Do you know the name Marni Nixon? You know the voice. And you should know the name.

And that’s the whole point. We all have our heroes, and she’s one of mine. I’d always been fascinated with her career, having read her 2006 memoir, I Could Have Sung All Night: My Story, years ago. I devoured it, amazed at how she dubbed Audrey Hepburn singing in “My Fair Lady”, Natalie Wood in “West Side Story” (“I Feel Pretty”), and WAY more.

Marni Nixon led the way in dubbing, when those who dubbed were not ever credited. She was a singer, one who led the way in crediting talent. A ghost singer, she was called.

According to a New York Times article in 2016, published when she passed…”Her increasing renown helped bring her spectral trade into the light and encouraged her to push for official recognition. “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.

Dubbing isn’t easy, if it’s done well. While I’m not singing, instead speaking (sometimes crying, screaming, yelling…) my voice dubbing, I couldn’t agree more with what she told the The New York Journal-American in 1964, “It’s fascinating, getting inside the actresses you’re singing for…You have to know how they feel, as well as how they talk, in order to sing as they would sing — if they could sing.”

To dub is to become the character vocally on the screen, entirely, so that character sounds 100% authentic. That takes work, and such work should be and now is credited.

I thank Marni Nixon with all my heart for paving the way and recommend this wonderful story on her life by CBS Sunday Morning. Enjoy!!!

BONUS INFO: Marni’s son is Andrew Gold, who’s hit “Thank You For Being a Friend“, is my cell phone ring tone. ‘Cause…Golden Girls. Of course!

Thank YOU, Marni and son. 🙂

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