Vivian Blaine (Vivian Blaine)

Vivian  Blaine

Actress and Singer. Best remembered as ‘Miss Adelaide,’ the young woman with a heart of gold in the 1955 Musical “Guys and Dolls,” opposite Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, and Jean Simmons. Vivian Blaine worked in every aspect of show business from movies to nightclubs. She was already an accomplished nightclub performer and band singer by the time 20th Century-Fox signed her to a contract in 1942. Her soon to be husband and manager Manny Franks made her lose 40 pounds before she could make her film debut. She lost the weight and made her debut in the 1942 film “Thru Different Eyes.” The same year she made “Girl Trouble.” Both films did nothing to further her career. Laurel and Hardy helped her make a name for herself in the duo’s 1943 film “Jitterbugs.” Vivian was the only person ever to share top billing with the two. Still not happy with her career, Vivian wanted out of her contract. She wanted to be a star and the films she was given did nothing to fulfill her dream. She finally got the kind of roles she wanted when she was cast in the musical’s “Greenwich Village” in 1944, and “State Fair,” opposite Jeanne Crain, in 1945. 1945 also became the year she would make the most movies of her career. Her films of that year were “Doll Face” (for which she got her first solo top-billing role), “nob Hill,” and “Three Little Girls in Blue.” In 1946 she made “If I’m Lucky.” She returned to stage work touring in various musicals and in vaudeville acts before making her Broadway debut in “Guys and Dolls” in 1950. In 1952 she starred opposite Esther Williams in the musical, “Skirts Ahoy!” It was 1955 and the film version “Guys and Dolls” that was the highlight of her career. ‘Miss Adelaide’ was the long-suffering, engaged chorus girlfriend of Sinatra’s ‘Nathan Detroit.’ She has a memorable performance in the film with the song “Adelaide’s Lament.” After “Dolls” she replaced Shelly Winters in the dramatic Broadway play “A Hat Full of Rain.” On stage she starred in many national tours including ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ ‘Don’t Drink the Water,’ ‘Hello Dolly,’ and ‘Gypsy.’ She divorced her first husband in 1956. In 1959 she married Milton Rackmil. With her second marriage, Vivian decided to retire from the stage and screen, but cut various Mercury records during this time including: “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Pal Joey,” “The Great White Way” and “Vivian Blaine Live in Hollywood.” After their divorce in 1961, she made work on the stage and appears in a number of low budget Science Fiction films like: “Richard” (1972), “The Dark” (1978), “Parasite” (1982), and “I’m Going to Be Famous” (1983). She took her final husband, electrician Stewart Clark, in 1973. She would work on stage, until her retirement in 1984. When she was last seen on a screen, it would be television in a classic episode of “Murder, She Wrote,” in 1985, Playing ‘Rita Bristol’ an aging former star, trying to make a comeback. She had her own last comeback in “Zorba” with Anthony Quinn in the mid-1980s.

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Born

  • November, 21, 1921
  • USA
  • New Jersey

Died

  • December, 09, 1995
  • USA
  • New York

Cemetery

  • Kensico Cemetery
  • New York
  • USA

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