Kathryn Grayson

Kathryn Grayson
Associated Press


Kathryn Grayson
Film: East side of the 1600 block of Vine Street
Actress | Singer
Born Zelma K. Hedrick on Feb. 9, 1922 in Winston-Salem, NC
Died Feb. 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA

Kathryn Grayson was an MGM singing star in the 1940s and early '50s in musicals such as "Anchors Aweigh," "Kiss Me Kate" and "Show Boat."

A dark-haired beauty with a heart-shaped face and a brilliant coloratura voice, Grayson signed with MGM as a teenager and made her screen debut in "Andy Hardy's Private Secretary," starring Mickey Rooney, in 1941.

She went on to appear opposite Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly in "Anchors Aweigh," with Kelly in "Thousands Cheer," Sinatra in "The Kissing Bandit," Mario Lanza in "The Toast of New Orleans," Howard Keel in "Show Boat," "Lovely to Look At" and "Kiss Me Kate" and Gordon MacRae in "The Desert Song," among other musicals.

Grayson had no fond memories of "The Vagabond King," her final big-screen musical, for Paramount, in 1956.

"I didn't like it," she told the Toronto Star. "So I called it a day: no more movies."

At the conclusion of her film career, Grayson began performing in nightclubs and concerts and did some acting on television, including appearances on "General Electric Theater" and "Playhouse 90."

In 1960, she made her opera debut, in "Madama Butterfly."

She replaced Julie Andrews as Guenevere in the original Broadway production of "Camelot" in 1962 and toured in the musical for more than a year — as well as touring in "Naughty Marietta," "Showboat," "Kiss Me Kate" and other productions.

In 1988, she began touring in a one-woman show, "An Evening With Kathryn Grayson."

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