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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 16 April 1914Los Angeles, California, USA
Date of Death 6 December 1944Los Angeles, California, USA  (suicide)

Mini Bio (1)

Although his career was short-lived, McPhail was fortunate enough to have appeared in some of the finest musicals and operettas of the late 30s. Jeanette MacDonald took an early interest in this handsome baritone, when he performed in the chorus of San Francisco and other of her pictures. The studio signed him on at nineteen as the back-up for Nelson Eddy in The Girl of the Golden West (1938), although McPhail did not get screen time. His career flared briefly in 1939 and 1940, when he appeared with MacDonald, Judy Garland, Eleanor Powell and future wife Betty Jaynes in a series of musical pictures. Although the studio groomed him as the next Nelson Eddy, it failed to recognize the changing interests of the moviegoing public, who tired of his style of singing. His marriage failed, and he took to drink. Roles dried up, and after an earlier suicide attempt, McPhail succeeded in poisoning himself on December 6, 1944.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Adam <anthony-adam@tamu.edu>

Spouse (1)

Betty Jaynes (? - ?) (divorced)

Trivia (2)

He and then wife Betty Jaynes were taken on by MGM as back-ups to Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. Glossy operettas were losing their staying power on film, however, and neither became stars as a result. Douglas took it particularly hard. He and Betty later divorced and he subsequently took his own life.
In Babes in Arms, both Douglas and Betty got to sing "Where or When" together with Judy Garland, and sang and danced to "God's Country" with Garland and Mickey Rooney.

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