Mitzi Gaynor

Performer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In her two-hour-plus Archive interview, performer Mitzi Gaynor talks about her early interest in dance and music. She recalls joining the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Company, getting signed by 20th Century Fox, and appearing in several hit films, including "My Blue Heaven" with Betty Grable, "Anything Goes" with Bing Crosby, and "Les Girls" with Gene Kelly. Gaynor also describes how she was cast as "Nellie Forbush" in the classic movie musical, "South Pacific." She recounts her memorable performances on several Academy Award show broadcasts, including singing "Georgy Girl" on The 1967 Academy Awards - the most heralded performance on an Oscar broadcast. She then details her many television specials, commenting on choreographers Peter Gennaro and Tony Charmoli, costume designer Bob Mackie and her husband/producer Jack Bean. She talks of her recent Emmy-winning PBS special, <i>Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years</i> and speaks fondly of her current managers, Rene Reyes and Shane Rosamonda. She describes her current projects, what it's like to still be on tour and how show business and television have changed over the years. John Dalton conducted the interview on October 9, 2012 in Beverly Hills, CA.

"Show business is my life, darling. Don't you understand?"

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Mitzi Gaynor on "South Pacific"
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the same night The Beatles were on
Mitzi Gaynor on singing "Georgy Girl" on The 1967 Academy Awards - the most heralded performance on an Oscar broadcast
Mitzi Gaynor on performing "I Can Cook, Too" on her television special Mitzi ... A Tribute to an American Housewife
Mitzi Gaynor on becoming a journalist for The Hollywood Reporter
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early years and influences; on her interest in dance and music; on joining the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Company
On getting signed by 20th Century Fox; on the film "My Blue Heaven" with Betty Grable
On her first time on television and her name change; on the 1954 Academy Awards; on co-starring with Ethel Merman and Marilyn Monroe in "There's No Business Like Show Business"
On her husband, Jack Bean; on working with Bing Crosby in "Anything Goes", with Gene Kelly in "Les Girls" and with Frank Sinatra on his variety show
On "South Pacific"; on appearing on The Jack Benny Hour; on singing "There's No Business Like Show Business" on the 1961 Academy Awards
On her show in Las Vegas; on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the same night The Beatles were on
On appearing on The Danny Thomas Show and meeting costume designers Bob Mackie and Ray Aghayan; on appearing on the 1967 Christmas episode of The Kraft Music Hall
On singing "Georgy Girl" on The 1967 Academy Awards - the most heralded performance on an Oscar broadcast

Chapter 2

On her first television special, Mitzi, in 1968; on her character, "The Kid" and working with directors, choreographers, and costume designer Bob Mackie
On not doing a television series, only specials; on her yearly television specials
On traveling for performances; on her fans' favorite sketches; on why her television specials ended
On appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson; on appearing in the stage version of "Anything Goes"; on becoming a journalist for The Hollywood Reporter; on her Emmy-winning PBS special, Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years and her managers

Chapter 3

On her current projects and touring; on how show business and television have changed over the years
On celebrity, career highlights, advice to aspiring performers, and how she'd like to be remembered
Shows

Academy Awards, The

View Show Page
Mitzi Gaynor on performing with Donald O'Connor on the 1954 Academy Awards
Mitzi Gaynor on singing "There's No Business Like Show Business" on the 1961 Academy Awards
Mitzi Gaynor on singing "Georgy Girl" on The 1967 Academy Awards - the most heralded performance on an Oscar broadcast
Mitzi Gaynor on how appearing on The Academy Awards changed over the years

Bob Hope Specials

View Show Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on a Bob Hope Special the night her own special aired

Danny Thomas Show, The aka Make Room for Daddy

View Show Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Danny Thomas Show and meeting Bob Mackie

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

View Show Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the same night The Beatles were on
Mitzi Gaynor on later appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show

Jack Benny Hour, The

View Show Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Jack Benny Hour

Kraft Music Hall, The

View Show Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on the 1967 Christmas episode of The Kraft Music Hall

Mitzi Gaynor Specials

View Show Page
Mitzi Gaynor on her first television special, Mitzi, in 1968
Mitzi Gaynor on singing the ballad "Blue" on her first television special
Mitzi Gaynor on her character, "The Kid"
Mitzi Gaynor on her persona on her television specials, selecting themes for her specials, and rehearsal
Mitzi Gaynor on producer/director Bob Henry
Mitzi Gaynor on her television special, Mitzi's 2nd Special
Mitzi Gaynor on her television special, Mitzi ... The First Time
Mitzi Gaynor on Mitzi ... A Tribute to an American Housewife with choreographer Tony Charmoli
Mitzi Gaynor on the audiences of her television specials
Mitzi Gaynor on her television special, Mitzi and a Hundred Guys
Mitzi Gaynor on her television special, Mitzi... Roarin' in the '20s
Mitzi Gaynor on her television special, Mitzi Zings Into Spring
Mitzi Gaynor on censor concerns over her television special, Mitzi's 2nd Special
Mitzi Gaynor on her final television special, Mitzi... What's Hot, What's Not and dealing with censors
Mitzi Gaynor on how her specials evolved over the years and the atmosphere and production on her specials
Mitzi Gaynor on dance moves that work for television and favorite sketches from her specials
Mitzi Gaynor on why her television specials ended

