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Marni Nixon

  • Birthplace: Altadena, California
  • Birthday: February 22
Date of passing: 
July 24, 2016

Obituary

Obituary: 

Marni Nixon was an actress and singer who provided the vocals for Deborah Kerr in The King and I, for Natalie Wood in West Side Story and for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.

Nixon’s “ghost singing” could be heard on the songs "Getting to Know You" from The King and I, "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story and "I Could Have Danced All Night" and "The Rain in Spain" from My Fair Lady. The latter two films won Academy Awards for best picture.

The soprano was not officially listed in the credits for those films; instead, she was asked to sign nondisclosure agreements. She also lent her voice to the films An Affair to Remember, Cheaper by the Dozen, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Mulan. In 1965, she appeared in an on-screen role in The Sound of Music, playing a nun who sings “Maria.”

Nixon also appeared in a handful of television roles, including The Mothers-In-Law, Boomerang and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Additionally, she performed in the Hanna-Barbera production Jack and the Beanstalk, an animated television movie in which she performed the singing voice of Princess Serena. Her recordings were also used on episodes of Seinfeld, The King of Queens and Glee.

Marni Nixon was an actress and singer who provided the vocals for Deborah Kerr in The King and I, for Natalie Wood in West Side Story and for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.

Nixon’s “ghost singing” could be heard on the songs "Getting to Know You" from The King and I, "I Feel Pretty" from West Side Story and "I Could Have Danced All Night" and "The Rain in Spain" from My Fair Lady. The latter two films won Academy Awards for best picture.

The soprano was not officially listed in the credits for those films; instead, she was asked to sign nondisclosure agreements. She also lent her voice to the films An Affair to Remember, Cheaper by the Dozen, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Mulan. In 1965, she appeared in an on-screen role in The Sound of Music, playing a nun who sings “Maria.”

Nixon also appeared in a handful of television roles, including The Mothers-In-Law, Boomerang and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Additionally, she performed in the Hanna-Barbera production Jack and the Beanstalk, an animated television movie in which she performed the singing voice of Princess Serena. Her recordings were also used on episodes of Seinfeld, The King of Queens and Glee.

Nixon got her start as a child actress and earned her first credit for the 1942 film The Bashful Bachelor. In 1947, she appeared as a vocal soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and went on to perform with Leonard Bernstein.

She appeared on Broadway throughout her career, including roles in the productions The Girl in Pink Tights, James Joyce’s The Dead, Follies and Nine.

In 2006, she released her memoir, I Could Have Sung All Night.

And in 2012, she was honored with a Peabody Award for outstanding contributions to American music.

Nixon died July 24, 2016, in New York City. She was 86.

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