5 Things You May Not Know about Kathryn Grayson


5 Things You May Not Know about Kathryn Grayson 

Kathyrn Grayson portrait

 Like that today, February 9th, 2017, would have been her 95th birthday!


1.) She owes her singing Career to a Janitor

Kathyrn Grayson 1I just really want to draw your attention to those snake skin wedges…glorious.

When Grayson was a pre-teen, her family moved from North Carolina to the Midwest. One day a janitor heard her singing on the empty stage of the St. Louis Municipal Opera House.  He then introduced little Grayson to Frances Marshall of the Chicago Civic Opera, who trained the twelve year old in the art of Opera.


2.) The Opera or the Sound Stage?

Kathyrn Grayson 2Judging by this picture, I’d say she choose the soundstage

When Grayson signed a contract with MGM, she was on the cusp of making her operatic debut in Lucia at the Metropolitan Opera House. Louie B. Mayer, however, soon talked the impressionable teen out of it, knowing it would hurt her image as a film star. It would take two decades before the singer finally made her way to the Opera stage.


3.) 18 Months to Show time

Kathyrn Grayson 3Kathryn Grayson with Mickey Rooney and Ann Rutherford in her film debut Andy Hardy and his Private Secretary (1941, director George B. Seitz)

Despite MGM’s eagerness to sign the still teenaged Grayson to their roster, they weren’t keen on filming her. MGM wanted their latest asset at her best before being seen on the big screen and Grayson’s first 18 months at MGM consisted of voice and drama lessons, diction, diets, and exercise.


4.) Dreams Never Die

Kathyrn Grayson 4Grayson and Jane Powell, just doing some opera things.

Although Grayson’s first love was Opera, she spent the first two decades of her career in the movie business. But Grayson never forgot her dreams of the Operatic stage and in 1960 she finally made her Opera debut in the classic Madama Butterfly.

5.) Never Too Old to Try

OlderIf she can do it, so can you!

At the age 60 and nearly a lifetime in the business, Grayson decided to try something new: not singing.  That’s right; in 1982 she made her non-sing dramatic stage debut in Night Watch. So let that be a lesson: you’re never too old to try something new.


Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub

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2 Responses to 5 Things You May Not Know about Kathryn Grayson

  1. Thanks. I did not know those things.

    On three episodes of Murder, She Wrote as Cabot Cove widow Ideal Molloy (love that name!) Kathryn really showed strong comedic chops that weren’t utilized by MGM during her movie career. Ah, for all the greatness of her music -what could have been!

  2. Kay Hall says:

    I always enjoyed watching and listening to the young, beautiful singers when I was growing up. They were so talented.

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