“Show Boat,” “Kiss Me Kate,” and “Anchors Aweigh” soprano Kathryn Grayson died Wednesday of natural causes at her Los Angeles home, according to the Hollywood Reporter. 88 was just around the corner.
On Eddie Cantor’s radio show, Grayson was practising her operatic voice and was signed to a contract by MGM’s Louis B. Mayer at the age of 15, where she was groomed to compete with Fox’s child singing star, Deanna Durbin.
Grayson was cast in the “Andy Hardy” films after taking acting classes.
As an actress in the ’40s, she appeared in films including “Seven Sweethearts,” “Thousands Cheer,” “Anchors Aweigh,” “Two Sisters from Boston,” “Till the Clouds Roll By” and “It Happened in Brooklyn.”
Kathryn Grayson’s Birthday and Date of Death
February 9, 1922–February 17, 2010, was the life span of Kathryn Grayson. At the time of her death, Zelma was 88 years old.
Date of Birth: February 9th, 1922
Date of Death: February 17, 2010
Age of Death: 88
As the youngest of Charles Hedrick’s four children, Zelma Kathryn Elisabeth Hedrick was born on February 9, 1922, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. By chance, Grayson Hedrick was found singing on an empty stage in St. Louis’ Municipal Opera House, where a janitor introduced the 12-year-old to Frances Marshall of the Chicago Civic Opera, who provided the youngster voice training.
She co-starred in the film Seven Sweethearts with Frances Raeburn (Grayson’s sister), who was born Mildred Hedrick. Clarence “Bud” E. Hedrick and Harold were her brothers. At the age of fifteen, Grayson’s family relocated to California.
Kathryn Grayson – Biography
Zelma Kathryn Elisabeth Hedrick was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on February 9, 1922, and became Kathryn Grayson. MGM talent scouts noticed this small brunette with a heart-shaped face when she was singing on the radio. Within days of signing a contract with the studio, she was enrolled in classes to learn how to act and forced to pose for hundreds of advertising shots.
Coloratura soprano Kathryn appeared in her debut film, Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary, in 1941. (1941). She was immediately paired with some of MGM’s biggest musical talents of the 1940s, including Gene Kelly and Mario Lanza. Due to Lanza’s erratic behaviour and alcohol usage, the two were frequently put together.
It was never going to be as successful as the Jeanette MacDonald-Nelson Eddy duet, but Kathryn and MacDonald became close friends. Kathryn’s mentor and elder sister figure, Jeanette, was Kathryn’s best friend. In the early 1950s, Grayson had some of his most memorable performances. As “Magnolia” opposite Ava Gardner and Howard Keel in Show Boat (1951), she played “Magnolia;” and as “Lilli” in Kiss Me Kate (1953), she played an actress named “Lilli Vanessi,” who played Katherine in the film’s “show inside a show.” The Vagabond King (1956), her final picture for Paramount, was her lone feature after leaving MGM in 1953. She went on to perform on stage and in nightclubs.
Johnnie Johnston and Johnnie Shelton were Grayson’s first and second wives, respectively. She belonged to the Republican Party. Roman Catholicism was Grayson’s religion of choice.
On July 11, 1941, Shelton and Grayson tied the knot in Las Vegas, where they had eloped from their home in New Jersey. After meeting during a screen test, the two had dated for 18 months. When Shelton moved out of their Brentwood house in July 1942, it was Shelton’s first time living alone.
After a court dropped their divorce petition, they spent a month trying to mend their relationship. Grayson accused Shelton of abuse of the mind. On the 17th of June, 1946, they had a legal separation decreed by the court.
The wedding of Grayson and Johnnie Johnston took place in Carmel, California, on August 22, 1947. Grayson Johnston’s only child, Patricia “Patty Kate” Kathryn Johnston, was born on October 7, 1948. Kristin and Jordan were born as a result of Patricia’s marriage to Robert Towers.
[reference needed] The band SomeKindaWonderful hired Jordy Towers as their main singer. On November 15, 1950, Grayson and Johnston divorced. Grayson was granted a divorce from Johnston on October 3, 1951, citing mental cruelty as the basis for the decision.
Grayson began training as an opera singer at the age of twelve. Grayson played on the radio while starring in her cinematic roles. Grayson toured extensively throughout the 1950s. Grayson had to cancel a performance tour in May 1951 because he had been mistakenly cast in Lovely to Look At. “My concert plans had been finalised.
After saying to myself, “How foolish!” upon learning in New York that I was going to be in this film, bang! I got a studio telegram the next day inviting me to come back for the photo shoot!”
The Riviera nightclub in New Jersey offered Grayson $10,000 to play for a week before he made The Desert Song in 1952. The Desert Song was recorded by Grayson and Tony Martin after it was filmed.
Tours to Australia by Grayson have been done on a few occasions. Grayson also appeared in Manila, the Philippines, in 1969 at the New Frontier Theatre, on one of her journeys to the Far East. Grayson was in charge of Idaho State University’s Voice and Choral Studies programme.