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Ethel Merman

Biography

Singer and celebrity who was in lots of musicals and sang “THERE IS NO Business like Present Business,” in addition to hits want “You’re the very best” and “Anything Runs.” She was a stenographer after completing university. Her discovery was when she changed Ruth Etting in Follow the first choice in 1930. She sang well-known standards for music like “I Get yourself a Kick Away from You” and “It’s De-Lovely.” She wedded William Smith on November 15, 1940, Robert Levitt on Dec 18, 1941, Robert Six on March 9, 1953, and lastly professional Ernest Borgnine on June 26, 1964. She was significantly motivated by performers such as for example Fanny Brice who she noticed within the Vaudeville present on the Palace Theater on Friday evenings with her family members.

Quick Facts


Full Name Ethel Merman
Date Of Birth January 16, 1908
Died February 15, 1984, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Place Of Birth Astoria, NY
Profession Stage Actress
Education William Cullen Bryant High School
Nationality American
Spouse Ernest Borgnine, Robert Six, Robert Levitt, William Smith
Children Robert Levitt Jr., Ethel Levitt
Parents Agnes Gardner, Edward Zimmermann
Awards Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical, Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Special Tony Award, Grammy Hall of Fame, Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance
Movies It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, There's No Business Like Show Business, Call Me Madam, Airplane!, Kid Millions, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Strike Me Pink, The Art of Love, Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, Stage Door Canteen, Journey Back to Oz, The Big Broadcast of 1936, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood, Anything Goes, Follow the Leader, Panama Hattie, Mickey's Christmas Carol, We're Not Dressing, Straight, Place and Show, You're Gonna Love It Here, Time on My Hands, Mary Martin and Ethel Merman: The Ford 50th Anniversary Show, Mountain of the Blue Moons
TV Shows The Chey Show (1955)
Star Sign Capricorn

