|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Mitzi Gaynor is an American actress, singer and dancer. At 13 she was singing and dancing with the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera company. She lied about her address so she could attend Hollywood High School, and signed a seven-year contract with Twentieth Century-Fox at age 17. She sang, acted and danced in a number of film musicals, often paired with some of the biggest male musical stars of the day. A Fox Studio executive thought that Mitzi Gerber sounded like the name of a delicatessen and they came up with a name that used the same initials. Notable roles included There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) which featured Irving Berlin's music and also starred Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Marilyn Monroe, Donald O'Connor, and Johnnie Ray.
She married Jack Bean, a talent agent and public relations executive for MCA, in San Francisco, California on November 18, 1954. She had just been released from Twentieth Century-Fox (before the start of There's No Business Like Show Business) with four years left on her contract and decided with the time off to get married. The union was childless. After their marriage Bean quit MCA and started his own real estate business and managed Gaynor's career. She also appeared in Les Girls (1957, directed by George Cukor) with Gene Kelly and Kay Kendall, and the remake of Anything Goes (1956), co-starring Bing Crosby, Donald O'Connor, and Zizi Jeanmaire, loosely based on the musical by Cole Porter, P.G. Wodehouse and Guy Bolton.
Her biggest international fame came from her starring role as Ensign Nellie Forbush in the film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific. For her performance, she was nominated for a Best Actress Golden Globe Award. She made her last film to date in the early 1960s. One of her last films was the United Kingdom production Surprise Package (1960), a musical comedy thriller directed by Stanley Donen. Her co-stars were Yul Brynner and Noël Coward. The film had a theme song by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn.