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Celeste Holm obituary

16 July 2012 8:10 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Sophisticated and witty actor who triumphed on Broadway and won an Oscar

Celeste Holm, who has died aged 95, was the original Ado Annie in Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's groundbreaking musical Oklahoma! which opened on Broadway in 1943. In I Cain't Say No, she sang: "I cain't be prissy and quaint / I ain't the type that can faint." Annie was a none-too-bright farm girl, but Holm was a smart, witty and sophisticated actor, whom everybody seemed to like. Many years later, during the interval of a Broadway show, she came out on stage and made a plea for her mental-health charity. It was done with such sincerity and passion that the audience could not fail to pay up.

On screen, Holm was the first woman to sing the Cole Porter song Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, sharing the delightful duet with Frank Sinatra in High Society (1956). Holm and Sinatra »

- Ronald Bergan

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