Robert Osborne comments on Nelson's & Jeanette's Relationship! maceddy Jeanette & Nelson Sweethearts book It would be virtually impossible to salute Jeanette MacDonald without her perennial singing partner Nelson. Jeanette MacDonald's and Nelson Eddy's Scandalous Biography Hits gave very damning proof of her intimate relationship with Nelson Eddy. Read about MacDonald's four pregnancies by Eddy, her relationship with studio Despite all the high drama, Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy had a.
As Nelson wrote Jeanette in a letter: They self-destructed their film careers and both were beaten down mentally and physically due to the necessity to publicly hide their true feelings.
Some of the revelations in the new "Sweethearts" include: Details of Nelson's WWII spy work The sex, name and burial location of Jeanette's premature child with Nelson Her futile other attempts to have a baby with Nelson The back stories behind the filming of their movie classics, their celebrity friends, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Frank Morgan, director Woody Van Dyke, and the workings of the studio system in the s. Mayer hated Nelson Additional important photos, documentation and letters.
Jeanette's admittance of an early heart attack at age Who was sleeping with whom on Jeanette's honeymoon Why they married other people Jeanette's suicide attempt at the news of Nelson's marriage Their New Age spiritual search, telepathy and belief that they were twin flames and that their love was timeless, enduring beyond a single lifetime The blackmail, threats and compromising photos that kept them from obtaining divorces How they sang special songs and rewritten lyrics on the radio, TV and in concerts to send private messages to each other.
The unconscionable neglect surrounding Jeanette's final days Several shockers at both their funerals The author is always looking to hear from anyone who has more information to share about MacDonald or Eddy.
'America's Sweethearts' - or were they? ⋆ Historian Alan Royle
But first they did their own background research on the story. The investigator they used did verify the MacDonald-Eddy romance and also located a woman in Brooklyn with a letter to sell.
Hand-written by Jeanette MacDonald to someone she'd known in her youth, it gave very damning proof of her intimate relationship with Nelson Eddy. I was never shown the letter but was told by the reporter that in it, Jeanette claimed that the only reason she was still alive ie, had not taken her own life was because of her continuing love affair with Nelson. Obviously the woman has passed on but possibly her family still has the letter in their possession.
The author interviewed friends, family and co-workers, had access to hundreds of letters and eyewitness accounts, love letters, diary entries and the unpublished memoirs of both MacDonald and Nelson's mother, Isabel Eddy and Nelson's personal scrapbooks.
The following year, MacDonald starred in two of the highest-grossing films of that year. In Rose-MarieMacDonald played a haughty opera diva who learns her kid brother James Stewart has killed a Mountie and is hiding in the northern woods; Eddy is the Mountie sent to capture him. Eddy's definitive portrayal of the steadfast Mountie became a popular icon.
When the Canadian Mounties temporarily retired their distinctive hat inphotos of Eddy in his Rose Marie uniform appeared in thousands of U. San Francisco was also directed by W. In this tale of the San Francisco earthquakeMacDonald played a hopeful opera singer opposite Clark Gable as the he-man proprietor of a Barbary Coast gambling joint, and Spencer Tracy as his boyhood chum who has become a priest and gives the moral messages.
After Thalberg's untimely death in September, the production was shut down and the half-finished film was scrapped. A new script was filmed with a different storyline and supporting actors including John Barrymore. The 'second' Maytimewas the top-grossing film worldwide of the year and is regarded as one of the best film musicals of the s.
Rudolf Friml's stage score was borrowed and a new song, "The Donkey Serenade", added. With real-life Americans rushing to fight in the ongoing revolution in Spain, this historical vehicle was constructed around a previous revolution in Napoleonic times.
MacDonald's co-star was Allan Jones. The MacDonald-Eddy team had split after MacDonald's engagement and marriage to Gene Raymondbut neither of their solo films grossed as much as the team films, and by the fall ofMGM was barraged with outraged fan mail. The film had an original score by Sigmund Romberg and reused the popular David Belasco stage plot also employed by opera composer Giacomo Puccini for La fanciulla del West.
Eddy and MacDonald from the trailer for Sweethearts Mayer had promised MacDonald the studio's first Technicolor feature and he delivered with Sweetheartsco-starring Eddy.
In contrast to the previous film, the co-stars were relaxed onscreen and singing frequently together.
‘America’s Sweethearts’ – or were they?
This box office smash hit integrated Victor Herbert 's stage score into a modern backstage story scripted by Dorothy Parker. MacDonald and Eddy played a husband and wife Broadway musical comedy team who are offered a Hollywood contract. After MacDonald suffered a miscarriage during the filming of Sweethearts,  Mayer dropped plans for the team to co-star in Let Freedom Ringa vehicle first announced for them in Kildare co-starred in Broadway Serenade They played a contemporary musical couple who clash when her career flourishes while his flounders.
Eddy starred in Balalaika while MacDonald's manager was summoned from London to help her renegotiate. New Moon proved to be one of MacDonald's more popular films. Smilin' Through was MacDonald's next Technicolor project. This stage play had been filmed a number of times.
MacDonald played a dual role—Moonyean, a Victorian girl accidentally murdered by a jealous lover, and Kathleen, her niece, who falls in love with the son of the murderer. The script by Anita Loos suffered serious censorship cuts during filming that made the result less successful. MacDonald sang "Spring Is Here" and the title song.
