Nelson Eddy
American musical film star, operatic baritone
Nelson Eddy
Nelson Ackerman Eddy was an American singer and actor who appeared in 19 musical films during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as in opera and on the concert stage, radio, television, and in nightclubs. A classically trained baritone, he is best remembered for the eight films in which he costarred with soprano Jeanette MacDonald.
Biography
Nelson Eddy's personal information overview.
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Howard Keel on TCM Pt.2: ROSE MARIE, PAGAN LOVE SONG, CALLAWAY WENT THATAWAY - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Directed by Mervyn LeRoy, who had experienced more creative days while working with Berkeley at Warner Bros. in the '30s, Rose Marie has Keel and Fernando Lamas more or less replacing Nelson Eddy, and Ann Blyth replacing Jeanette MacDonald as
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SEARCH: Past 14 days Archives - Boston Herald
Google News - over 5 years
It had several segments, including one with the voice of Nelson Eddy. Can you tell me the title and if it's on DVD? A. That's the 1946 Walt Disney film “Make Mine Music,” which is a series of animated musical numbers, including “Casey at the Bat” with
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Ask the Incredible Inman | Animated musicals - Louisville Courier-Journal
Google News - over 5 years
... 1946 Walt Disney film “Make Mine Music,” which is a series of animated musical numbers, including “Casey at the Bat” with comic Jerry Colonna, “A Tone Poem” with music by Benny Goodman and “The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met” with Nelson Eddy
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Dutchess County Fair to offer discount to veterans - Poughkeepsie Journal
Google News - over 5 years
Director of Dutchess County's Division of Veterans Service Nelson Eddy Rivera said the card program has been a great way to connect with more veterans than ever before. "When they come into our office to get the necessary form for the FAVOR card,
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Grandpa's iPod - Marinscope Community Newspapers
Google News - over 5 years
From Nelson Eddy and Jeannette McDonald to Ethel Merman, Mary Martin and Julie Andrews. I still think an evening of theater is wasted if you can't walk out on the street belting one of Ethel or Mary's show-stoppers.) Also jazz
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Inman: Disney film 'Make Mine Music' is available in DVD - Alexandria Town Talk
Google News - over 5 years
... Walt Disney film "Make Mine Music," which is a series of animated musical numbers, including "Casey at the Bat" with comic Jerry Colonna, "A Tone Poem" with music by Benny Goodman and "The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met," with Nelson Eddy
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Musicals + summer = lots of fun - Deseret News
Google News - over 5 years
In 1935 when she was paired with Nelson Eddy for the first time, Jeanette MacDonald was already a movie star, having made several musicals with Maurice Chevalier, as well as a variety of comedies and dramas. But Eddy had only done a handful of singing
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DVD Extra: 'The Colossus of New York' - New York Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The archive website is also selling a pair of WS Van Dyke-directed Jeanette MacDonald-Nelson Eddy musicals previously available only as TCM/Movies Unlimited exclusives: "Naughty Marietta'' (1935) and the Techincolor "Sweethearts'' (1938)
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'Sweethearts' On-Screen, But What Happens Off? - NPR
Google News - over 5 years
Around the same time that Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were swinging their way into America's hearts with a snappy new American approach to movie musical comedy, another musical movie couple, Jeannette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy,
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Bard's Golden 'Danae;' Black Lips; Sex-Free 'Mommyville': Summer Weekend - Bloomberg
Google News - over 5 years
(Coward reserved the sappy film version, starring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald, for his own memorable brand of derision.) This production, staged by Michael Gieleta, stars Welsh actress Sian Phillips, whom PBSophiles will remember as the ruthless
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Movies Unlimited is Pleased to Bring Musical Superstar Jeanette MacDonald Home ... - Benzinga
Google News - over 5 years
Smilin' Through is a film Miss MacDonald made after Bitter Sweet (1940) and one of the eight MGM musicals she starred in with Nelson Eddy. The DVD also includes the original theatrical trailer
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Martha 'Mattie' Mosher - knox.VillageSoup.com
Google News - over 5 years
