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Ethel Merman

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Ethel Merman Biography and Filmography
Ethel Merman
Birthday: January 16, 1908
Birth Place: Astoria, New York, USA
Height: 0' 0"
Below is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in)
for Ethel Merman.
If you have any corrections or additions, please email us.
We'd also be interested in any trivia or other information you have.
Born in the Astoria section of Queens, New York City, Ethel Merman was surely the pre-eminent star of 'Broadway' musical comedy. Though untrained in singing, she could belt out a song like quite no one else, and was sought after by major songwriters such as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Having debuted in 1930 in "Girl Crazy, " she is yet remembered for her marvelous starring appearances in so many great musicals that were later adapted to the silver screen. Among the film versions, Merman herself starred in Anything Goes (1936) and Call Me Madam (1953). That wonderfully boisterous blonde, Betty Hutton, had the Merman lead in both Red, Hot and Blue (1949) and Annie Get Your Gun (1950). Besides Hutton, other Merman screen stand-ins included Lucille Ball (in Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)), Ann Sothern (in Panama Hattie (1942)), Vivian Blaine (in Something for the Boys (1944)) and Rosalind Russell (in Gypsy (1962)). (Russell could never render Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne's "Everything's Coming Up Roses" the way the immortal Merman did, over and over again.)
Musical, The/My Ex-Mom/The Show Must Go On/The Pest/My Aunt, the Worrier: Part 2 (1982)
[ Carol Channing ]
Farnsworth's Fling/Three in a Bed/I Remember Helen/Merrill, Melanie & Melanesia/Gopher Farnsworth Smith: Part 2 (1981)
[ Morgan Fairchild ][ Linda Evans ][ Jessica Walter ]
Not So Fast, Gopher/Haven't We Met Before?/Foreign Exchange (1980)
[ Haley Mills ]
Airplane! (1980)
[ Julie Hagerty ][ Francesca Kitten Natividad ][ Barbara Billingsley ][ Diane Peterson ]
Third Wheel/Grandmother's Day/Second String Mom (1979)
Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July (1979)
[ Shelley Winters ]
A Special Sesame Street Christmas (1978)
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)
[ Teri Garr ][ Madeline Kahn ][ Yvonne De-Carlo ][ Zsa Zsa Gabor ][ Cyd Charisse ]
Journey Back to Oz (1974)
[ Liza Minelli ][ Margaret Hamilton ]
Mountains of the Moon: Part 1 (1967)
The Sport of Penguins (1967)
The Wail of the Siren (1967)
Annie Get Your Gun (1967)
The Art of Love (1965)
[ Angie Dickinson ][ Elke Sommer ]
Maggie Brown (1963)
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963)
Ethel Merman's Show Stoppers (1955)
Show Stoppers (1955)
There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)
[ Marilyn Monroe ]
Panama Hattie (1954)
Episode #4.17 (1954)
Call Me Madam (1953)
Straight Place and Show (1938)
Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)
Happy Landing (1938)
Anything Goes (1936)
[ Jane Wyman ]
Strike Me Pink (1936)
Kid Millions (1934)
[ Lucille Ball ][ Paulette Goddard ]
We're Not Dressing (1934)
[ Carole Lombard ]
Be Like Me (1933)
Ireno (1932)
Old Man Blues (1932)
Roaming (1931)
The Devil Sea (1931)
Follow the Leader (1930)
[ Ginger Rodgers ]
The Cave Club (1930)
  • Thrice-wed Merman married twice-wed Ernest Borgnine in 1964. Their marriage was dissolved after 32 days. They had announced their impending nuptials at the legendary New York night spot P.J. Clarke's, but Borgnine, who was riding high as the star of "McHale's Navy" (1962) at the time, said the marriage began unraveling on their honeymoon, when he received more fan attention than she did. The competitive Merman was left seething. "By the time we got home, it was hell on earth," Borgnine recalled in a 2001 interview. "And after 32 days I said to her, 'Madam, bye.'" Borgnine went on to marry a third time, but Merman remained single after her divorce. In her 1978 biography, she devoted a chapter of her autobiography to the marriage: It consisted of one blank page.
  • She won a Tony for "Call Me Madam"
  • Her daughter, Ethel Jr. died of an overdose of drugs and alcohol in 1967.
  • Was at one time passionately involved with Jacqueline Susann. After their relationship ended in anger, Susann based the character of the lonely, pathetic, faded Broadway star Helen Lawson on Merman.
  • One son, Bobby.
  • Won Broadway's 1951 Tony Award as Best Actress (Musical) for "Call Me Madam," and a scond, Special Tony, in 1972. She also had two other Tony nominations for Best Actress (Musical): in 1957, for "Happy Hunting," and in 1960, for "Gypsy."
  • Of German-Scottish ancestry.
  • Bertolt Brecht actually desired to have the raucous Ethel play the title role of his masterpiece "Mother Courage...and Her Children." She, of course, never did.
  • She loved Christmas so much, that she kept her Christmas tree up year-round
  • In 1979 she released her most controversial album-to-date. A disco LP simply titled "The Ethel Merman Disco Album." Despite it not even charting on the Billboard charts, and many people's skeptically on the the then 71-year-old veteran, it was a smash hit, being played in Studio54 regularly, with live appearances by Merman, herself. It also became a staple period album for the majority of the gay community.
  • Devised her screen and stage name by removing the first three letters (Zim) and the last letter (n) from her birth name - Zimmermann
  • Former mother-in-law of murdered Barbara Colby whose untimely funeral she attended
  • Won a Tony for her role in the musical "Call Me Madam" (1951); Tony-nominated for musical "Happy Hunting" (1957); Tony-nominated for musical "Gypsy" (1960); Recipient of Tony Special Award (1972)
  • Her final film role was in the Zucker film, Airplane! (1980). Coincidentally, John Houseman died soon after filming _The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)_ but before its theatrical release.
  • Her third husband, Robert F. Six, was CEO of Continental Airlines.
  • Played villainess "Lola Lasagne" on the campy TV series "Batman" (1966).

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