliette and one of Faust in Chicago, and two Fausts for the Cincinnati Opera.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1943
    Age 39
    She raised over $100,000 for them with benefit concerts throughout the country in the fall of 1943, for which President Roosevelt awarded her a medal.
    More Details Hide Details She did extensive free concerts for the military through the U.S.O, and after each of her regular "civilian" concert, she would auction off encores and donated the money to wartime charities. She was surprised to find that the song she was most often asked to sing was "Ave Maria." When she was home in Hollywood, she held open house at her home, Twin Gables, on Sunday afternoons for G.I.s. On one occasion, at the request of Lt. Ronald Reagan, she was singing for a large group of men in San Francisco who were due to ship out to the fierce fighting in the South Pacific. She closed with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", and 20,000 voices spontaneously joined in. In the mid-1950s, MacDonald toured in summer stock productions of Bitter Sweet and The King and I She opened in Bitter Sweet at the Iroquois Amphitheater, Louisville, Kentucky, on July 19, 1954.
  • 1941
    Age 37
    When America joined World War II in 1941, MacDonald was one of the founders of the Army Emergency Relief and raised funds on concert tours.
    More Details Hide Details She auctioned off encores for donations and raised over $100,000 for the troops. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who considered MacDonald and Eddy two of his favorite film stars, awarded her a medal. She also did command performances at the White House for both Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. In early 1960, The Hollywood Bowl announced that MacDonald and Howard Keel would be the guests soloists at the annual Easter Sunrise Service. However, health problems forced her to cancel her appearance. By the summer of 1960, MacDonald was seriously ill and her autobiography collaborator, Fredda Dudley Balling, wrote that it was uncertain whether she would live long enough to finish the book. Besides her heart problems, MacDonald suffered from a benign, non-operable brain tumor. MacDonald recorded more than 90 songs during her career, working exclusively for RCA Victor in the United States. She also did some early recordings for HMV in England and France while she was there on a concert tour in 1931. She earned three gold records, one for the LP album, Favorites in Stereo that she did with Nelson Eddy in 1959.
  • 1939
    Age 35
    Her first American concert tour was in 1939, immediately after the completion of Broadway Serenade and Nelson Eddy's marriage.
    More Details Hide Details After that she, like Eddy, did frequent U.S. tours between films. She sang several times at the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall.
  • 1938
    Age 34
    Nelson Eddy attempted a reconciliation with MacDonald in 1938 but again had interference from Louis B. Mayer, who felt that divorce might harm MacDonald's saintly image with her fans.
    More Details Hide Details Eddy eloped to Las Vegas with Ann Franklin in January 1939. His marriage also lasted until his death.
  • 1937
    Age 33
    On June 16, 1937 MacDonald married Gene Raymond in a traditional ceremony at Wilshire Methodist Church in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details They remained married until MacDonald's death. Raymond was also a songwriter, and MacDonald introduced two of his songs in her concerts. In addition to the TV pilot Prima Donna that Raymond wrote for her, they also did a few radio shows together and toured in The Guardsman on stage. But even with their infrequent attempts to work together, including the film Smilin' Through, the public was indifferent to them as a team as evidenced by only fair box-office receipts. According to published books, including Sweethearts by Sharon Rich and The Golden Girls Of MGM by Jane Ellen Wayne, Gene Raymond engaged in numerous affairs with men and their marriage was problematic. MacDonald addressed this issue in her unpublished autobiography (now published in a facsimile edition; see Controversy section) and mentioned several separations and marital problems. After her death, Raymond and his friends (including the MacDonald fan club, which remained associated with Raymond until his death) disputed these claims.
    In addition, MacDonald was one of the top ten box-office attractions in Great Britain from 1937 to 1942 inclusive.
    More Details Hide Details During her 39-year career, MacDonald earned two stars in the Hollywood Walk of Fame (for films and recordings) and planted her feet in the wet cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater. Starting in 1931 and continuing through the 1950s, MacDonald did regular concert tours between films. Her first European tour was in 1931, where she sang in both France and England.
    The MacDonald-Eddy team had split after MacDonald's engagement and marriage to Gene Raymond, but neither of their solo films grossed as much as the team films and by the fall of 1937, MGM was barraged with outraged fan mail.
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  • 1936
    Age 32
    An annual poll of film exhibitors listed MacDonald as one of the top ten box-office draws of 1936, and many of her films were among the top 20 moneymakers of the years they were released.