Things she enjoyed included anything nautical, Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald operettas, and tearing into a lobster until nothing edible was left. Among the things she will be remembered for are being the life of the party, blackberry and
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From the UCA Archives: Margaret Truman sang at UCA - Log Cabin Democrat
Google News - over 5 years
Her program is usually light in nature, designed to attract those who like the singing of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. “Yet Miss Truman cannot sing very well. She is flat a good deal of the time -- more last night than at any time we have heard
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Making magic in the backlot - Bay Area Reporter
Google News - over 5 years
His neighbors were Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Nelson Eddy, William Powell, Robert Montgomery, and Lionel Barrymore. Major stars were driven to the soundstage for takes, then chauffeured back to their suites until needed again
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How I met the Prince of Leictenburg - Payson Roundup
Google News - over 5 years
All that was missing was Nelson Eddy and Janette MacDonald to make it work. I told him that his costume was quite overdone and I would not go with them to Detroit if he was going to wear the costume I saw that night. Jim was disappointed in my reaction
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Perth Amboy's Independence Day was memorable - MyCentralJersey.com
Google News - over 5 years
Singer Rick Brosman brought back echoes of Nelson Eddy with his vigorous renditions of classics such as Yankee Doodle Dandy. This session was held at McGinnes School, the former high school, because of rain. I not only enjoyed the music, but I reveled
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Rudi van Eyck overleden - Radio TV Rijnmond
Google News - over 5 years
Dat bestond uit spelers zoals Henry en Otmar Sibilo, Henry de Sanders, Wim Petrici, Ludwig de Sanders, Ramon Krieger, Humphrey Pan A Tjok, Rudie Nijman, Carol Nelson, Eddy Zaal en Hesdy van Wilgen. Het team won van Soedan met 61-51, maar verloor van
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Nelson Eddy
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1967
    Age 65
    In March, 1967, Eddy was performing at the Sans Souci Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida when he was stricken on stage with a cerebral hemorrhage.
    More Details Hide Details His singing partner, Gale Sherwood, and his accompanist, Ted Paxson, were at his side.
  • 1966
    Age 64
    On December 31, 1966, a few months before his death, Eddy and his nightclub partner, Gale Sherwood, sang 15 songs on Guy Lombardo's traditional New Year's Eve program, telecast from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details The advent of television made inroads in the once-lucrative concert circuits, and, in the early 1950s, Eddy had to consider future career options, eventually deciding to form a nightclub act, which premiered in January 1953 with singer Gale Sherwood, his partner, and Ted Paxson, his accompanist. Variety wrote, "Nelson Eddy, vet of films, concerts, and stage, required less than one minute to put a jam-packed audience in his hip pocket in one of the most explosive openings in this city's nightery history. Before Eddy had even started to sing, they liked him personally as a warm human being". The act continued for the next 15 years and made four tours of Australia.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1955
    Age 53
    On May 7, 1955, Eddy starred in Max Liebman's 90-minute, live-TV version of Sigmund Romberg's The Desert Song on NBC-TV.
    More Details Hide Details It featured Gale Sherwood, Metropolitan Opera bass Salvatore Baccaloni, veteran film actor Otto Kruger, and the dance team of Bambi Linn and Rod Alexander.
  • 1952
    Age 50
    On November 30, 1952, Eddy was Ed Sullivan's guest on Toast of the Town.
    More Details Hide Details During the next decade he guest starred on Danny Thomas's sitcom Make Room for Daddy and on variety programs such as The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Bob Hope Show, The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Spike Jones Show, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, and The Big Record (with Patti Page). He was a frequent guest on talk shows, including The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show with Jack Paar.
    On November 12, 1952, he surprised his former co-star Jeanette MacDonald when she was the subject of Ralph Edwards' This Is Your Life.
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    In 1952, he recorded a pilot for a sitcom, Nelson Eddy's Backyard, with Jan Clayton, but it failed to find a network slot.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1951
    Age 49
    In 1951, Eddy guest-starred on several episodes of The Alan Young Show on CBS-TV.
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  • 1942
    Age 40
    He had his own show on CBS in 1942–1943.
