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1 item from 2016


Marni Nixon, Voice Behind Stars in Movie Musicals Like ‘My Fair Lady,’ Dies at 86

25 July 2016 8:51 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Marni Nixon, who gained fame as a “ghost singer” for Deborah Kerr in “The King and I,” Natalie Wood in “West Side Story” and Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady,” died of breast cancer on Sunday in New York City. She was 86.

In the 1940s, ’50s and into the ’60s, major film actresses without great singing voices were often “dubbed” by anonymous background singers. Studio execs preferred to keep alive the myth that the stars did their own singing. Nixon became the most famous of these — inadvertently at first, because Kerr spilled the beans in an interview about “The King and I” in 1956.

She was born Feb. 22, 1930, in Altadena, Calif. By the time she was 4, her family discovered that she had the rare gift of “perfect pitch” and started her on violin lessons.

By the time she was 7, she was working as an extra or bit player in films, which continued through her teen years. »

- Jon Burlingame

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