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  • 1935
    Age 31
    During summer 1935, MacDonald rekindled the relationship with Eddy when they began filming Rose Marie.
    More Details Hide Details MacDonald later called it "the happiest summer of my life".
    Ritchie's nephew and the remaining family claimed that there was a Ritchie-MacDonald marriage and that it was annulled, possibly in Hawaii, in 1935.
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    They were together until 1935 and presumed by many to be married.
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    After MacDonald suffered a miscarriage during the filming of Sweethearts, Mayer dropped plans for the team to co-star in Let Freedom Ring, a vehicle first announced for them in 1935.
    More Details Hide Details Eddy made that film solo while MacDonald and Lew Ayres (Young Dr. Kildare) co-starred in Broadway Serenade (1939). They played a contemporary musical couple who clash when her career flourishes while his flounders. MacDonald's performance was subdued (Eddy married Ann Franklin during the filming) and choreographer Busby Berkeley, just hired away from Warner Bros., was called upon to add an over-the-top finale in an effort to improve the film. Following Broadway Serenade, MacDonald left Hollywood on a concert tour and refused to re-sign her MGM contract. Eddy starred in a second solo film, Balalaika, while MacDonald's manager was summoned from London to help her renegotiate. After initially insisting she film Smilin' Through with James Stewart and Robert Taylor, MacDonald finally relented and agreed to film New Moon (1940) with Eddy. New Moon proved one of MacDonald's most popular films. Composer Sigmund Romberg's 1927 Broadway hit provided the plot and the songs: "Lover, Come Back to Me", "One Kiss", and "Wanting You", plus Eddy's version of "Stout Hearted Men". This was followed by Bitter Sweet (1940), a Technicolor film version of Noël Coward's 1929 stage operetta.
  • 1934
    Age 30
    They dated on and off throughout 1934 but after MacDonald's 1935 Hawaii trip, Eddy became more persistent in his marriage proposals. The problem was that Eddy wanted her to retire and raise their children; MacDonald preferred to put her career first. They fought constantly over this and broke up in early June 1935.
    More Details Hide Details Later that month, MacDonald met the actor Gene Raymond at a party and began dating him. Blonde Raymond resembled Nelson Eddy and the two men were sometimes mistaken for each other when seen publicly with MacDonald.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1933
    Age 29
    In 1933 MacDonald left again for Europe and while there, signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Her first MGM film was The Cat and the Fiddle (1934), based on the Jerome Kern Broadway hit. Her co-star was Ramón Novarro. The plot about unmarried lovers shacking up just barely slipped through the new Production Code guidelines that took effect July 1, 1934.
    More Details Hide Details Despite a Technicolor finale—the first use of the new three-color Technicolor process other than Disney cartoons—the film was not a huge success. In The Merry Widow (1934), director Ernst Lubitsch reunited Maurice Chevalier and MacDonald in a lavish version of the classic 1905 Franz Lehár operetta. The film was highly regarded by critics and operetta lovers in major U.S. cities and Europe, but failed to generate much income outside urban areas. It had a huge budget, partially because it was filmed simultaneously in French as La Veuve Joyeuse, with a French supporting cast and some minor plot changes. Naughty Marietta (1935), directed by W.S. Van Dyke, was MacDonald's first film in which she teamed with newcomer baritone Nelson Eddy. Victor Herbert's 1910 score, with songs like "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life", "I'm Falling in Love with Someone", "’Neath the Southern Moon", "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp", and "Italian Street Song", enjoyed renewed popularity. The film won an Oscar for sound recording and received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. It was voted one of the Ten Best Pictures of 1935 by the New York film critics, was awarded the Photoplay Gold Medal Award as Best Picture of 1935 (beating out Mutiny on the Bounty, which won the Oscar), and, in 2004, was selected to the National Film Registry. MacDonald earned gold records for "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life" and "Italian Street Song".
  • 1931
    Age 27
    On March 29, 1931 MacDonald wrote to Irving Stone that she was engaged to Ritchie and on July 8, 1931 she wrote to him again from Europe that "I didn't get married on June 9."
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    She was on the Academy Awards ceremony broadcast in 1931.
