Nixon, Marni 1930- (Margaret Nixon McEathron)
Nixon, Marni 1930- (Margaret Nixon McEathron)
Born Margaret Nixon McEathron, February 22, 1930, in Altadena, CA; daughter of Charles (an industrial manager) and Margaret McEathron; married Ernest Gold (a musician and composer), May 22, 1950 (divorced, 1969); married Lajos Frederick Fenster, July 23, 1971 (divorced, July, 1975); married Albert David Block (a jazz musician), April 11, 1983; children: (first marriage) Andrew Maurice, Martha Alice, Melani Christine. Education: Attended University of Southern California, Stanford University, and Los Angeles City College.
Agent—Harden/Curtis, 850 7th Ave., New York, NY 10019.
Opera singer. Singer on various sound recordings, including Polynesian Fantasy, Capitol Records (Hollywood, CA), 1955; Songs from Singing Fun, Bowmar Educational Records (North Hollywood, CA), 1956; The King and I (soundtrack), Capitol Records (Los Angeles, CA), 1956; Scrapbook Sound Recording, RCA Victor (New York, NY), 1957; Little Favorites, Bowmar Educational Records (Los Angeles, CA), 1958; West Side Story (soundtrack), Columbia (New York, NY), 1961; 10 Songs from Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, Disneyland Records (Glendale, CA), 1964, special edition, Disney (Burbank, CA), 2004; My Fair Lady (soundtrack) Sony (New York, NY), 1964; The Sound of Music (soundtrack), RCA, 1965; Marni Nixon Sings Ives, Goehr, Schürmann, Pye (London, England), 1967; Chuench'i, Nonesuch (New York, NY), 1968; Songs, Nonesuch (New York, NY), 1968; Coplas, Crystal Records, 1974; Songs of Love and Parting, Crystal Records (Los Angeles, CA), 1974; Cabaret Songs and Early Songs by Arnold Schoenberg, RCA (New York, NY), 1977; Marni Nixon Sings Works by Debussy and Fauré, Musical Heritage Society (Tinton Falls, NJ), 1983; An Outdoor Overture; Appalachian Spring: Suite; Eight Poems of Emily Dickenson, Reference Recordings (San Francisco, CA), 1986; Marni Nixon Sings Gershwin, Reference Recordings (San Francisco, CA), 1986; Marni Nixon Sings Classic Kern, Reference Recordings (San Francisco, CA), 1988; Lady of Light; Avak, the Healer, Crystal Records (Sedro-Woolley, WA), 1991; Biggs: Songs of Laughter, Love, and Tears, Crystal (Sedro-Woolley, WA), 1992; Opal, Honky-Tonk Highway and Other Theatre Music by Robert Lindsey Nassif, Crystal (Sedro-Woolley, WA), 1995; Mulan (soundtrack), Disney (Burbank, CA), 1998; Taking My Turn, DRG, 2001; An Affair to Remember (soundtrack); and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (soundtrack). Actress in films, including The Sound of Music; stage actress, appearing in Taking My Turn, New York, NY, 1983; Opal, New York, NY, 1992; James Joyce's The Dead, New York and Los Angeles, 1999-2000; Follies, New York, NY, 2001; Nine, New York, NY, 2003; and 70, Girls, 70. Host of children's television show Boomerang, Seattle, WA, c. 1970s-1980s; has appeared on numerous television shows, including To Tell the Truth, I've Got a Secret, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Toured with her solo show Marni Nixon: The Voice of Hollywood, 2003. Soloist with orchestras. Vocal instructor, California Institute of the Arts, 1969-1971, and Music Academy of the West, 1980—; judge, Metropolitan Opera Auditions.
Four Emmy Awards for best actress, for children's television show Boomerang; gold record for 10 Songs from Walt Disney's Mary Poppins and Mulan; two Grammy Award nominations.
(With Stephen Cole) I Could Have Sung All Night: My Story, Billboard Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Marni Nixon's autobiography I Could Have Sung All Night: My Story, written with Stephen Cole, recounts the opera singer's long career in both Hollywood and on the stage in New York and around the world. Often called "the voice of Hollywood," Nixon—in voice if not in name—is familiar to millions of moviegoers, having dubbed all numbers in the films My Fair Lady, West Side Story, The King and I, and many other notable musicals from the 1950s and 1960s. Apart from her film work, Nixon has appeared on the stage in many roles, both major and minor, and has been the featured soloist with numerous orchestras. Her career extended to television, too; she has appeared on numerous television specials and talk shows, and even hosted her own long-running, award-winning children's program, Boomerang.
Nixon's autobiography starts at the beginning: she began singing as a baby and by the time she was eleven she had perfect pitch and numerous professional performances under her belt. She was determined to become a movie actress and worked at MGM as a messenger girl in the 1940s. Her career took a detour, however, when the studio heads realized she could "ghost" the singing of leading actresses—beginning with Margaret O'Brien, and including Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood, and Audrey Hepburn—who were not experienced soloists, thereby becoming a valuable addition to the magic of Hollywood. The book charts her career through the decades as it steamed full force into the twenty-first century, and is "spirited, enlightening and entertaining," according to a Kirkus Reviews writer.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Nixon, Marni, and Stephen Cole, I Could Have Sung All Night: My Story, Billboard Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Back Stage, June 24, 1983, review of Taking My Turn, p. 86; March 27, 1992, review of Opal, p. 44; November 5, 1999, review of James Joyce's The Dead, p. 56.
Back Stage West, July 27, 2000, review of James Joyce's The Dead, p. 19; August 17, 2000, Edward Shapiro, "Voice of Experience," p. 11.
Entertainment Weekly, September 8, 2006, review of Speaking Volumes, p. 165.
Hollywood Reporter, May 21, 2002, review of 70, Girls, 70, p. 26.
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2006, review of I Could Have Sung All Night, p. 622.
Los Angeles Business Journal, March 12, 2001, "Choral Days," p. 44.
Los Angeles Times, July 21, 1984, "Marni Nixon," p. 3; February 23, 1985, "Marni Nixon: ‘Invisible’ Voice Gaining Visibility," p. 1.
New York, June 27, 1983, review of Taking My Turn, p. 72.
New York Times, March 26, 1981, "Singing ‘Ghost’ Starts Out on Her Own," p. 26; May 4, 1982, "Marni Nixon," p. 8; June 10, 1983, review of Taking My Turn, p. 3; May 9, 1991, "Marni Nixon," p. 18.
New Yorker, June 20, 1983, review of Taking My Turn, p. 76.
Opera News, January 1, 2000, Brian Kellow, "On the Beat," p. 8; October 1, 2004, William R. Braun, "The Two Lives of Marni Nixon," p. 30.
Variety, June 22, 1983, review of Taking My Turn, p. 90; January 17, 2000, review of James Joyce's The Dead, p. 138.
Wall Street Journal, November 3, 1999, "Theater: A New, Musical Life for ‘The Dead’," p. 24.
The Making of "My Fair Lady" (videocassette), King World Productions, 1994.
The Sound of Music: From Fact to Phenomenon (videocassette), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1994.