Eddy, Nelson (1901-1967)

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Eddy, Nelson (1901-1967)

With his captivating good looks, military uniform, and baritone voice, Nelson Eddy was the epitome of the Hollywood musical hero in the 1930s and 1940s. He and Jeanette MacDonald became known as "America's Singing Sweethearts" because of their eight MGM film collaborations.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, on June 29, 1901, Eddy grew up in a musical household. He sang major roles at New York's Metropolitan Opera before becoming known as a radio singer and eventually as a film star. Although he sang with such esteemed leading ladies as Eleanor Powell and Rise Stevens, it was with Jeanette MacDonald that he was most often associated. The films of the so-called "Beauty and the Baritone" included Naughty Marietta (1935), Rose Marie (1936), Maytime (1937), The Girl of the Golden West (1938), The New Moon (1940), Bitter Sweet (1940), and I Married an Angel (1942). Other Eddy films include The Chocolate Soldier (1941) and Phantom of the Opera (1943). In addition to his film appearances, Eddy made numerous recordings and sang frequently in concert and on the night club circuit. He died in Miami, Florida, on March 6, 1967.

—William A. Everett

Further Reading:

Castanza, Philip. The Complete Films of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. New York, Citadel Press, 1978.

Hamann, G.D. Nelson Eddy in the 30s. Hollywood, Filming Today Press, 1996.

Kiner, Larry F. Nelson Eddy: A Bio-Discography. Metuchen, New Jersey, Scarecrow Press, 1992.

Knowles, Eleanor. Films of Jeannete MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. South Brunswick, New Jersey, A. S. Barnes, 1975.