    More Details Hide Details She hosted her own radio show, Vicks Open House, from September 1937 to March 1938, for which she received $5,000 a week. However, the time demands of doing a weekly live radio show while filming, touring in concerts and making records proved enormously difficult, and after fainting on-air during one show, she decided not to renew her radio contract with Vicks at the end of the 26-week season. Thereafter, she stuck to guest appearances. MacDonald appeared in condensed radio versions of many of her films on programs like Cecil B. DeMille's Lux Radio Theater, usually with Nelson Eddy, and the Railroad Hour which starred Gordon MacRae. These included The Merry Widow, Naughty Marietta, Rose Marie, Maytime, Sweethearts, Bitter Sweet, Smilin' Through, and The Sun Comes Up, plus other operettas and musicals like Victor Herbert's Mlle Modiste, Irene, The Student Prince, Tonight or Never with Melvyn Douglas, A Song for Clotilda, The Gift of the Magi, and Apple Blossoms. Other radio shows included The Prudential Family Hour, Screen Guild Playhouse and The Voice of Firestone which featured the top opera and concert singers of the time.
    MacDonald took a break from Hollywood in 1931 to embark on a European concert tour.
    More Details Hide Details She returned to Paramount the following year for two films with Maurice Chevalier. One Hour with You (1932) was directed by both George Cukor and Ernst Lubitsch and simultaneously filmed in French with the same stars but a French supporting cast. Currently, there is no known surviving print of Une Heure près de toi (One Hour Near You). Rouben Mamoulian directed Love Me Tonight (1932), considered by many film critics and writers to be the perfect film musical. Starring Chevalier as a humble tailor in love with a princess played by MacDonald, much of the story is told in sung dialogue. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart wrote the original score, which included the standards "Mimi", "Lover", and "Isn't It Romantic? ".
  • 1929
    Age 25
    Nevertheless, an off-screen affair was verified by Jim Bayless, another MGM sound engineer from 1929 to 1942 who built Eddy's home recording equipment and recorded Eddy's weekly radio shows for him on disc; Bayless later left MGM to be Vice President for newly formed Capitol Records.
    More Details Hide Details Other MGM staff who verified the relationship included their makeup artists William Tuttle and Fred Phillips and fellow singers Miliza Korjus and Rise Stevens. Contemporary magazine writer Sandy Reiss reported that a private trailer was set up for the two on Maytime and that the crew called them "the lovebirds." Other MGM co-workers claimed that Eddy and MacDonald were closest during the filming of Sweethearts and I Married an Angel. After the MGM years, their private lives fell off the Hollywood radar. Baritone Theodor Uppman, who won the Atwater Kent opera auditions and later sang at the Metropolitan Opera, saw Eddy and MacDonald at a 1947 party together, where the talk of the evening was the fact that MacDonald was pregnant with Eddy's child but he could not get a divorce. In the biography Sweethearts by Sharon Rich, the author presents MacDonald and Eddy as continuing an adulterous affair after their marriages. Rich, who was a close friend of MacDonald's older sister Blossom Rock, claims the relationship lasted with a few breaks until MacDonald's death. Newsreel footage from MacDonald's funeral shows Eddy as the last person exiting the chapel, he is circled by other celebrities such as Lauritz Melchior who offer him condolences. Rich also interviewed about 200 others including celebrities who because of Rock's approval, spoke candidly. Rich additionally had access to hundreds of pages of personal letters, many of them handwritten by MacDonald, others written by Eddy or part of a correspondence between Eddy's mother and a close friend.
    In the first rush of sound films, 1929–30, MacDonald starred in six films, the first four for Paramount Studios.
    More Details Hide Details Her first, The Love Parade (1929), directed by Lubitsch and co-starring Chevalier, was a landmark of early sound films and received a Best Picture nomination. MacDonald's first recordings were two hits from the score: "Dream Lover" and "March of the Grenadiers". The Vagabond King (1930) was a lavish two-strip Technicolor film version of Rudolf Friml's hit 1925 operetta. Broadway star Dennis King reprised his role as 15th-century French poet François Villon and MacDonald was Princess Katherine. She sang "Some Day" and "Only a Rose". The UCLA Film and Television Archive owns the only known color print of this production. Paramount on Parade (1930) was a Paramount all-star revue, similar to other mammoth sound revues produced by major studios to introduce their formerly silent stars to the public. MacDonald's footage singing a duet of "Come Back to Sorrento" with Nino Martini was cut from the release print. Let's Go Native (1930), was a desert island comedy directed by Leo McCarey, co-starring Jack Oakie and Kay Francis. Monte Carlo (1930) was another highly regarded Lubitsch classic, with British musical star Jack Buchanan as a count who disguises himself as a hairdresser to woo a scatterbrained countess (Macdonald). MacDonald introduced "Beyond the Blue Horizon" which she recorded three times during her career.
