Hollywood is in mourning this week after legendary singer Marni Nixon passed away on Sunday following a battle with breast cancer. She was 86 years-old.
According to The New York Times, Nixon was known for secretly providing the singing voices for numerous stars in classic Hollywood musicals. Nixon dubbed Deborah Kerr in The King and I, Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, as well as many others.
“You always had to sign a contract that nothing would be revealed,” Ms. Nixon told ABC News in 2007. “Twentieth Century Fox, when I did ‘The King and I,’ threatened me.” She continued, “They said, if anybody ever knows that you did any part of the dubbing for Deborah Kerr, we’ll see to it that you don’t work in town again.”
Over time, it began to bother Nixon that she was never receiving credit for her work.
“The anonymity didn’t bother me until I sang Natalie Wood’s songs in ‘West Side Story,’ ” Ms. Nixon told The Times in 1967. “Then I saw how important my singing was to the picture. I was giving my talent, and somebody else was taking the credit.”
A trained concert singer, Nixon’s career on the stage spanned for decades. In the last few years, she has finally been recognized for the role she played in classic Hollywood films.
Rest in peace, Marnie Nixon!