Born in the Astoria section of Queens, New York City, Ethel Merman surely is the pre-eminent star of ‘Broadway’ musical comedy. Though untrained in singing, she could belt out a song like quite no one else, and was sought after by major songwriters such as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Having debuted in 1930 in “Girl Crazy, ” she is yet remembered for her marvelous starring appearances in so many great musicals that were later adapted to the silver screen. Among the film versions, Merman herself starred in Anything Goes (1936) and Call Me Madam (1953). That wonderfully boisterous blonde, Betty Hutton, had the Merman lead in both Red, Hot and Blue (1949) and Annie Get Your Gun (1950). Besides Betty Hutton, other Merman screen stand-in roles include Lucille Ball, (in Du Barry Was a Lady (1943)), Ann Sothern, (in Panama Hattie (1942)), Vivian Blaine (in Something for the Boys (1944)) and Rosalind Russell (in Gypsy (1962)). (Russell could never render Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne’s “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” the way the immortal Merman did, over and over again.) Ethel Merman’s lifetime facts: her dare of birth, was on Thursday, January 16th, 1908 & her life expired on Wednesday, February 15th, 1984. Thursday, January 16th, 1908 & Wednesday, February 15th, 1984, differ 27,789 days, equaling 3,969 weeks & 6 days.
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