Ethel Merman Known primarily for her belting voice and roles in musical theatre

Ethel Merman January 16, 1908 – February 15, 1984 was an American actress and singer. Known primarily for her belting voice and roles in musical theatre, she has been called "the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage." Among the many standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals are "I Got Rhythm", "Everything's Coming Up Roses", "Some People", "Rose's Turn", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "It's De-Lovely", "Friendship", "You're the Top", "Anything Goes", and "There's No Business Like Show Business", which later became her theme song. Merman began to become forgetful with advancing age, and on occasion had difficulty with her speech. At times her behavior was erratic, causing concern among her friends. On April 7, 1983, she was preparing to leave for Los Angeles to appear on the 55th Academy Awards telecast, when she collapsed in her apartment. She was diagnosed with glioblastoma and underwent brain surgery to have the malignant tumor removed. Early on the morning of February 15, 1984, Merman died in her sleep. Her private funeral service was held in a chapel at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, where she had frequently worshipped. On October 10, 1984, an auction of her personal effects, including furniture, artwork, and theatre memorabilia, earned in excess of $120,000 at Christie's East. The 56th Academy Awards, held on April 2, 1984, ended with a performance of "There's No Business Like Show Business" in tribute to Merman.

Gallery for singing vixen Ethel Merman

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