Nelson Eddy


Born: June 29, 1901; Providence, RI   Died: March 6, 1967; Miami Beach, FL  
Baritone Nelson Eddy is most often remembered for his movie partnership with singing actress Jeanette MacDonald. Born in Providence, RI, his vocal studies began in Philadelphia in 1917 with David Bispham, and later he finished under Eduoard Lippé and William W. Vilonat. Eddy joined the Philadelphia Civic Opera, making his professional debut as Tonio in I Pagliacci on December 11, 1924. When the Philadelphia Civic Opera closed in 1929, he moved up Read more to the Philadelphia Grand Opera. By 1927, Eddy had begun his long association with radio, a medium that would greatly help enhance his reputation. Eddy also began to tour out of town, giving concerts in New York and elsewhere. In Hollywood in 1933, Eddy, known for his boyish good looks, also appeared in walk-on parts in a couple of films. In 1935, he decided to give up opera singing in favor of film acting, appearing for the last time in Aďda at the San Francisco Opera. For his first major film role, Eddy was paired with actress MacDonald in the Victor Herbert operetta Naughty Marietta (1935). This film was a runaway success, as the MacDonald/Eddy team had a chemistry that clicked with audiences. This chemistry carried them through seven more operetta films through 1942. The MacDonald/Eddy partnership in the movies ended with the film I Married an Angel. In 1942, Eddy left MGM and joined the OSS, working as an intelligence agent under the pretext of conducting a singing tour of the Middle East. Eddy returned from his tour of duty only to discover that the wind had gone out of the sails of his film career. Although Eddy could still find work on radio for a time, by the early '50s he was in a funk and not working. To change that, Eddy found a new partner in singer Gayle Sherwood and entertained on the nightclub circuit; he also appeared with Sherwood on a TV production of The Desert Song in 1955. When MacDonald joined him in 1956 for a special TV appearance, it attracted hordes of fan mail. In 1957, the pair worked together once again, recording an LP for RCA Victor entitled Favorites in Stereo. The record sold more than a million copies, but it proved a last hurrah for both artists. MacDonald died in 1965 at age 61 and on March 6, 1967, Eddy died of a stroke at age 65. Read less

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