- Category : Entertain-Music-Vocalist-Opera
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sleeping Phoenix 1
American soprano and playback singer for featured actresses in movie musicals. She is most famous for dubbing the singing voices of the leading actresses in films, including The King and I, West Side Story and My Fair Lady.
Nixon's varied career has included, besides her voice work in films, some film roles of her own, television, opera, concerts with major symphony orchestras around the world, musicals on stage throughout the United States and recordings.
She dubbed Marilyn Monroe's high notes in Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). In 1956, she worked closely with Deborah Kerr to supply the star's singing voice for the film version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I, and the next year she again worked with Kerr to dub her voice in An Affair to Remember. In 1961's West Side Story, the studio kept her work on the film (as the singing voice of Natalie Wood's Maria) a secret from the actress, and Nixon also dubbed Rita Moreno's singing in the film's "Tonight" quintet. She asked the film's producers for, but did not receive, any direct royalties from her work on the film, but Leonard Bernstein contractually gave her 1/4 of one percent of his personal royalties from it. For My Fair Lady in 1964, she again worked with the female lead of the film, Audrey Hepburn, to perform the songs of Hepburn's character Eliza. Because of her uncredited dubbing work in these films, Time magazine called her "The Ghostess with the Mostest".
Nixon made a special guest appearance on Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts broadcast that aired April 9, 1961, entitled "Folk Music in the Concert Hall." She sang three "Songs of the Auvergne" by Canteloube. Under her own name, she has recorded songs by Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Arnold Schönberg, Charles Ives, Aaron Copland and Anton Webern. Nixon was nominated for two Grammy Awards for Best Classical Performance, Vocal Soloist, one for her Schönberg album and one for her Copland album.
Nixon's first onscreen appearance was as Sister Sophia in the 1965 film The Sound of Music.
Nixon taught at the California Institute of Arts from 1969 to 1971 and joined the faculty of the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara, in 1980, where she taught for many years. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she hosted a children's television show in Seattle on KOMO-TV channel 4 called Boomerang, winning four Emmy Awards as best actress, and made numerous other television appearances on variety shows and as a guest star in prime time series. She also toured with Liberace and Victor Borge and in her own cabaret shows.
In 2000, after nearly a half century away, she returned to Broadway as Aunt Kate in James Joyce's The Dead. In 2001, Nixon replaced Joan Roberts as Heidi Schiller in the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies. In 2003, she was again on Broadway as a replacement in role of Guido's mother in the revival of Nine.
The first of her three husbands, Ernest Gold, composed the theme song to the movie Exodus. They had three children, including singer/songwriter Andrew Gold (died June 3, 2011). They divorced in 1969. She was married to Dr. Lajos "Fritz" Fenster from 1971 to 1975, and then to Albert Block in 1983.