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Dubbed By Marni Nixon
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Marni Nixon Profile

Marni Nixon's supple soprano, versatility and willingness to submerge her vocal personality in the service of others has made her the perfect singer for dubbing film actresses who are not up to the demands of musical roles. She has often been called "The Voice of Hollywood."

Three of Nixon's most famous "ghosting" assignments included her providing the singing voice of Deborah Kerr in The King and I (1956), Natalie Wood (and occasionally Rita Moreno) in West Side Story (1961) and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964). Nixon's special gift is her ability to blend her own voice with that of the featured actress -- as she did in The King and I by hitting just the high notes for Kerr, who did some of her own singing.

For many years Nixon's contributions were anonymous, and it has been since the advent of VHS tapes and DVDs that audiences have become more familiar with her name. She dubbed Kerr again in An Affair to Remember (1957) and also has sung in films for Margaret O'Brien, Janet Leigh and Marilyn Monroe, for whom she hit a few high notes in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). Nixon finally made her screen debut as Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music (1965), playing one of the singing nuns.

Nixon was born Margaret Nixon McEathron in Altadena, Calif., in 1930. In her own right she has enjoyed a distinguished stage career in musical comedy, opera, concerts and television. Among the orchestras with which she has performed are the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic. She also has taught at the California Institute of Arts and the Music Academy of the West, Santa Barbara.

by Roger Fristoe
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