She Sings in Movies

She Sings in Movies
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Marni Nixon, the uncredited singing voice for Hollywood stars whose singing skills did not match their acting skills, died at age 86 in July. As we now know, her singing was heard in movies including The King and I (Deborah Kerr), West Side Story (Natalie Wood) and My Fair Lady (Audrey Hepburn). Certain stars did, however, sing in the movies in which they also acted. Match the woman with her accomplishment:

____ 1. Her breakout performance was in the Hollywood musical film Stormy Weather.

____ 2. The first woman to win an Oscar for music composition.

____ 3. The first person to have won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy.

____ 4. She appeared in her first films at age three and later served as a U.S. Ambassador.

____ 5. Best known for her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, she was the first woman to receive a Grammy for Album of the Year.

  1. Shirley Temple Black
  2. Lena Horne
  3. Judy Garland
  4. Rita Moreno
  5. Barbra Streisand

Shirley Temple Black began dancing when she was three years old. She was discovered at the dance studio in 1931 and appeared in her first films. Her first major film was released in 1934 filmed when she was five years old – Stand Up and Cheer – in which she acted and danced. Also in 1934, Bright Eyes was released which contained her signature song On the Good Ship Lollipop. These years were during the Great Depression, and Black’s films were said to have generated hope and optimism during a very dark period in our country’s history. Over her 30-year career, Black appeared in 14 short films, 43 feature films, and 25 storybook movies. Later in her life, Black served as a U.S. Ambassador and represented the U.S. at the UN. Her many honors included a Juvenile Academy Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors.

A singer, dancer, actor and civil rights activist, Lena Horne’s career spanned more than 70 years. Horne began singing as a member of the chorus line at The Cotton Club in Harlem (in New York City) when she was 16. Her first records were issued by Decca. After being featured in Life magazine in 1943, Horne became the highest paid African-American entertainer of the time. Her breakout role was in the musical film Stormy Weather released in 1943. During the McCarthy era, she was blacklisted and unable to get work due to her political activism. She later performed in nightclubs and on television and in more than 300 performances on Broadway in a one-woman show. Her many honors included multiple Grammy awards and the Kennedy Center Honors.

Judy Garland rocketed to fame with her portrayal as Dorothy in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. She had previously performed in vaudeville with her sisters (the Gumm Sisters) and signed with MGM as a teenager. Garland made more than two dozen films and was the first woman to receive a Grammy award for Album of the Year. She won a Juvenile Academy Award for her role as Dorothy and was later nominated twice for Academy Awards. She also appeared at Carnegie Hall, on radio and on television.

Like Lena Horne, Rita Moreno’s career has spanned more than 70 years. The very first person (and one of very few) to have won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy, she performed in her first movie at age 11. Shortly before her fourteenth birthday, she received star billing in her Broadway debut. Featured on the cover of Life magazine in 1954, Moreno was concerned about the lack of suitable roles for someone like herself who was Hispanic. She was cast and received an Oscar for her role as Anita in the 1961 film West Side Story. Moreno is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Kennedy Center Honors.

Over her sixty-year career, Barbra Streisand has sung, written songs, acted, directed and produced films and received many awards in the process. Like Rita Moreno, she has won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy. Streisand began her career as a singer and moved to film by the end of the 1960s. She received an Oscar for her role in Funny Girl and then became the first woman to receive an Oscar for composing Evergreen for the movie A Star is Born. Streisand, who has sold more than 145 million record albums worldwide, has received many honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts, and the Kennedy Center Honors.

Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women. These Hollywood actors and singers are among the more than 850 women profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. I am proud to tell their stories and help write them back into history.

(Answers 1-B, 2-E, 3-D, 4-A, 5-C)

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