Tuesday, 26 July 2016

OBIT - MARNI NIXON


Arguably the most recognizable film star with only three visible appearances on screen, legendary vocalist Marni Nixon has died. She had breast cancer and was 86, and passed on Sunday the 24th of July. Contracted as a replacement for the singer hired to dub Deborah Kerr's voice for the musical numbers in the 1956 classic The King and I after the first singer's sudden death, Nixon's career took off with this high-profile appointment. You couldn't quite say she shot to fame, however; the studio refused her a credit and threatened to kick her out of Hollywood should anyone ever find out that it was her voice, not Kerr's, on the soundtrack. But her screen credits racked up from there: An Affair to Remember, again dubbing for Kerr, West Side Story for Natalie Wood, and My Fair Lady for Audrey Hepburn. She appeared in The Sound of Music in a brief role as Sister Sophia, and can be heard on the soundtracks to Disney animated films Cinderella and Mulan. Quite an estimable resume, one which Nixon justly exploited to good end with a successful career on the stage following her experiences in film. Married three times, including to Oscar-winning composer Ernest Gold, Nixon is survived by her three children, Andrew, Martha and Melanie.