Mitzi Gaynor


Actor, Dancer
Mitzi Gaynor

About

Also Known As
Frances Gerber, Franceska Mitizi Marlene De Czanyi Von Gerber, Mitzi Gerber
Birth Place
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Born
September 04, 1930

Biography

This blonde dancer and light actress appeared in Hollywood musicals beginning in the early 1950s. Among her more notable efforts were "There's No Business Like Show Business" (1954), the 1956 remake of "Anything Goes," with Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor, and "Les Girls" (1957), opposite Gene Kelly. Gaynor had two outstandig screen roles: as a girlfriend of nightclub comedian Joe E Lewi...

Photos & Videos

Family & Companions

Jack Bean
Husband
Agent. Married in 1954.

Biography

This blonde dancer and light actress appeared in Hollywood musicals beginning in the early 1950s. Among her more notable efforts were "There's No Business Like Show Business" (1954), the 1956 remake of "Anything Goes," with Bing Crosby and Donald O'Connor, and "Les Girls" (1957), opposite Gene Kelly. Gaynor had two outstandig screen roles: as a girlfriend of nightclub comedian Joe E Lewis (played by Frank Sinatra) in "The Joker Is Wild" (1957) and as Nellie Forbush in the the screen version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" (1958).

Beginning in the late 1950s, Gaynor began to appear on various variety series, eventually headlining her own NBC special in 1968, "Mitzi." Between 1973 and 1978, she appeared annually on CBS in a series of high-concept, entertaining variety specials.

Life Events

1942

Member of the corps de ballet of the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera

1946

Toured in "Song of Norway"

1949

Breakthrough stage role in the San Francisco stage production of "The Great Waltz"

1950

Feature film debut, "My Blue Heaven"; adopted stage name of Mitzi Gaynor

1951

Cast as Lotta Crabtree in the musical biography "Golden Girl"

1954

Portrayed Eva Tanguay in the fictional biopic "The 'I Don't Care' Girl"

1956

Appeared opposite Bing Crosby in the remake of "Anything Goes"

1957

Supported Frank Sinatra as his neglected wife in "The Joker Is Wild"

1958

Starred in the feature version of the hit stage musical "South Pacific"

1963

Last film to date "For Love or Money"

1968

Headlined her first TV variety special, "Mitzi" (NBC)

1973

Began five year affiliation with CBS; first special, "Mitzi ... the First Time"

1978

Last variety special to date, "Mitzi ... What's Hot, What's Not"

1989

Played Reno Sweeney in national tour of "Anything Goes"

1992

Hosted "Comedy Classics" on the cable channel American Movie Classics (AMC)

Photo Collections

Les Girls - Publicity Stills
Here are several stills used to publicize Les Girls (1957), starring Gene Kelly, Mitzi Gaynor, Kay Kendall, and Taina Elg. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Joker is Wild - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The Joker is Wild (1957), starring Frank Sinatra. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Les Girls (1957) - I've Seen You Dance Auditioning in Paris, Joanne (Mitzi Gaynor) and Sybil (Kay Kendall) are snarky and sweet as their boss Barry (Gene Kelly) hires French Angele (Tania Elg) for their act, in the first flashback, in George Cukor's loose adaptation of Vera Caspary's Idiot's Delight, Les Girls, 1957.
Les Girls - Why Am I So Gone About That Gal? Gene Kelly goes all Brando, with Mitzi Gaynor, in the famous biker number, to Cole Porter's Why Am I So Gone About That Gal?, choreography by Jack Cole, in Les Girls, 1957.
South Pacific (1958) - Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair Mitzi Gaynor as nurse Ensign Nellie Forbush, created in James Michener’s WWII stories, first seen on Broadway (Mary Martin) and given voice by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, directed on stage and screen by Joshua Logan, with a song that was Martin’s idea, shooting in Hawaii, and Rossano Brazzi her subject, in South Pacific, 1958.
South Pacific (1958) - Cockeyed Optimist Not a mistake, the screen turns yellow-gold, in a technique director Joshua Logan disliked but didn't have time to fix, as Ensign Nellie Forbush (Mitzi Gaynor) sings Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cockeyed Optimist" for Emile (Rossano Brazzi) in South Pacific, 1958.
South Pacific (1958) - Nothing Like A Dame! Ray Walston (as "Luther") leads the chorus, with a drop-in by Mitzi Gaynor (as nurse "Nellie") in easily the beefiest number from South Pacific, 1958, Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Nothing Like A Dame."
South Pacific (1958) - Open, Rodgers And Hammerstein Following the overture but to similar effect, the opening credits from Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific, 1958, starring Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi, directed by Joshua Logan.
There's No Business Like Show Business - Heat Wave Still the most remembered number from a musical with many, Marilyn Monroe as "Vicki" with her provocative rendering of Irving Berlin's Heat Wave, staged by Robert Alton, from There's No Business Like Show Business, 1954.
For Love Or Money (1963) - You And Your Helpless Sisters With the second of three heiress sisters (Leslie Parrish) living in the same apartment building, lawyer Deke (Kirk Douglas) gets referred upstairs to the eldest and savviest Kate (Mitzi Gaynor), who makes clear they're not interested in their widowed mother's offer, in For Love Or Money, 1963.
Joker Is Wild, The (1957) - Heinz And The Tomato At a Miami engagement, hottie Martha (Mitzi Gaynor) emerges as a competitor to Letty (Jeanne Crain), who that moment gets an on-stage proposal from comic Joe E. Brown (Frank Sinatra), pal Austin (Eddie Albert) on piano, in Charles Vidor's flattering bio-pic, The Joker Is Wild, 1957.
Anything Goes (1956) - Title Song tbdScouting in London, Broadway star and producer Bill (Bing Crosby) tumbles to American Betsy (Mitzi Gaynor) in a saucy version of Cole Porter's famous song, staged by Ernie Flatt, in Anything Goes, 1956.
Anything Goes (1956) - You're The Top Musical partners Bill (Bing Crosby) and Ted (Donald O'Connor), on the way back to New York, trying to avoid telling Betsy (Mitzi Gaynor) and Gaby (Zizi Jeanmarie) they've been given the same part, with a witty staging of Cole Porter's song, in Anything Goes, 1956.

Trailer

Family

Henry Gerber
Father
Musical conductor, musician. Immigrated from Hungary; played cello;.
Pauline Fisher
Mother
Typist, former dancer. Had been protege of Albertina Rush.
Francine Woodbury
Aunt
Ballerina. Encouraged her niece's study of dance.

Companions

Jack Bean
Husband
Agent. Married in 1954.

Bibliography