    More Details Hide Details Eddy frequently used his radio shows to advance the careers of promising young singers. While his programs often featured "serious" music, they were never straitlaced. It was in a series of comedy routines with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy on the Chase and Sanborn Hour that Eddy's name became associated with the song "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny", which was also included in the film Maytime. On March 31, 1933 he performed the role of Gurnemanz in a broadcast of Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal with Rose Bampton, conducted by Leopold Stokowski. During the 1940s, he was a frequent guest on Lux Radio Theater with Cecil B. DeMille, performing radio versions of Eddy's popular films.
    In 1942, he became an air raid warden and also put in long hours at the Hollywood Canteen.
    More Details Hide Details He also broadcast for the armed forces throughout the war. In late 1943, he went on a two-month, 35,000-mile tour, giving concerts for military personnel in Belém and Natal, Brazil; Accra, Gold Coast; Aden; Asmara, Eritrea; Cairo (where he met King Farouk); Teheran, Iran; Casablanca; and the Azores. He spoke fluent German and worked as a spy but his cover was blown and he was injured while on assignment in Cairo. Eddy began his more than 600 radio appearances in the mid-1920s. The first may have been on December 26, 1924 at station WOO in Philadelphia. Besides his many guest appearances, he hosted The Voice of Firestone (1936), Vicks Open House (1936), The Chase and Sanborn Hour (1937–1939), and Kraft Music Hall (1947–1948).
  • THIRTIES
  • 1939
    Age 37
    Like many performers, Eddy was active in "war work" during World War II, even before the United States entered the war. He did his first "war effort" concert on October 19, 1939 with Leopold Stokowski for Polish war relief.
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    Eddy married Ann Denitz Franklin, former wife of noted director Sidney Franklin, on January 19, 1939.
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  • 1938
    Age 36
    In 1938, he signed with the Columbia Masterworks division of Columbia Records, which ended MacDonald-Eddy duets until Favorites in Stereo, a special LP album the two made together in 1959.
    More Details Hide Details He also recorded duets with his other screen partner Risë Stevens (The Chocolate Soldier) and for albums with, among others, Nadine Conner, Doretta Morrow, Eleanor Steber and Jo Stafford. Eddy's recordings drew rave reviews during the 1930s and 1940s, but it is a special tribute to his vocal technique that he continued to rate them into the 1960s. The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner on October 4, 1964 noted: "Nelson Eddy continues to roll along, physically and vocally indestructible. Proof is his newest recording on the Everest label, ‘Of Girls I Sing’. At the age of 63 and after 42 years of professional singing, Eddy demonstrates there has not been much change in his romantic and robust baritone — the baritone that made him America's most popular singer in the early '30s".
  • 1935
    Age 33
    Since both he and MacDonald were under contract to RCA Victor between 1935 and 1938, this allowed several popular duets from their films.
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    Eddy made more than 290 recordings between 1935 and 1964, singing songs from his films, plus opera, folk songs, popular songs, Gilbert and Sullivan, and traditional arias from his concert repertoire.
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    The film was nominated for an Oscar as Best Picture, received the Photoplay Gold Medal Award as Best Picture, and was voted one of the Ten Best Pictures of 1935 by the New York film critics.
    More Details Hide Details Critics singled out Eddy for praise: Eddy appeared in seven more MGM films with Jeanette MacDonald: Nelson Eddy also starred in films with other leading ladies: After Eddy and MacDonald left MGM in 1942, there were several unrealized films that would have reunited the team. Eddy signed with Universal in 1943 for a two-picture deal. The first was Phantom of the Opera and the second would have co-starred MacDonald. She filmed her two scenes for Follow the Boys then both stars severed ties with Universal, as Eddy was upset with how Phantom of the Opera turned out. Among their later other proposed projects were East Wind; Crescent Carnival, a book optioned by MacDonald; and The Rosary, the 1910 best-seller—which Eddy had read as a teen and pitched to MGM as a "comeback" film for himself and MacDonald in 1948. Under the name "Isaac Ackerman" he wrote a biopic screenplay about Chaliapin, in which he was to play the lead and also a young Nelson Eddy, but it was never produced. He also wrote two movie treatments for himself and MacDonald, Timothy Waits for Love and All Stars Don't Spangle.
