Emmy® winning and Golden Globe® nominated actress and musical performer, MITZI GAYNOR, began her decades-spanning career at the age of thirteen in the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera as a featured performer in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia productions of Songs Without Words, Naughty Marietta, Roberta, Jollyana and The Great Waltz and appeared on Broadway in the New Century Theatre production of Gypsy Lady. She transitioned from stage to screen at age nineteen with her first film role opposite Betty Grable in the 20th Century Fox film My Blue Heaven. She starred in some of the most revered musicals of Hollywood’s “Golden Age” including Golden Girl, The I Don’t Care Girl, There’s No Business Like Show Business (with Ethel Merman and Marilyn Monroe), Anything Goes (with Bing Crosby and Donald O’Connor), Les Girls (with Gene Kelly), The Joker is Wild (with Frank Sinatra) and most notably as Ensign Nellie Forbush in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific for which she received a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Actress.
She dominated television for a decade with her own annual blockbuster rated network variety specials such as Mitzi…and 100 Guys (1975), Mitzi…Zings Into Spring (1977) and Mitzi…Roarin’ in the 20’s (1976), earning a total of seventeen Emmy® Award nominations and six Emmy® Award wins. These specials were recently celebrated in the musical documentary Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years, which aired nationwide on public television and was honored with the 2010 NATAS Emmy® Award for Outstanding Entertainment Special.
Mitzi first took the concert world by storm in 1961 at Las Vegas’ fabulous Flamingo Hotel. Her debut broke all box office records and was met with overwhelming acclaim – Life Magazine noted “Gaynor started at the top and climbed even higher”, The Los Angeles Times called her “The nation’s number one female song and dance star” – and for the next five decades she continued to dominate stages across the US and Canada. She is currently sharing her fabled brand of showmanship in her new one-woman show Razzle Dazzle: My Life Behind the Sequins.
She recently received the International Press Academy’s 2011 Mary Pickford Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Entertainment Industry. In March 2012, as president of the Professional Dancers Society, she hosted a star-studded tribute to Dame Julie Andrews and is also featured in the recent PBS special Oscar Hammerstein: Out of My Dreams, a celebration of the most acclaimed lyricist and librettist of the 20th century hosted by Matthew Morrison.
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