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

View Show Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In the night her own special aired

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

View Show Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

View Topic
Mitzi Gaynor on her final television special, Mitzi... What's Hot, What's Not and dealing with censors

Fame & Celebrity

View Topic
Mitzi Gaynor on how celebrity has affected her

Memorable Moments on Television

View Topic
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the same night The Beatles were on
Mitzi Gaynor on singing "Georgy Girl" on The 1967 Academy Awards - the most heralded performance on an Oscar broadcast
Mitzi Gaynor on performing "I Can Cook, Too" on her television special Mitzi ... A Tribute to an American Housewife

Pop Culture

View Topic
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the same night The Beatles were on

Rock 'n' Roll on TV (1950s & '60s)

View Topic
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the same night The Beatles were on

Television Industry

View Topic
Mitzi Gaynor on her final television special, Mitzi... What's Hot, What's Not and dealing with censors
Mitzi Gaynor on how show business and television have changed over the years
Mitzi Gaynor on how celebrity has affected her
Professions

Actress

View Profession
Mitzi Gaynor on joining the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Company and her first show

Performers

View Profession
Mitzi Gaynor on joining the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Company and her first show
Mitzi Gaynor on advice to aspiring television performers
Genres

Awards Shows

View Genre
Mitzi Gaynor on performing with Donald O'Connor on the 1954 Academy Awards
Mitzi Gaynor on singing "There's No Business Like Show Business" on the 1961 Academy Awards
Mitzi Gaynor on singing "Georgy Girl" on The 1967 Academy Awards - the most heralded performance on an Oscar broadcast

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the same night The Beatles were on
Mitzi Gaynor on her television specials
People

George Abbott

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on working with Bing Crosby in "Anything Goes"

Ray Aghayan

View Interview Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Danny Thomas Show and meeting costume designers Bob Mackie and Ray Aghayan

Beatles, The

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, the same night The Beatles were on

Jack Benny

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Jack Benny Hour

Ken Berry

View Interview Page
Mitzi Gaynor on working with Ken Berry on her television special Mitzi ... The First Time

Carol Burnett

View Interview Page
Mitzi Gaynor on Bob Mackie's designs for Carol Burnett

Tony Charmoli

View Interview Page
Mitzi Gaynor on Mitzi: A Tribute to an American Housewife with choreographer Tony Charmoli
Mitzi Gaynor on performing "I Can Cook, Too" on her television special Mitzi ... A Tribute to an American Housewife
Mitzi Gaynor on her television special, Mitzi and a Hundred Guys

Roy Clark

View Interview Page
Mitzi Gaynor on her television special, Mitzi Zings Into Spring

Bing Crosby

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on working with Bing Crosby in "Anything Goes"

Ernest Flatt

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on Ernie Flatt replacing Tony Charmoli on Your Hit Parade

Peter Gennaro

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on working with choreographer Peter Gennaro on her television specials
Mitzi Gaynor on working with choreographer Peter Gennaro on her television specials; on shooting her dance numbers

Phil Harris

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on working with announcer Phil Harris on her first television special

Bob Henry

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on producer/director Bob Henry, who directed her first television special

Bob Hope

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on show business advice from Bob Hope
Mitzi Gaynor on Bob Hope hosting The 1967 Academy Awards ceremony on which she sang "Georgy Girl"
Mitzi Gaynor on dancing with Bob Hope on one of her television specials

Gene Kelly

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on working with Gene Kelly in "Les Girls"

Bob Mackie

View Interview Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on The Danny Thomas Show and meeting costume designers Bob Mackie and Ray Aghayan
Mitzi Gaynor on working with costume designer Bob Mackie on her television specials
Mitzi Gaynor on working with costume designer Bob Mackie on her television specials
Mitzi Gaynor on wearing a see-through Bob Mackie gown on Mitzi's 2nd Special

Mary Martin

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on singing the songs for "South Pacific" in the same key as Mary Martin

Ross Martin

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on working with Ross Martin on Mitzi's 2nd Special

Ethel Merman

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on performing with Ethel Merman in "There's No Business Like Show Business"

Marilyn Monroe

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on co-starring with Marilyn Monroe in "There's No Business Like Show Business"

Donald O'Connor

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on performing with Donald O'Connor on the 1954 Academy Awards
Mitzi Gaynor on performing with Donald O'Connor on his television show

Carl Reiner

View Interview Page
Mitzi Gaynor on dancing and doing comedy sketches with Carl Reiner on her television special, Mitzi... Roarin' in the '20s

Frank Sinatra

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on appearing on Frank Sinatra's variety show

Darryl F. Zanuck

View Person Page
Mitzi Gaynor on Darryl Zanuck grooming her to become a star

All Interviews

Q
S