When Andrew Gold died this past weekend, he was known as an Adult Comtemporary singer and for his soft rock hits Lonely Boy and Thank You For Being a Friend. The closest he got to Hollywood history (I thought): the latter tune was used as the theme for The Golden Girls. I was wrong…
Gold’s family connection to Hollywood is vast. His father Ernest Gold composed the theme to Exodus, the 1960 film starring Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, and Sal Mineo; and the theme to It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. He won a Grammy and Golden Globe for his score to On the Beach, a motion picture starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, and Anthony Perkins. Ernest Gold received four Oscar nominations for his work.
And how about Andrew Gold’s mother… Well now we’re cooking with oil!
Marni Nixon has appeared in some of the most iconic cinema during Hollywood’s Golden Age. Her five octave range was used to replace the singing voices of Margaret O’Brien in The Secret Garden; Marilyn Monroe in Gentleman Prefer Blondes; Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember and The King and I; Natalie Wood in West Side Story; and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. Nixon also had a small role in The Sound of Music, and her voice was prominently used in Joan of Arc in 1948, and Disney’s Mulan.
Yet, few folks even know who she is, or what she looks like. The reason is simple. Rarely has Marni Nixon been listed in the credits. We only know she sang for Kerr when the actress admitted this fact 40 years later. Her obscurity was celebrated on the television game show To Tell the Truth. In 2006, Nixon wrote her memoirs in a book called I Could Have Sung All Night. Appropriately, Marni Nixon was presented with the Singer Symposium’s Distinguished Artist Award in New York City in 2008.
Andrew Gold was 59, and is survived by his mother; the incomparable Marni Nixon.
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