Emmy® winning and Golden Globe® nominated actress, comedienne and musical performer, MITZI GAYNOR, made her motion picture debut alongside Betty Grable in the 20th Century Fox film production My Blue Heaven and went on to dazzle audiences in some of the most revered musicals of Hollywood’s “Golden Age” including There’s No Business Like Show Business with Ethel Merman and Marilyn Monroe, Anything Goes with Bing Crosby and Donald O’Connor, Les Girls with Gene Kelly, and most notably as “Ensign Nellie Forbush” in the blockbuster film adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress.
The platinum-selling South Pacific soundtrack, featuring Gaynor’s vocals on classics “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” and “A Wonderful Guy,” has never gone out of print and ranks as the fourth album of all time to spend the most weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart (31 weeks).
Gaynor continued her film career starring opposite Frank Sinatra in The Joker is Wild, David Niven and Carl Reiner in Happy Anniversary (1959); followed by Stanley Donen’s Surprise Package with Yul Brynner & Noel Coward; and the comedy For Love or Money with Kirk Douglas, Gig Young and Thelma Ritter.
Her fabled Las Vegas debut in 1961 established her as one of the nation’s top live performers. In an era when male entertainers including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Liberace dominated Las Vegas showrooms, Gaynor’s success broke the entertainment mecca’s pay barrier for women as she became the city’s highest paid female entertainer and the second highest paid headliner of the time, male or female. She was the first female performer ever to be awarded the Las Vegas Governor’s Trophy for Star Entertainer of the Year. Her critically acclaimed annual concert tours visited theatres and concert halls across North America for six decades.
Concurrent with her film & concert career, her innovative annual television specials, including Mitzi…and 100 Guys, and Mitzi…Roarin’ in the 20’s, garnered 17 Emmy nominations, winning 6 awards. The specials were celebrated in the PBS musical documentary, Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years, featuring clips and commentary from Gaynor herself, along with Carl Reiner, Tony winners Bob Mackie, Kristin Chenoweth and Kelli O’Hara, and famed director/choreographer Tony Charmoli, amongst others. The documentary earned Gaynor her own Emmy Award® for Outstanding Entertainment Special.
She was recently inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame by Michael Feinstein. For her contributions to dance she received the inaugural 2016 Dizzy Feet Foundation “Legend Award” from Adam Shankman and Nigel Lythgoe, and the Nevada Ballet’s “Woman of the Year” award.
Gaynor continues to share her dazzling brand of showmanship with audiences the world over in her acclaimed stage & concert performances. In reviewing her most recent show, The New York Times called her “an all-time great,” and Rex Reed of The New York Observer noted, “Glamorous, Colossal and one of a kind, Mitzi Gaynor is the real deal.”