Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Kathryn Grayson (born February 9, 1922) is an American actress and singer who was born Zelma Kathryn Hedrick. She married twice, first to actor John Shelton, second to actor/singer Johnnie Johnston. She has one daughter. Throughout the 1950's, had an affair with Howard Hughes and was briefly engaged to him.
One of the most controversial sopranos with a high, if painfully aspirated, coloratura, Miss Grayson seems to have few admirers in the world of professional vocalists. Though she started out MGM's answer to Deanna Durbin, she proved herself a decent actress in 1953's Kiss Me, Kate and acquitted herself for her sadly shallow and vapid Magnolia in the 1951 film Show Boat. With the end of MGM's great era of musicals, so ended Miss Grayson's film career. She took over for Julie Andrews on Broadway in Camelot, but seems to have done badly in the part. Although she had a lifelong dream of being an opera star, she never had much success with it, appearing in only a small handful of operas in the 60s. Despite being overshadowed these days by MGM contemporaries such as Jane Powell, Ann Miller, Cyd Charisse, Esther Williams and Ann Blyth, Miss Grayson (and her ample figure) seems to have gained cult status among a small, but wildly devoted, crowd of fans.
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