  • 1933
    Age 31
    In these books, it is reported that Eddy's relationship with MacDonald began in late 1933 and continued, with a few breaks, until her death in 1965.
    More Details Hide Details 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. Many of Eddy's personal letters and diary entries indicating a rocky romance with MacDonald were reproduced in Sweethearts. Eddy was intimately involved with author Laurrie Garner who writes about him in her books.
    He appeared and sang one song each in Broadway to Hollywood and Dancing Lady, both in 1933, and Student Tour in 1934.
    More Details Hide Details Audience response was favorable, and he was cast as the male lead opposite the established star Jeanette MacDonald in a film version of Victor Herbert's 1910 operetta Naughty Marietta. Naughty Marietta was the surprise hit of 1935. Its key song, "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life," became a hit and earned Eddy his first Gold Record. He also sang "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp" and "I'm Falling in Love with Someone."
    His voice can be heard singing "Daisy Bell" on the soundtrack of the 1933 Pete Smith short, Handlebars.
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    Eddy was "discovered" by Hollywood when he substituted at the last minute for the noted diva, Lotte Lehmann, at a sold-out concert in Los Angeles on February 28, 1933.
    More Details Hide Details He scored a professional triumph with 18 curtain calls, and several film offers immediately followed. After much agonizing, he decided that being seen on screen might boost audiences for what he considered his "real work", his concerts. (Also, like his machinist father, he was fascinated with gadgets and the mechanics of the new talking pictures.) Eddy's concert fee rose from $500 to $10,000 per performance. Eddy signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), where he would make the first 15 of his 19 feature films. His contract guaranteed him three months off each year to continue his concert tours. MGM was not sure how to use him, and he spent more than a year on salary with little to do.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1931
    Age 29
    At Carnegie Hall in New York City, Christmas 1931, he sang in the world premiere of Maria egiziaca (Mary in Egypt), unexpectedly conducted by the composer Ottorino Respighi himself when famed conductor Arturo Toscanini fell ill at the last minute.
    More Details Hide Details Years later, when Toscanini visited the MGM lot in California, Eddy greeted him by singing a few bars of Maria Egiziaca. Eddy continued in occasional opera roles until his film work made it difficult to schedule appearances the requisite year or two in advance. Among his final opera performances were three with the San Francisco Opera in 1934, when he was still "unknown." Marjory M. Fisher of the San Francisco News wrote of his December 8, 1934 performance of Wolfram in Tannhäuser, "Nelson Eddy made a tremendously fine impression... he left no doubt in the minds of discerning auditors that he belongs in that fine group of baritones which includes Lawrence Tibbett, Richard Bonelli, and John Charles Thomas and which represents America's outstanding contribution to the contemporary opera stage." He also sang Amonasro in Aida on November 11, 1934 to similar acclaim. Elisabeth Rethberg, Giovanni Martinelli, and Ezio Pinza were in the cast. However, opera quietly faded from Eddy's schedule as films and highly lucrative concerts claimed more and more of his time.
    He performed under Leopold Stokowski as the Drum Major in the second American performance of Alban Berg's Wozzeck on November 24, 1931.
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  • 1929
    Age 27
    Despite their ups and downs, an off-screen affair was verified by Jim Bayless, another MGM sound engineer from 1929 to 1942 who built Eddy's home recording equipment in 1934 and taught him how to record multi-track harmonies with himself; this resulted in Eddy recording a record album of 4-part harmony.
    More Details Hide Details Bayless later left MGM to be Vice President for newly formed Capitol Records but remained friends with Eddy and for many years recorded Eddy's weekly radio shows for him to critique on disc. Other MGM staff who verified the relationship included their makeup artists William Tuttle and Fred Phillips and fellow singers Miliza Korjus and Rise Stevens. Sweethearts by Sharon Rich, a biography first published in 1994 and updated and expanded in 2014, claims that MacDonald's marriage to Gene Raymond was engineered by studio boss Louis B. Mayer to prevent Eddy from marrying MacDonald. Rich's original source for this information was Jeanette MacDonald's older sister, actress Blossom Rock. The Eddy-MacDonald romance appears again in print in The Golden Girls of MGM by Jane Ellen Wayne.
