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Dolores Gray

Dolores Gray

Although the role of "Frenchy" in 1959's "Destry Rides Again" was one of Gray's greatest successes on Broadway, it was an experience she always recalled with mixed emotions. Always a total professional, she was constantly at odds with perfectionist director/choreographer Michael Kidd. This tumultuous relationship reached its peak when an angry Kidd called Gray a "slut" in front of the entire company. Gray, a life-long devout Catholic, slapped his face. When asked to step in, producer David Merrick said, "you couldn't buy this kind of publicity. Let them fight it out". As to co-star Andy Griffith, the most Gray would say was that he wasn't very pleasant to her.

Dolores Gray sang Marilyn Monroe's parts on the Decca Records soundtrack release of There's No Business Like Show Business (1954). Monroe's recorded voice was under contract with RCA Victor who would not issue a release, so Gray's voice was used.

During a 1959 performance of the Broadway musical "Destry Rides Again", in which Gray starred opposite Andy Griffith, a fire broke out backstage at the Imperial Theater. Although it was put out within a few minutes time, without any major damage, just enough smoke drifted toward the stage that there could have been a panic had not Griffith and Gray continued on with the scene as though nothing was happening. For their bravery, they were rewarded by the audience that night with a standing ovation and by the New York City Fire Comissioner with citations for heroism.

Her signature song was "Here's That Rainy Day", which she introduced on Broadway in her Tony-winning "Carnival of Flanders" in 1954.

Performed all her life with a bullet lodged in her left lung, an inoperable wound suffered as a child accidentally caught in a gang crossfire in Chiacgo.



She stayed with "Annie Get Your Gun" for nearly three years in London and played to over 2.5 million people, including the Royal Family.

Understudy to Ethel Merman on Broadway.

Won Broadway's 1954 Tony Award as Best Actress (Musical) for "Carnival in Flanders." She was also nominated in the same category in 1960 for "Destry Rides Again."


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