mary martin actress biography

Nevertheless, her chief career accomplishment was her lengthy succession of award-winning starring roles in Broadway musicals. Mary Virginia Martin (December 1, – November 3, ) was an American actress, singer, and Broadway star. A muse of Rodgers and Hammerstein, she originated. Mary Martin () was a popular stage actress, singer, dancer, television and movie star. Mary Martin was born in Weatherford, Texas, on December 1, As a. Her love of the theater was obvious at an early age.

A legendary star of Broadway musical theatre during the 40s and 50s, and a charming, vivacious and beloved performer. From the s to the s, Martin appeared on Broadway, in the West End, and on tour thousands of times in such massively successful shows as South Pacific and The Sound of Music. She also recorded cast albums for these shows that sold in the millions. Unlike Mermanwho was known for her brassy, extroverted style, Martin was a warm, ingratiating performer.

She was far more subtle than her friend and chief rival, and she was much more versatile. When Martin took over the starring role of Annie Oakley from Merman for the U.

It is hard to imagine Merman doing the same with such Martin roles as Peter Pan or the goddess Venus in One Touch of Venus. But then, Merman never showed mary martin actress biography interest in stepping into a mary martin actress biography previously created by another actress, while Martin never hesitated to do so.

A rare exception came late in the careers of both actresses, when they each appeared in Hello, Dolly! Nor did Merman care to leave New York, for the most part, while Martin worked extensively in London and on the road.

And Martin 's greater flexibility was shown in her enthusiasm for taking on straight plays in which she was asked to sing little or not at all. Although the stage was her home, Martin also worked in the other media available to her. She had a relatively brief film career that still added up to more than a dozen features; she was a regular on radio and television series; she appeared in nightclubs and concert halls; and she recorded extensively, not just on cast albums, but also as a solo artist, and even scored a couple of chart hits.

Nevertheless, her chief career accomplishment was her lengthy succession of award-winning starring roles in Broadway musicals. Mary Virginia Martin was born on December 1,in Weatherford, TX, the second daughter of Preston Martin, a lawyer, and Juanita Presley Martin, a former violin teacher; her older sister Geraldine was 11 years her senior. Her mother encouraged her interest in performing and began teaching her the violin at a young age. Those lessons did not take, but she showed more enthusiasm for singing and dancing.

At the age of 12, she began taking voice lessons from Helen Fouts Cahoon, head of the voice department at Texas Christian University. Amazingly, when she later moved to New York as an adult, she happened to move into an apartment building where Cahoon was living and resumed her lessons.

mary martin actress biography

Inwhen Martin was 16, her parents sent her to the prestigious Ward Belmont finishing school in Nashville, TN. She ended up staying at the school only two and a half months before marrying her boyfriend, year-old Benjamin Jackson Hagman, an accountant, and returning to Weatherford mary martin actress biography they lived with her parents. Hagman then studied to become a lawyer and later worked in his father-in-law's office.

On September 21,the year-old Martin gave birth to Lawrence Martin Hagman, who, mary martin actress biography the name Larry Hagman, would become a well-known television actor, starring as astronaut Tony Nelson in the situation comedy I Dream of Jeannie and as the ruthless J. Ewing on the primetime soap opera Dallas Martin largely left the raising of her son to her mother.

At the age of 18, she opened a dancing school in Weatherford. It became such a success that, after a season, she went to Hollywood, CA, to enroll at the Fanchon and Marco School of Theatre in order to learn more herself.

Over the next few maries martin actress biography, she alternated sessions of teaching in Texas and mary martin actress biography in Hollywood, meanwhile opening maries martin actress biography of her school in Mineral Wells and Cisco. In Mineral Wells, she set up the mary martin actress biography at the local hotel and paid for the space by singing with the hotel orchestra once a week, a performance also broadcast on the radio.

During her second mary martin actress biography at Fanchon and Marco, she wandered into an audition and ended up getting offstage singing engagements at vaudeville theaters in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Byshe had decided to settle in Hollywood and try to make a living as a performer; she and her husband formally separated, and they divorced in Although she was given custody of her son, she placed him in a series of private schools and military academies.

