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Logan, Ella (1913–1969)

Logan, Ella (1913–1969)

Scottish-born singer-actress. Born Ella Allan on March 6, 1913, in Glasgow, Scotland; died on May 1, 1969, in Burlingame, California; married Fred Finkelhoffe (a playwright and producer), in 1952 (divorced 1956); children: one daughter.

Ella Logan will forever be remembered as the charming Sharon McLonergan in the long-running Broadway show Finian's Rainbow, in which she introduced a number of songs that went on to become standards, including the lilting "How Are Things in Gloccamorra?," now always associated with her. Although Logan reached her zenith in Finian's Rainbow, her career began many years before on the stage of the Grand Theater in Paisley, Scotland, where, at age three, her rendering of "A Perfect Day" stopped the show.

Ella Logan was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1913, into a theatrical family. She toured European music halls during her early career, and in 1928 made her London debut in Darling, I Love You. In 1934, she arrived in the United States, appearing on Broadway in Calling All Stars with Judy Canova and Gertrude Niesen . Logan went on to make a series of movies, including Flying Hostess (1936), Top of the Town (1937), Woman Chases Man (1937), 42nd Street (1937), and Goldwyn Follies (1938). Concurrently, she also began a recording career, vocalizing with band-leader Abe Lyman, among others. In 1939, Logan returned to Broadway in George White Scandals, the last of that producer's famous shows. She later performed in Sons O'Fun (1941) and the vaudeville revue Show Time (1942).

After a stint entertaining the Allied troops during World War II, Logan returned to Broadway in Finian's Rainbow, which also introduced such hit songs as "Old Devil Moon," "If This Isn't Love," "Look to the Rainbow," and "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love." While the show was a huge success, running for 725 performance, it turned out to be Logan's last Broadway appearance. She subsequently performed in nightclubs and on television, but the closest she ever came to Broadway again was in the ill-fated show Kelly; she left before it reached New York, and it closed after only a single performance. Logan was married for four years to playwright and producer Fred Finkelhoffe, with whom she had a daughter. They divorced in 1956. The singer-actress, who had homes in New York and Los Angeles, died of cancer in 1969, age 56.

sources:

Clarke, Donald. The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music. London: Viking, 1989.

Lamparski, Richard. Whatever Became of …? 1st and 2nd ed. NY: Crown.

Barbara Morgan , Melrose, Massachusetts

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