    In 1929, famed film director Ernst Lubitsch was looking through old screen tests of Broadway performers and spotted MacDonald.
    More Details Hide Details He cast her as the leading lady in his first sound film, The Love Parade, which starred the Continental sensation Maurice Chevalier.
  • 1926
    Age 22
    MacDonald next dated Irving Stone from around 1926-8; they apparently met when she was touring in Chicago in Yes, Yes, Yvette.
    More Details Hide Details Stone, who lived in Milwaukee, was the nephew of the founder of the Boston Store and worked in the family business. Few details were known of Stone's romance with MacDonald until the discovery of hundreds of pages of handwritten love letters she wrote to him that were found in his apartment after his death. In 1928 Robert George Ritchie became MacDonald's manager and fiancé.
  • 1925
    Age 21
    In 1925 MacDonald again had the second female lead opposite Queenie Smith in Tip Toes, a George Gershwin hit show.
    More Details Hide Details The following year found her still in a second female lead in Bubblin' Over (1926), a musical version of Brewster's Millions. MacDonald finally landed the starring role in Yes, Yes, Yvette (1927). Planned as a sequel to producer H.H. Frazee's No, No, Nanette, the show toured extensively but failed to please the critics when it arrived on Broadway. MacDonald also played the lead in her next two plays: Sunny Days (1928), her first show for producers Lee and J.J. Shubert, for which she received rave reviews, and Angela (1928), which the critics panned. Her last play was Boom Boom (1929), with her name above the title (the cast included young Archie Leach, who later changed his name to Cary Grant). While MacDonald was appearing in Angela, film star Richard Dix spotted her and had her screen-tested for his film Nothing but the Truth. The Shuberts wouldn’t let her out of her contract to appear in the film, which starred Dix and Helen Kane, the "Boop-boop-a-doop girl".
  • TEENAGE
  • 1922
    Age 18
    MacDonald had five documented serious romances. The first was wealthy NYU student Jack Ohmeis, whom she dated from 1922 until 1927. They became engaged in 1926 but his family objected to his marrying an actress.
    More Details Hide Details Ironically, the Ohmeis family fortunes were lost in the 1929 stock market crash and MacDonald later lent money to Jack Ohmeis.
    In 1922 MacDonald was a featured singer in a Greenwich Village revue, Fantastic Fricassee.
    More Details Hide Details Good press notices brought her a role in The Magic Ring (1923). MacDonald played the second female lead in this long-running musical which starred Mitzi Hajos.
  • 1921
    Age 17
    In 1921 MacDonald played in Tangerine, as one of the "Six Wives."
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  • 1920
    Age 16
    In 1920 she appeared in two musicals, Jerome Kern's Night Boat as a chorus replacement, and Irene on the road as the second female lead (Future film star Irene Dunne played the title role during part of the tour, and Helen Shipman, actor/singer/dancer, played the title role during the other part of the tour).
    More Details Hide Details Shipman once remarked that MacDonald did not have the legs for a top-notch chorus girl.
  • 1919
    Age 15
    In November 1919 MacDonald joined her older sister, actress Blossom Rock in New York and landed a job in the chorus of Ned Wayburn's The Demi-Tasse Revue, a musical entertainment presented between films at the Capital Theatre on Broadway.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1913
    Age 9
    This box office smash hit integrated Victor Herbert's 1913 stage score into a modern backstage story scripted by Dorothy Parker.
    More Details Hide Details MacDonald and Eddy played a husband and wife Broadway musical comedy team who are offered a Hollywood contract. Sweethearts won the Photoplay Gold Medal Award as Best Picture of the Year.
  • 1903
    Born
    MacDonald was born June 18, 1903, at her family's Philadelphia home at 5123 Arch Street.
    More Details Hide Details She was the youngest of the three daughters of Anna Mae (née Wright) and Daniel MacDonald. She had Scottish, English, and Dutch ancestry. Starting at an early age, she took dancing lessons with Al White, imitated her mother's opera records and took singing lessons with Wassil Leps. She performed at church and school functions and began touring in kiddie shows, heading Al White's "Six Little Song Birds" in Philadelphia at the age of nine. She was the younger sister of character actress Blossom Rock who is most famous as Grandmama on the TV show Addams Family.
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