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1On April 7, 1983, Merman collapsed in her in Manhattan apartment while preparing to leave for Los Angeles to appear on the 55th Academy Awards. She was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, where, after undergoing exploratory surgery on April 11, the actress was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma. It was reported that she underwent brain surgery to have the tumor removed, but in fact, it was inoperable and her condition was deemed terminal. Her health eventually stabilized enough for her to be brought back to her apartment in Manhattan. However, on February 15, 1984, Merman died of natural causes, 10 months after she was diagnosed with brain cancer.
2Her favorite role was Mama Rose in "Gypsy", the last Broadway role she originated.
3Elaine Stritch was once a stand-by for Ethel Merman for the musical "Call Me Madam". In her one woman show "Elaine Stritch: At Liberty", Stritch told a story illustrating Merman's showmanship and attitude: One night, while performing the song "Can You Use Any Money Today", a drunken audience member kept calling out to Merman while she performed, annoying both the audience and Merman herself. Finally, Merman got to the last line of the song, hit the first three notes, and then stopped the song. She then walked off the stage, through the wings, down the stairs and into the audience. She got to the drunken man, yanked him out of his seat, dragged him up the center aisle and through the doors that led out of the theater and literally threw the man out into the street. She then walked back into the theater, down the center aisle, up the stairs, through the wings onto the stage, got to dead center and hit the final note of the song as if nothing had happened.
4Merman was trained to be a secretary, could take shorthand and was a proficient stenographer and typist and supported herself in clerical jobs until she was successful in show business.
5According to author Boze Hadleigh, in his book "Broadway Babylon", Merman was fond of telling risqué (if not downright vulgar) jokes, just to see what sort of reaction she would get. Even her close friends found this habit more embarrassing than amusing.
6Winner of a 1972 Special Tony Award (New York City).
7When she died, she left $800,000 to be divided between her son and her two grandchildren.
8She suffered a miscarriage during her marriage to Robert Levitt.
9Her daughter Ethel Levitt was married to William Geary in 1960. She gave birth to Merman's first grandchild, Barbara Jean, on February 20, 1961. She later gave birth to a son, Michael Geary.
10She was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures at 7044 Hollywood Boulevard; and for Recording at 1751 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.
11She was either seen or heard (or both) in several of the opening credits of film of television adaptations of shows in which she recreated her original roles. In the film Anything Goes (1936), she appears singing a phrase of the title song before the opening credits even appear; in the film Call Me Madam (1953), she is heard saying the words "Call me madam" as the title appears onscreen, and in the television movie Annie Get Your Gun (1967), the credits appear on targets at which she shoots.
12Recreated both her Broadway starring roles of Mrs. Sally Adams from "Call Me Madam" and Reno Sweeney from "Anything Goes!" in the movie versions.
13Winner of 1951 Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for "Call Me Madam".
14Nominated for 1957 Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for "Happy Hunting".
15Nominated for 1960 Tony Award for Leading Actress in a Musical for "Gypsy".
16Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 560-562. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
17Her third husband, Robert F. Six, was CEO of Continental Airlines.
18Won a Tony Award for her role in the musical "Call Me Madam" (1951); Tony-nominated for musical "Happy Hunting" (1957); Tony-nominated for the musical "Gypsy" (1960); Recipient of Tony Special Award (1972).
19Former mother-in-law of murdered Barbara Colby whose untimely funeral she attended
20Devised her screen and stage name by removing the first three letters (Zim) and the last letter (n) from her birth name - Zimmermann
21In 1979, she released her most controversial album-to-date, a disco LP simply titled "The Ethel Merman Disco Album". Despite it not even charting on the Billboard charts, and many people's skepticism about the then 71-year-old veteran performing her Broadway hits to a disco beat, it was a smash hit, being played in Studio 54 regularly, with live appearances by Merman, herself. It also became a staple period album for the majority of the gay community.
22She loved Christmas so much, that she kept her Christmas tree up year-round.
23Bertolt Brecht actually desired to have the raucous Ethel play the title role of his masterpiece "Mother Courage...and Her Children". Of course, she never did.
24Her father, whose family was from Pennsylvania, was of German descent. Her maternal grandparents were Scottish immigrants.
25Parents are Edward Zimmerman (1879-1977) and Agnes Zimmerman (1883-1974).
26She had two children with her second husband, Robert: daughter, Ethel (born July 20, 1942), and son, Robert Levitt Jr. (born August 11, 1945). Ethel died of a drug overdose that was ruled accidental, on August 23, 1967.
27Thrice-wed Merman married twice-wed Ernest Borgnine in 1964. The couple separated just 11 days after the wedding and Borgnine filed for divorce on October 21, charging extreme mental cruelty. They had announced their impending nuptials at the legendary New York night spot P.J. Clarke's, but Borgnine, who was riding high as the star of McHale's Navy (1962) at the time, said the marriage began unraveling on their honeymoon, when he received more fan attention than she did. The competitive Merman was left seething. "By the time we got home, it was hell on earth," Borgnine recalled in a 2001 interview. "And after 32 days I said to her, 'Madam, bye'." Merman filed a cross-complaint shortly thereafter charging Borgnine with extreme cruelty. She was granted a divorce on November 18, 1964, after 22 minutes of testimony. Borgnine went on to marry a third time, but Merman remained single after her divorce. In her 1978 biography, she devoted a chapter of her autobiography to the marriage: It consisted of one blank page.


Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Sugarcube Critic2014TV Series performer - 1 episode
Six by Sondheim2013TV Movie documentary performer: "Rose's Turn"
The Secret Disco Revolution2012Documentary performer: "No Business Like Show Business"
The Joy of Disco2012TV Movie documentary performer: "Alexander's Ragtime Band"
Michael Feinstein's American Songbook2010TV Mini-Series documentary performer - 1 episode
Johnny Mercer: The Dream's on Me2009TV Movie documentary performer: "There's No Business Like Show Business"
Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression2009Video documentary performer: "Mandy" - uncredited
Bones2006TV Series performer - 1 episode
Joey2004TV Series performer - 1 episode
AMV Hell2004Short performer: "Anything You Can Do"
Sinatra: The Classic Duets2002TV Movie documentary performer: "Moonlight in Vermont" - uncredited
The Next Best Thing2000performer: "They Say It's Wonderful"
Drop Dead Gorgeous1999performer: Everything's Coming Up Roses"
Little Voice1998performer: "There's No Business Like Show Business"
Hidden Hollywood: Treasures from the 20th Century Fox Film Vaults1997TV Movie documentary performer: "Marching Along with Time", "When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam'" uncredited, "Anything You Can Do"
In & Out1997performer: "Everything's Coming Up Roses"
The Late Shift1996TV Movie performer: "There's No Business Like Show Business"
Discovery1995Video performer: "Together Wherever We Go"
Stuart Saves His Family1995performer: "Everything's Coming Up Roses"
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1992TV Series performer - 1 episode
Designing Women1991TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Wonder Years1989TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years1986TV Movie performer: "There's No Business Like Show Business"
Great Performances1985TV Series performer - 1 episode
Terms of Endearment1983performer: "Anything Goes" 1934
All That Jazz1979performer: "There's No Business Like Show Business" 1946
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July1979TV Movie performer: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Don't Let the Parade Pass You By"
A Special Sesame Street Christmas1978TV Movie performer: "Tomorrow", "Christmas Medley: Jingle Bells / Sleigh Ride / Winter Wonderland / I Saw Three Ships" - uncredited
The Muppet Show1977TV Series performer - 1 episode
You're Gonna Love It Here1977TV Movie performer: "You're Gonna Love It Here"
Evening at Pops1976TV Series documentary performer - 1 episode
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975Documentary performer: "You're the Top" 1934
Journey Back to Oz1972performer: "An Elephant Never Forgets", "If You're Gonna Be A Witch - Be A Witch"
The Mike Douglas Show1970TV Series performer - 1 episode
That Girl1967TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Art of Love1965performer: "M'sieur"
The Frank Sinatra Show1958TV Series performer - 1 episode
Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall1957TV Series performer - 1 episode
There's No Business Like Show Business1954performer: "When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam'", "Play a Simple Melody", "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody", "Let's Have Another Cup o' Coffee", "A Sailor's Not a Sailor 'Til a Sailor's Been Tattooed", "There's No Business Like Show Business", "Alexander's Ragtime Band" - uncredited
The Colgate Comedy Hour1954TV Series performer - 1 episode
Call Me Madam1953performer: "The Hostess with the Mostes", "Can You Use Any Money Today", "That International Rag", "You're Just In Love", "The Best Thing For You Would be Me", "You're Just in Love" reprise, "Finale: You're Just In Love/Something to Dance About"
Texaco Star Theatre1949TV Series performer - 1 episode
Stage Door Canteen1943performer: "Marching Through Berlin" 1943 - uncredited
Straight Place and Show1938performer: "With You on My Mind" 1938, "Why Not String Along With Me" 1938 - uncredited
Alexander's Ragtime Band1938performer: "Say It with Music" 1921, "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" 1919, "Blue Skies" 1927, "Pack Up Your Sins and Go to the Devil" 1922, "My Walking Stick" 1938, "Everybody Step" 1921, "Heat Wave" 1933, "Marching Along with Time" 1938 - uncredited
Happy Landing1938performer: "Hot and Happy", "You Are the Music to the Words in My Heart", "You Appeal To Me"
Anything Goes1936performer: "Anything Goes" partial, "I Get a Kick Out of You", "You're the Top" with new lyrics, "Shanghai-Dee-Ho"
Strike Me Pink1936performer: "First You Have Me High Then You Have Me Low" 1935, "Calabash Pipe" 1935, "Shake It Off with Rhythm" 1935 - uncredited
The Big Broadcast of 19361935performer: "It's the Animal in Me"
Kid Millions1934performer: "An Earful of Music" 1934 uncredited, "Mandy" 1918, "Ice Cream Fantasy" 1934 uncredited, "Red Hot Rhythm" uncredited
We're Not Dressing1934performer: "It's Just a New Spanish Custom" 1934, "Let's Play House" 1934 - uncredited / producer: "It's the Animal in Me" 1934 - uncredited
Song Shopping1933Short performer: "Sing, You Sinners", "I'm Yours" - uncredited
Time on My Hands1932Short performer: "Time on My Hands"
You Try Somebody Else1932Short performer: "You Try Somebody Else"
Ireno1932Short performer: "Shadows on the Wall", "Wipe That Frown Right Off Your Face" - uncredited
Let Me Call You Sweetheart1932Short performer: "Let Me Call You Sweetheart"
Roaming1931Short performer: "Hello, My Lover, Good Bye", "Shake Well Before Using" - uncredited
Old Man Blues1931Short performer: "He Doesn't Love Me Anymore" uncredited, "Old Man Blues"
Devil Sea1931Short performer: "Old Devil Sea", "Glory, Glory" - uncredited
Be Like Me1931Short performer: "Be Like Me", "After You've Gone" - uncredited
Her Future1930Short performer: "My Future Just Passed", "Sing, You Sinners"

Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Love Boat1979-1982TV SeriesRoz Smith Ros Smith
Airplane!1980Lieutenant Hurwitz
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July1979TV MovieLilly Loraine (voice)
You're Gonna Love It Here1977TV MovieLolly Rogers (as Miss Ethel Merman)
Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood1976Hedda Parsons
Journey Back to Oz1972Mombi, the Bad Witch (voice)
That's Life1968TV Series
That Girl1967-1968TV SeriesEthel Merman
Tarzan1967TV SeriesRosanna McCloud
Batman1967TV SeriesLola Lasagne
Annie Get Your Gun1967TV MovieAnnie Oakley
The Art of Love1965Madame Coco La Fontaine
Kraft Suspense Theatre1965TV SeriesClara Lovelace
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World1963Mrs. Marcus
The Red Skelton Hour1963TV SeriesMother Hughes
Maggie Brown1963TV MovieMaggie Brown
Vacation Playhouse1963TV SeriesMaggie Brown
The United States Steel Hour1956TV SeriesLibby Marks
General Electric Theater1956TV SeriesMuriel Flood
Shower of Stars1955TV Series
There's No Business Like Show Business1954Molly Donahue
Panama Hattie1954TV MovieHattie Maloney
The Best of Broadway1954TV SeriesHattie Maloney
The Colgate Comedy Hour1954TV SeriesReno Sweeney
Call Me Madam1953Sally Adams
Stage Door Canteen1943Ethel Merman
Straight Place and Show1938Linda Tyler
Alexander's Ragtime Band1938Jerry Allen
Happy Landing1938Flo Kelly
Anything Goes1936Reno Sweeney
Strike Me Pink1936Joyce Lennox
The Big Broadcast of 19361935Ethel Merman
Kid Millions1934Dot Clark
We're Not Dressing1934Edith
Ireno1932ShortIrene
Roaming1931ShortMary, Show Owner's Daughter
Old Man Blues1931ShortHelen
Devil Sea1931Short
Be Like Me1931ShortEve
The Cave Club1930Short
Follow the Leader1930Helen King
Her Future1930ShortDefendant