From toMartin struggled to achieve recognition as an entertainer in Los Angeles. As early as July 19,the Los Angeles Times carried a notice about her singing on the radio, although this was a "sustaining" i. She auditioned unsuccessfully at the movie studios, but she eventually began to get work in bit parts and dubbing the singing voices of others. For example, she sang "The Daughter of Mademoiselle" for Louise Havoc aka Gypsy Rose Lee in Battle of Broadway, which opened in Apriland she was the singing voice of Margaret Sullavan in The Shopworn Angel in July.

The same month, she made her onscreen debut in the unbilled bit part of a dance teacher in The Rage of Paris. Meanwhile, she spent June as a regular on the network radio series Good News.

But it was not until the late summer of that she got an important break, when she appeared at a talent show at the Trocadero nightclub and brought down the house singing a swing arrangement of Italian composer Luigi Arditi 's waltz "Il Bacio" "The Kiss". In the audience was Broadway producer Laurence Schwab, who was casting an upcoming musical, Ring Out the News.

Schwab signed Martin to a contract and brought her to New York. By the time she got there, the show had fallen through, but another musical about to go into production had just suffered a defection albert anker biography a secondary actress dropped out to get married, and Martin successfully auditioned for what became Leave It to Me!

In Leave It to Me! When the show opened on November 9,for the first of Broadway performances, that number was a sensation, and it made Martin a star. On December 19, Martin appeared on the cover of Life magazine. On January 11,she opened an eight-week nightclub engagement at the Rainbow Room at the top of Rockefeller Center, appearing each night after finishing her work in Leave It to Me!

All this mary martin actress biography succeeded where Martin 's two years of knocking on movie studio doors had failed; she was signed to a contract by Paramount Pictures and returned to Hollywood to make her first featured appearance in the movie The Great Victor Herbert, which opened in December But she did not close other doors. In Septembershe joined the cast of the radio series The Tuesday Night Party, and she returned to the East Coast to star in a new musical, Nice Goin', produced by Laurence Schwab, who also wrote the libretto.

It opened out-of-town tryouts in New Haven, CT, on October 21,but closed in Boston on November 4, never reaching Broadway. Still, Martin remained in New York for the winter. On January 25 and February 5,she recorded the eight tracks for her first Decca album, Mary Martin in an Album of Cole Porter Songs, including another rendition of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy.

But she was back in Los Angeles by April 16, when she recorded "You're Lonely and I'm Lonely" for Decca backed by an orchestra conducted by Ray Sinatra. On May 5,Martin married Richard Halliday, a story editor at Paramount. The same month, she began filming her second Paramount feature, co-starring with the studio's biggest star, Bing Crosbyin Rhythm on the River.

The picture was finished by July and in release by the end of August. Martin immediately went into Love Thy Neighbor, which put her mary martin actress biography radio stars Jack Benny and Fred Allen ; it opened in December.

Her film career picking up steam, she quickly went on to Kiss the Boys Goodbye with Don Ameche and Oscar Levantwhich appeared in Augustand New York Town with Fred MacMurray and Robert Prestonwhich opened in November.

Between April and June, she worked on another Crosby vehicle, Birth of the Blues, a December release. The speedy completion of this series of projects was necessitated by her delicate condition; on November 4,she gave birth to her second child, Mary Heller Halliday.

Joel Whitburn registered a number 23 showing that same week for the Decca recording of Johnny Mercer 's "The Waiter and chief dan george biography Porter and the Upstairs Maid," sung by CrosbyMartinand Jack Teagardenand featured in Birth of the Blues. In JanuaryMartin took over as the regular female vocalist on Crosby 's radio series, the Kraft Music Hall, continuing throughout the year.

Meanwhile, however, her movie career languished. Her only screen appearance in came at the end of the year, when she was one of many performers making small appearances michael kugelman biography Star Spangled Rhythm.

At the same time, the recording ban that began August 1,and ran into the next year temporarily derailed her recording career. She did make one more film, Happy Go Lucky, with Dick Powellbut by the time it appeared in Marchshe had decided to try her own luck once again on-stage.