  • 1928
    Age 26
    In 1928, his first concert accompanist was a young pianist named Theodore (Ted) Paxson, who became a close friend and remained his accompanist until Eddy's death 39 years later.
    More Details Hide Details In the early 1930s, Eddy's principal teacher was Edouard Lippé, who followed him to Hollywood and appeared in a small role in Eddy's 1935 film Naughty Marietta. In his later years, Eddy frequently changed teachers, constantly trying new vocal techniques. He also had a home recording studio where he studied his own performances. It was his fascination with technology that inspired him to record three-part harmonies (tenor, baritone, & bass) for his role as a multiple-voiced singing whale in the animated Walt Disney feature, "The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met", the concluding sequence in the 1946 feature film Make Mine Music. With the Philadelphia Civic Opera, Eddy sang in the only American performance of Feuersnot by Richard Strauss (December 1, 1927) and in the first American performance of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos (November 1, 1928) with Helen Jepson. In Ariadne, Eddy sang the roles of the Wigmaker and Harlequin in the original German.
  • 1927
    Age 25
    Eddy studied briefly with the noted teacher David Scull Bispham, a former Metropolitan Opera singer, but when Bispham died suddenly, Eddy became a student of William Vilonat. In 1927, Eddy borrowed some money and followed his teacher to Dresden for European study, which was then considered essential for serious American singers.
    More Details Hide Details He was offered a job with a small German opera company. Instead, he decided to return to America, where he concentrated on his concert career, making only occasional opera appearances during the next seven years.
    He reprised the role of Strephon with Savoy in 1927 when the theater group moved their performances to the famed Academy of Music.
    More Details Hide Details Thirty-one years later, he was asked by a Savoy lead playing the role of Strephon in 1958 for Eddy's thoughts and recommendations on how to play the role. Eddy wrote: I envy you. I'd like to play Strephon again, too! The one thing I suggest is to keep him gay, happy and care-free. You can set the character with your first entrance. Dance in with a sort of cute abandon. Then in "Good morrow, good mother" act joyfully in love. The rest will fall right into line. The first time I did it - at the old Broad Street Theatre - was better than when I did it at the Academy. I let myself get impressed with the importance of the latter house and with my growing experience in opera - and I played it too grand. Don't fall into that trap. Good luck and my very best wishes - to you and all the Company. Sincerely, Nelson Eddy.
  • 1922
    Age 20
    With Savoy, Eddy sang the leading role of Strephon in Iolanthe at the Broad Street Theatre in Philadelphia in 1922.
    More Details Hide Details The next year he played the role of Major-General Stanley in Savoy's production of The Pirates of Penzance.
    Having had a job in an iron works factory, he then spent ten years as a newspaper reporter but was fired for paying more attention to music than to journalism. His first professional break came in 1922 when he was singled out by the press after an appearance in a society theatrical, The Marriage Tax, although his name had been omitted from the program.
    More Details Hide Details In 1924, Eddy won the top prize in a competition that included a chance to appear with the Philadelphia Opera Society. Alexander Smallens, musical director of the Philadelphia Civic Opera and later assistant conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, became interested in Eddy's career and coached him. (In a 1936 career profile of Eddy put out by Arthur Judson Concert Management, Smallens is credited with Nelson's "operatic success.") By the late 1920s, Eddy was appearing with the Philadelphia Civic Opera Company and had a repertoire of 28 operas, including Amonasro in Aida, Marcello in La bohème, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, both Tonio and Silvio in Pagliacci, and Wolfram in Tannhäuser. (William von Wymetal was the group's producer at this time, in association with Fritz Reiner.) Eddy also performed in Gilbert and Sullivan operas with The Savoy Company, the oldest amateur theater company in the world devoted exclusively to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in the traditional manner.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1901
    Born
    Born on June 29, 1901.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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