It was the final film made by the team of MacDonald and Eddy. After a falling-out with Mayer, Eddy bought his MGM contract with one film left to make and went to Universal, where he signed a million-dollar, two-picture deal.
Within one year, beginning inL. Of those four stars, MacDonald was the only one whom Mr. Mayer would rehire, done in Later career[ edit ] MacDonald followed Eddy to Universal, where they were scheduled to make one film together after he finished Phantom of the Opera MacDonald marked time by appearing as herself in Follow the Boysan all-star extravaganza about Hollywood stars entertaining the troops. The more than 40 guest stars included Marlene DietrichW.
FieldsSophie Tuckerand Orson Welles. After MacDonald and Eddy left MGM inthey appeared frequently on radio together while planning several unrealized films that would have reunited them onscreen.
Eddy was upset at how his first film turned out at Universal, so their joint project at that studio fell through. They next sought independent financing for team projects like East Wind and Crescent Carnival, a book optioned by MacDonald.Christmas 1935 Love Letter From Nelson Eddy to Jeanette MacDonald
InEddy pulled out of yet another proposed team film to be made in England when he learned MacDonald was investing her own funds. He had invested in 's Knickerbocker Holidayand had lost money. Todd, and Elinor Donahue keep trying to get her back with her ex, but she has secretly remarried.
MacDonald played a widow who has lost her son, but warms to orphan Claude Jarman Jr. It was her final film. They declined, and the roles were played by Arlene Francis and Edward Andrews. It never moved beyond the discussion stages partly because of MacDonald's failing health. An annual poll of film exhibitors listed MacDonald as one of the top box-office draws of and many of her films were among the top moneymakers of the years they were released.
Concerts[ edit ] Starting in and continuing through the s, MacDonald did regular concert tours between films. Her first European tour was inwhere she sang in both France and England. Her first American concert tour was inimmediately after the completion of Broadway Serenade and Nelson Eddy's marriage. MacDonald performed at the Mayo Civic Auditorium in Rochester Minnesotaon April 19,to open that venue before an audience that included both of the Mayo Brothers.
They both died just months later. After that, like Eddy, she did frequent U. She sang several times at the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall. Rooseveltwho considered MacDonald and Eddy two of his favorite film stars, awarded her a medal. She also did command performances at the White House for both presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D.
However, health problems forced her to cancel her appearance. By the summer ofMacDonald was seriously ill and her autobiography collaborator, Fredda Dudley Balling, wrote that whether she would live long enough to finish the book was uncertain. She also did some early recordings for HMV in England and France while she was there on a concert tour in She began training for this goal with Lotte Lehmannone of the leading opera stars of the early 20th century.
I had the surprise of my life. There couldn't have been a more diligent, a more serious, a more pliable person than Jeanette. The lessons which I had started with a kind of suspicious curiosity, turned out to be sheer delight for me. She studied Marguerite with me—and lieder. These were the ones which astounded me most. I am quite sure that Jeanette would have developed into a serious and successful lieder singer if time would have allowed it.
Claudia Cassidy, the music critic of the Chicago Tribune wrote: You felt if Faust must sell his soul to the devil, at least this time he got his money's worth. She was on the Academy Awards ceremony broadcast in However, the time demands of doing a weekly live radio show while filming, touring in concerts, and making records proved enormously difficult, and after fainting on-air during one show, she decided not to renew her radio contract with Vicks at the end of the week season.
Thereafter, she stuck to guest appearances.
MacDonald appeared in condensed radio versions of many of her films on programs such as Cecil B. Eisenhower, broadcast on both radio and TV.
He was also a surprise guest when she hosted a war bonds program called Guest Star, and they sang on other World War II victory shows together. The majority of her radio work in the mid to late s was with Eddy. Her Hollywood Bowl concert was also broadcast over the air, in which she used Eddy's longtime accompanist, Theodore Paxson. MacDonald appeared on early TV, most frequently as a singing guest star. She sang on The Voice of Firestone on November 13, Nelson Eddy appeared as a voice from her past, singing the song he sang at her wedding to Gene Raymond.
His surprise appearance brought her to tears. Shortly thereafter, she appeared as the mystery guest on the December 21,episode of What's My Line? After the panelists guessed her identity, she told John Daly she was in New York for the holidays. She also said that on January 16,she was going to have a recital at Carnegie Hall.
On February 2,MacDonald starred in Prima Donna, a television pilot for her own series, written for her by her husband, Gene Raymond. The initial show featured guest stars Leo Durocher and Larraine Day, but it failed to find a slot.
She did extensive free concerts for the military through the U. O, and after each of her regular "civilian" concert, she would auction off encores and donated the money to wartime charities. She was surprised to find that the song she was most often asked to sing was "Ave Maria".
On one occasion, at the request of Lt. Ronald Reaganshe was singing for a large group of men in San Francisco who were due to ship out to the fierce fighting in the South Pacific. She closed with " The Battle Hymn of the Republic ", and 20, voices spontaneously joined in. While performing there, she collapsed. Officially, it was announced as heat prostration, but in fact it was a heart seizure.