Two different shows were in preparation in the winter ofand she had her pick of them. The other was Dancing in the Streets, with songs by Vernon Duke and Howard Dietz.

Unable to choose between them, Martin flipped a coin and went into Dancing in the Streets, which opened in Boston on March 19,and closed there forever on April The Rodgers and Hammerstein show continued to gestate before emerging on March 31,as Oklahoma! Martin returned to Hollywood and shot her ninth film, True to Life, mary martin actress biography Franchot Tone and Dick Powellwhich opened in October.

But she had actually decided to give up on a film career after four years of trying to achieve stardom. She sought a leave of absence from Paramount and went back east to look for another musical. She found it in One Touch of Venus, the story of a Greek statue that comes to life in current-day Manhattan, which had a book by S. Perelman and Ogden Nashlyrics by Nashand music by Kurt Weill. It opened at the 46th Street Theatre on October 7,for a run of performances, through February 10, For her performance, Martin won a Donaldson Award, the precursor to the Tony Award.

Among the innovations of Oklahoma! Martin did other recording sessions for Decca during this period, resulting in a Top Ten rendition of the wartime standard "I'll Walk Alone.

mary martin actress biography

The day after the Broadway closing of One Touch of Venus, Martin and her husband embarked on a national tour of the musical. While on the road, they decided that Halliday would give up his work as a story editor to devote himself to being her manager. He fulfilled this function for the rest of his life. After completing the tour, Martin immediately turned to a new musical, Lute Song, a love story based on a 14th century Chinese play, with songs by Raymond Scott and Bernard Hanighen including "Mountain High, Valley Low.

Only Martin appeared on the cast album recorded March 4,and released May 6 by Decca. In July, Martin made a rare mary martin actress biography appearance, reprising her performance of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" in Night and Day, a movie biography of Cole Porter.

The show, Pacificdid not open until December 19,because the theater in which it was housed, the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, had to be repaired mary martin actress biography having been bombed in World War II.

It was not mary martin actress biography received and ran only performances, closing on April 12,but a cast album was recorded by the U. Martin returned to the U. Its star, Ethel Mermanwas not interested in going on the road, and Martinwho, as a Texas native, felt an affinity with its Western sharpshooting heroine, was happy to step in.

She opened the tour of Annie Get Your Gun in Dallas, TX, on October 3,and traveled around the U. This earned her a special Tony Award, her first, in the second year that the maries martin actress biography were given out, But by the start ofshe had switched allegiance after a decade, signing to Columbia Records. In early February, she recorded a selection of show tunes for her debut Columbia album, Mary Martin Sings for You. Columbia also contracted for her next cast album, for the musical South Pacific.

This adaptation of World War II stories by James Michener with songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein opened on Broadway on April 7,and became Martin 's biggest career triumph. She starred in it for more than two years in New York, receiving her second Tony Award and singing such songs as "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" and " I'm in Love With A Wonderful Guy," and the Columbia album, the first cast recording issued in the new LP format, topped the charts for a record 69 weeks, eventually selling several million copies.

During this lengthy stay in New York, Martin found plenty of time to make other recordings for Columbia. Her duet with Arthur Godfrey on the novelty tune "Go to Sleep, Go to Sleep, Go to Sleep" peaked in the Top Ten in Apriland she recorded a mary martin actress biography single with her son Larry Hagman of "You're Just in Love" from Ethel Merman 's current show, Call Me Madam.

Most ambitious, she was engaged by Columbia president Goddard Lieberson to record a series of studio-cast versions of music from musicals that had run prior to the era of the original Broadway cast album. These included Cole Porter 's Anything GoesHoward Dietz and Arthur Schwartz 's The Band WagonRodgers and Hart 's Babes in Arms, and George and Ira Gershwin 's Girl Crazy, all recorded in and Also, she made her debut television appearance as a guest on the NBC special Richard Rodgers' Jubilee Show on March 4, Martin left South Pacific on Broadway in Juneonly to travel back to London and open the West End production on November 1,and devote another mary martin actress biography to the show.

She also made a second cast recording of it for the English Columbia label. After returning to the U. On June 15,she appeared on a television special marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Ford Motor Company, singing an extended duet with Ethel Merman.

Decca Records pressed up a 10" disc of the duet for commercial release. Martin made her final appearance in a feature film by turning up as herself in Main Street to Broadway, a movie made primarily to promote Broadway. Instead of going into a new musical, she next toured the country in a straight play, co-starring with Charles Boyer in Kind Sir, which finally reached Broadway on November 4,where it played performances before closing on March 27, The property later enjoyed greater success as the film Indiscreet, starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.

By now, Martin and her husband were interested in mary martin actress biography their own projects. With Halliday serving as producer, the couple turned to a new musical adaptation of J. Barrie's children's play Peter Pan, hiring the songwriting team of Mark Moose Charlap and Carolyn Leigh for a production that began with the Los Angeles and San Francisco Light Opera Association.

mary martin actress biography

Songs by mary martin actress biography Jule Styne and lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green were added before the show opened on Broadway on October 20, RCA Victor recorded a cast album, including such songs as "I've Got to Crow," "I Won't Grow Up," and "Neverland," and it became a Top Five hit in the Billboard mary martin actress biography, while hitting number one in Cash Box.

The show, which found Martinin her early forties, flying around the stage suspended by piano wire, ran performances in New York and would have gone mary martin actress biography longer if it had not been so physically mary martin actress biography for the star and if the production had not been contracted to mary martin actress biography so as not to compete with a live television broadcast.

She won her third Tony Award for it. After a final stage performance on February 26,she flew before a reported television audience of 65 million on the evening of March 7, winning an Emmy Award in the process. She next returned to non-musical stage work, opening in a revival of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth in Paris in June The show then moved to Washington, D.

A recording of the show was issued privately at the time, and later DRG Records released a dr seuss biography timeline version. On October 28,she was in a television version of the play Born Yesterday. Martin 's association with Peter Pan made her an attractive performer for the child-oriented Walt Disney Company, which signed her for a series of children's recordings beginning in with The Little Lame Lamb, followed in by the albums Hi Ho!

Mary Martin Sings and Swings Walt Disney FavoritesMary Martin Sings a Musical Love Wu den-yih biography, and The Story of Sleeping Beauty, and in by Snow White. Martin also recorded Adventures for Readers for mary martin actress biography publisher Harcourt, released in In Aprilshe recorded the LP Mary Martin Sings, Richard Rodgers Plays for RCA Victor, performing Rodgers songs to piano accompaniment by the composer and an orchestra; the album was released in She returned to the stage in Junespending the summer performing South Pacific and Annie Get Your Gun in repertory for the Los Angeles and San Francisco Light Opera Association, and on November 27,she and co-star John Raitt did Annie Get Your Gun on television, with an accompanying album released by Capitol Records that reached number Martin and Halliday had settled on their next Broadway project, a musical adaptation of Maria von Trapp's memoirs, The Trapp Family Singers, eventually called The Sound of Music, but while they obtained rights and assembled the mary martin actress biography team, Martin embarked on her first national concert tour in September On this ambitious trek through 87 cities, lasting into Marchshe performed two shows at each stop, a matinee, dubbed Magic with Mary Martin and intended for children, featuring the mini-musical Three to Make Music and songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein 's recent TV musical Cinderella, and an evening show called Music with Mary Martin for adults.

The Sound of Music, with songs by Rodgers and Hammersteinfinally opened on Broadway on November 16,and was second only to South Pacific as the high point of Martin 's career. She won her fourth Tony Award, introducing such songs as "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," and the title song, and she appeared in the show for two years of its three-and-a-half-year run. She also recorded the cast album, which topped the maries martin actress biography and sold in the millions, winning a Grammy Award.

In the middle of her run in the show, she gave her third television performance in Peter Pan on December 8,the first to be taped for future viewing. InMartin made an inspirational recording, Guideposts for Living, with popular minister Norman Vincent Peale mary martin actress biography planning her next musical, Jennie, based on the life of actress Laurette Taylor.