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Evening at Pops1976TV Series documentaryHerself
Match Game PM1975TV SeriesHerself - Panelist
At Long Last Cole1975TV MovieHerself
Broadway1973TV MovieHerself
The Dick Cavett Show1973TV SeriesHerself
The 26th Annual Tony Awards1972TV SpecialHerself - Winner: Special Award
'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous, 'S Gershwin1972TV MovieHerself
This Is Your Life1971TV SeriesHerself
The Jonathan Winters Show1969TV SeriesHerself - Musician
The 23rd Annual Tony Awards1969TV SpecialHerself - Presenter: Best Director for a Musical Play
The Carol Burnett Show1969TV SeriesHerself
The Match Game1965-1969TV SeriesHerself - Team Captain
The Dean Martin Show1965-1968TV SeriesHerself
The Hollywood Palace1966-1968TV SeriesHerself - Singer
The Ed Sullivan Show1955-1968TV SeriesHerself - Singer / Herself / Herself - Guest Host
Personality1968TV SeriesHerself
The Joey Bishop Show1967-1968TV SeriesHerself
Around the World of Mike Todd1967TV Movie documentaryHerself
Gypsy1967TV SeriesHerself
Hollywood Talent Scouts1966TV SeriesHerself
An Evening with Ethel Merman1965TV Movie documentaryHerself
I've Got a Secret1965TV SeriesHerself - Celebrity Guest
What's My Line?1963-1965TV SeriesHerself - Mystery Guest
The 19th Annual Tony Awards1965TV SpecialHerself - Presenter
On Broadway Tonight1965TV SeriesHerself
The Jack Paar Program1964TV SeriesHerself - Guest
Val Parnell's Sunday Night at the London Palladium1964TV SeriesHerself - Top of the Bill
The Lucy Show1964TV SeriesHerself
The Bell Telephone Hour1960-1964TV SeriesHerself - Hostess / Herself - Singer
The Judy Garland Show1963-1964TV SeriesHerself
The Jerry Lewis Show1963TV SeriesHerself
Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall1957-1963TV SeriesHerself - Guest / Herself
The Bob Hope Show1962TV SeriesHerself
The Arthur Murray Party1960TV SeriesHerself
The Arthur Murray Special for Bob Hope1960TV MovieHerself
Startime1959-1960TV SeriesHerself
The Eddie Fisher Show1958TV SeriesHerself
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show1958TV SeriesHerself / Herself - Guest Hostess
The Frank Sinatra Show1958TV SeriesHerself
The DuPont Show of the Month1957TV SeriesHerself
Max Liebman Spectaculars1956TV SeriesHerself
Person to Person1955TV Series documentaryHerself
Shower of Stars1955TV SeriesHerself - Vocalist / Herself - Guest Vocalist
The Colgate Comedy Hour1953-1954TV SeriesHerself / Herself - Singer
The Ford 50th Anniversary Show1953TV MovieHerself
This Is Show Business1950TV SeriesHerself
Inside U.S.A. with Chevrolet1949TV SeriesHerself
Texaco Star Theatre1949TV SeriesHerself - Singer
Song Shopping1933ShortHerself
Time on My Hands1932ShortHerself
You Try Somebody Else1932ShortHerself
Let Me Call You Sweetheart1932ShortHerself
Great Broadway Musical Moments from the Ed Sullivan Show2015TV Movie documentaryHerself - Interviewee
Great Performances1981-1985TV SeriesHerself
Texaco Star Theater: Opening Night1983TV MovieHerself
The Royal Variety Performance 19821982TV MovieHerself
The Merv Griffin Show1978-1982TV SeriesHerself - Guest / Herself
Night of 100 Stars1982TV SpecialHerself
Broadway! A Special Salute1982TV MovieHerself
The First 100 Years of Recorded Music1981TV SpecialHerself
All-Star Inaugural Gala1981TV MovieHerself
Hee Haw1980TV SeriesHerself
All-Star Family Feud Special1980TV SeriesHerself - Celebrity Contestant
Musical Comedy Tonight1979TV Movie documentaryHerself
Good Morning America1979TV SeriesHerself
The Muppets Go Hollywood1979TV SpecialHerself (uncredited)
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1965-1979TV SeriesHerself - Guest / Herself
A Special Sesame Street Christmas1978TV MovieHerself
A Salute to American Imagination1978TV Movie documentaryHerself
The Mike Douglas Show1970-1978TV SeriesHerself - Vocalist / Actress / Herself / ...
The People's Command Performance1978TV SpecialHerself
Super Night at Forest Hills1977TV SpecialHerself
Steve & Eydie: From This Moment On... Cole Porter1977TV MovieHerself
The Muppet Show1977TV SeriesHerself - Special Guest Star
The David Steinberg Show1977TV SeriesHerself
Sha Na Na1977TV SeriesHerself
The 1976 Annual Entertainment Hall of Fame Awards1976TV SpecialHerself
Match Game 731975-1976TV SeriesHerself - Panelist
The Hollywood Squares1975-1976TV SeriesHerself - Panelist
Dinah!1975-1976TV SeriesHerself / Herself - Guest

