Birgit suggested I discuss Marni Nixon, and I can’t think of a better way to end the series than with her.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard Marni Nixon and didn’t realize you were listening to her. Besides having her own career as a singer and actress, she was one of the better “playback singers,” a singer who does the vocals for the soundtrack of the movie, to which the actor lip-syncs. When you thought you were listening to Deborah Kerr in The King and I, Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno in West Side Story, and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, you were actually listening to Marni. Time magazine called her “The Ghostess with the Mostest,” as she didn’t receive on-screen credit for any of the work on those movies.
First, here is Marni dubbing Deborah Kerr in 1956’s The King and I, in “Shall We Dance?” with Yul Brynner.
And second, here she dubs the voice of Audrey Hepburn in 1964’s My Fair Lady, with “I Could Have Danced All Night.” For comparison, here is Audrey Hepburn doing her own vocal.
Here is an interview she did with Charles Osgood on CBS Sunday Morning, date unknown.
Marni beat breast cancer in 1985 and again in 2000, but succumbed to the disease last July. May she rest in peace.
Marni Nixon, your Two for Tuesday, January 31, 2017.