Featuring songs by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartzit opened on Broadway on October 17,but lasted only 82 performances, closing December RCA Victor recorded a cast album that made the Top Although Martin had eschewed film work, she was considered for the Disney feature Mary Poppins before the part went to Julie Andrewswho also went on to star in the movie version of The Sound of Music. But Martin did record an album of the music from Mary Poppins for Disney that was licensed to Kapp Records, and when Songs from Mary Poppins and Other Favorites, credited to the Do-Re-Mi Children's Chorus with Mary Martin appeared ina single of "A Spoonful of Sugar" drawn from the LP earned Martin another Grammy Award nomination for Best Recording for Children.

In the run-up to the production of Jennie, Martin had been forced to turn down another musical, Hello, Dolly! She was, however, able to accept the national tour, which began in April in Minneapolis, MN, and crisscrossed the U.

That turned out to be only the beginning.

In the mary martin actress biography, the production moved to the Pacific, playing in Hawaii, then in Japan, before touring U. Martin then flew to London and opened the West End mary martin actress biography of the show on December 2. John ruskin biography also recorded the original London cast album for RCA Victor.

On February 7,her adventures were recounted in the TV special Mary Martin: Hello Dolly 'Round the World. Two months later, on April 3, she had another TV special, Mary Martin at Eastertime, broadcast from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The mary martin actress biography month, Disneyland Records released the LP Mary Martin Songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein's the Sound of Music, a re-recording of the music that was even more popular in the wake of the movie.

Martin made her final appearance in a Broadway musical in I Do! The two-person mary martin actress biography also featured Robert Prestonand the show, with songs by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidtamong them the hit "My Cup Runneth Over," opened on Broadway on December 5,for a run of performances through June 15, The RCA Victor cast album reached the Top in Billboard and the Top 40 in Cash Box.

It then embarked on a city road tour that ran intoat the end of which Martin returned to Brazil with no immediate plans to perform again. But she did not return to the stage until March 26,when she appeared at a benefit performance, A Celebration of Richard Rodgers, in New York. Nearly a year later, on March 3,her husband, Richard Halliday, died at the age of Soon after, she sold the farm in Brazil and moved back to the U.

Inshe published her autobiography, My Heart Belongs. She went back to work in Augustwhen she toured in a play, Do You Turn Somersaults? It opened on Broadway on January 9,but lasted only two weeks. On December 7,she appeared in a television movie, Valentine. Inshe began co-hosting a daily half-hour television series for seniors, Over Easy, on PBS. Her tenure on the wesley fofana biography was interrupted in September when she was seriously injured in a car accident while riding in a taxi, but she recovered and continued to appear on the program into She also made guest appearances on the network TV series Love Boat and Hardcastle and McCormick, mary martin actress biography.

From January to Januaryshe and Carol Channing toured in the play Legends! She continued to make occasional appearances in the late '80s. In Decembershe was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. By then, she was suffering from cancer, and she died at age 76 on November 3,in Rancho Mirage, CA. The year before her death, Martin saw her performance in Peter Pan sell four million videocassettes. This was, however, a rare instance in which a performer whose primary medium was the stage had one of her most memorable portrayals captured in permanent form for the appreciation of later generations.

In addition to those s films, there are grainy kinescopes of some of Martin 's TV appearances, on The Ed Sullivan Show re-creating scenes from her shows, for example, and the Ford 50th Anniversary Show duet with Ethel Merman. As the year copyright limit on recordings continues in Europe, unlicensed albums of Martin recordings appear, notably the Flapper and Living Era collections both called My Heart Belongs to Daddy andrespectivelyand Jasmine's album Broadway to Hollywood -- and Backwhich also contains soundtrack and aircheck recordings.

AllMusic relies heavily on JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript in your browser to use the site fully. Featured New Releases Editors' Choice All New Releases. Jazz Latin New Age. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip.

Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Streams Videos All Posts. Facebook Twitter Tumblr Google RSS. Stream or buy on: Born December 1, in Weatherford, TX. Died November 3, in Rancho Mirage, CA. Also Known As Mary Virginia Martin.

Mary martin actress biography

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