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Welcome to the Basement2015TV SeriesHerself
Sinatra: All or Nothing at All2015TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
The O'Reilly Factor2008-2014TV SeriesMrs. Marcus / Herself
Michael Grade's Stars of the Musical Theatre2014TV Movie documentary
Six by Sondheim2013TV Movie documentaryHerself
The Joy of Disco2012TV Movie documentaryHerself
Michael Feinstein's American Songbook2010TV Mini-Series documentaryHerself
Edición Especial Coleccionista2010TV SeriesMrs. Marcus
Johnny Mercer: The Dream's on Me2009TV Movie documentaryHerself
Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression2009Video documentaryHerself
American Masters1990-2009TV Series documentaryHerself
Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon2008DocumentaryHerself
The Best of the Royal Variety2006TV SeriesHerself
The Delegate2006Documentary shortHerself
American Experience2006TV Series documentaryAnnie Oakley in 'Annie Get Your Gun' (stage version)
Great Performances1985-2005TV SeriesHerself / Herself - Performer
Cinerama Adventure2002DocumentaryMrs. Marcus (uncredited)
Biography1999-2001TV Series documentaryHerself
Walk on By: The Story of Popular Song2001TV Series documentaryHerself
ABC 2000: The Millennium1999TV Movie documentary
Television: The First Fifty Years1999Video documentaryHerself
Hidden Hollywood: Treasures from the 20th Century Fox Film Vaults1997TV Movie documentaryHerself
Betty Boop: Queen of the Cartoons1995DocumentaryHerself
The Carol Burnett Show: A Reunion1993TV Movie documentaryHerself
The First Annual Comedy Hall of Fame1993TV MovieHerself
Something a Little Less Serious: A Tribute to 'It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World'1991TV Movie documentaryMrs. Marcus (uncredited)
Frank Sinatra: The Voice of Our Time1990TV Movie documentaryHerself
The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years1986TV MovieHerself
Muppet Video: Muppet Treasures1985VideoHerself
Of Muppets and Men: The Making of 'The Muppet Show'1981TV Movie documentaryHerself
Brother Can You Spare a Dime1975DocumentaryHerself
Fred Astaire Salutes the Fox Musicals1974TV MovieHerself
The Hollywood Palace1970TV SeriesHerself
Marilyn1963DocumentaryHerself (scene from "There's No Business Like Show Business") (uncredited)
The Ed Sullivan Show1953-1954TV SeriesHerself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1966Woman of the YearHasty Pudding Theatricals, USA
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 7044 Hollywood Blvd.
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameRecordingOn 8 February 1960. At 1751 Vine Street.
1954Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actress - Comedy or MusicalCall Me Madam (1953)


Looks like we don't have salary information. Sorry!


#Quote
1Not to pat myself on the back, but when I do a show, the whole show revolves around me. And if I don't show up, they can just forget it!
2You'll never prove you're too good for a job by not doing your best
3Broadway has been very good to me. But then, I've been very good to Broadway.
4I can hold a note as long as the Chase National Bank.
5I take a breath when I have to.
6I don't want to sound pretentious, but in a funny way I feel I'm the last of a kind. I don't mean that there aren't some girls out there somewhere who are just as talented as I was. But even if they are, where will they find the shows like Girl Crazy, Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun, Call Me Madam and Gypsy? They just don't produce those vehicles anymore.
7I can never remember being afraid of an audience. If the audience could do better, they'd be up here on stage and I'd be out there watching them.
8[on Mary Martin] She's okay, if you like talent.
9[In 1930, on the show that made her a star, George Gershwin's "Girl Crazy"] In the second chorus of "I Got Rhythm", I held a high C note for 16 bars while the orchestra played the melodic line - a big, tooty thing - against the note. By the time I'd held that note for four bars, the audience was applauding. They applauded through the whole chorus and I did several encores. It seemed to do something to them. Not because it was sweet or beautiful, but because it was exciting. Few people have the ability to project a big note and hold it. It's not just a matter of breath; it's a matter of power in the diaphragm. I'd never trained my diaphragm, but I must have a strong one. When I finished that song, a star had been born. Me.
10[In 1959, when she was nominated for a Tony Award for "Gypsy" but had lost to Mary Martin in "The Sound of Music"] You can't buck a nun.

#Trademark
1Powerful belting mezzo-soprano vocal range
2The song, sung in her inimitable way, "There's No Business Like Show Business"

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