Ethel Merman

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Ethel Merman
Ethel merman 1967.JPG
Born Ethel Agnes Zimmermann
(1908-01-16)January 16, 1908
Astoria, Queens, New York, USA
Died February 15, 1984(1984-02-15) (aged 76)
New York City
Occupation Actress/Singer
Years active 1930–1982
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) William Smith (1940–1941)
Robert Levitt, Sr. (1941–1952)
Robert Six (1953–1960)
Ernest Borgnine (1964; 32 days)
Children Ethel Levitt and Robert Levitt, Jr.
Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1932)
You Try Somebody Else (1932)
Time on My Hands (1932)

Ethel Merman was an American actress and singer.[1] She was known for her powerful voice and roles in musical theatre. She was the first to sing many famous Broadway songs. "There's No Business Like Show Business" became her theme song.

One of Merman's best remembered performances was as the stage mother in Gypsy. Merman was nominated for a Tony Award. She lost to her close friend Mary Martin in The Sound of Music. Rosalind Russell was given the role in the movie. Merman said it was "The greatest professional disappointment of my life.".

Personal life[change | change source]

Merman was married and divorced four times:

  1. William Smith, theatrical agent (1940–1941)
  2. Robert Levitt, a newspaper executive (1941–1952)
  3. Robert Six, President, Continental Airlines (1953–1960)
  4. Ernest Borgnine, the actor, in 1964. Merman filed for divorce 32 days later.

Merman had two children with Levitt: Ethel (born July 20, 1942), and Robert, Jr. (born August 11, 1945). Ethel Levitt died on August 23, 1967, of an accidental drug overdose. Merman's son was married to actress Barbara Colby. She was shot and killed for no known motive in Los Angeles in 1975.

References[change | change source]

  1. Obituary Variety, February 22, 1984.