Ethel Merman Headshot

Ethel Merman

Also Credited As: Ethel Agnes Zimmermann

Date of Death: February 15, 1984 (76)

Birth Place: Astoria, NY, USA

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Ethel Merman BIO

She has been called "the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage". Over her distinguished career in theater she became known for her performances in shows such as Anything Goes, Annie Get Your Gun, Gypsy, and Hello, Dolly!

She is also known for her film roles in Anything Goes (1936), Call Me Madam (1953), There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). Among many accolades, she received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Call Me Madam, a Grammy Award for Gypsy and Drama Desk Award for Hello, Dolly!

Among the many standards introduced by Merman in Broadway musicals are "I Got Rhythm" (from Girl Crazy); "Everything's Coming Up Roses", "Some People", and "Rose's Turn" (from Gypsy—Merman starred as Rose in the original 1959 Broadway production); and the Cole Porter songs "It's De-Lovely" (from Red, Hot and Blue), "Friendship" (from Du Barry Was a Lady), and "I Get a Kick Out of You", "You're the Top", and "Anything Goes" (from Anything Goes). The Irving Berlin song "There's No Business Like Show Business", written for the musical Annie Get Your Gun, became Merman's signature song.

Ethel Merman Photos



Return Engagement [Broadway], 1966
Annie Oakley

Lincoln Center Revival, 1966
Annie Oakley

Original Broadway Production, 1964
Mrs. Dolly Gallagher Levi [Replacement]

[US Tour]
1st National Tour, 1961

Original Broadway Production, 1959

Original Broadway Production, 1956
Liz Livingstone

Original Broadway Production, 1950
Mrs. Sally Adams

Original Broadway Production, 1946
Annie Oakley

Original Broadway Production, 1944
Sadie Thompson [Replacement]

Original Broadway Production, 1943
Blossom Hart

Original Broadway Production, 1940
Hattie Maloney

Hattie Maloney

Original Broadway Production, 1939
May Daly / Mme. La Comtesse du Barry

May Daly

Mme. La Comtesse du Barry

Original Broadway Production, 1939
Jeanette Adair

Original Broadway Production, 1936
"Nails" O'Reilly Duquesne

Nails O'Reilly Duquesne

Original Broadway Production, 1934
Reno Sweeney

Original Broadway Production, 1932
Wanda Brill

Wanda Brill

Lora (Blackmail)</i>

The Queen (Eadie)</i>


The Queen


Original Broadway Production, 1930
Kate Fothergill

Ethel Merman Movies

[1930]Follow the Leader Helen King

[1934]We're Not Dressing Edith

[1934]Kid Millions Dot Clark

[1935]The Big Broadcast of 1936 Ethel Merman

[1936]Strike Me Pink Joyce Lennox

[1936]Anything Goes Reno Sweeney

[1938]Alexander's Ragtime Band Jerry Allen

[1938]Happy Landing Flo Kelly

[1938]Straight Place and Show Linda Tyler

[1943]Stage Door Canteen Ethel Merman

[1953]Call Me Madam Sally Adams

[1954]There's No Business Like Show Business Molly Donahue

[1963]It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World Mrs. Marcus

[1965]The Art of Love Madame Coco La Fontaine

[1972]Journey Back to Oz Mombi, The Bad Witch

[1976]Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood Hedda Parsons

[1980]Airplane! Lieutenant Hurwitz

Ethel Merman TV Shows

That Girl Ethel Merman

The Love Boat Roz Smith

Ethel Merman Videos

Ethel Merman News

Australian Theatre Festival NYC To Honor Caroline O'Connor And Producer Neil Gooding At 2023 Gala

Get ready for the Australian Theatre Festival NYC 2023 Fundraising Gala, honoring Broadway and West-End icon Caroline O'Connor and Producer Neil Gooding. Join in for an evening of performances and celebrations, showcasing Australian stories and artists in NYC. Tickets and tables are still available for purchase.

Interview: Robert Driemeyer of BROADWAY BARFLY at 54 Below

On September 6th, Robert Driemeyer and special guest Bianca Marroquin will present a brand new type of cabaret show, one overflowing with mirth, music, and mixology.

Porchlight Reveals Slate of Scene Changers to be Honored at PORCHLIGHT ICONS: CELEBRATING BEN VEREEN

Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre has announced the 2023 Scene Changers who will be honored at Porchlight ICONS: Celebrating Ben Vereen, Friday, Sept. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Athenaeum Center, 2936 N. Southport Ave.

SETH SIKES SINGS BARBRA STREISAND Will Encore At 54 Below On September 9th

Seth Sikes will encore his Barbra Streisand tribute show on September 9th. Nicolas King will appear as guest artist.

Porchlight Names Felicia P. Fields and Kenny Ingram as Honorary Co-Chairs for PORCHLIGHT ICONS: CELEBRATING BEN VEREEN

Learn about the exciting announcement of honorary co-chairs, Broadway veterans Felicia P. Fields and Kenny Ingram, and the talented cast for Porchlight's production of PORCHLIGHT ICONS: CELEBRATING BEN VEREEN. Don't miss this star-studded celebration of a legendary performer.

Final Line-up Set For The Fringe at Prestonfield, Edinburgh

Producers Denise Silvey, Christopher Biggins and Jane Compton (CDJ Entertainment), along with Prestonfield House, have announced the final details of its illustrious line-up of music, cabaret and conversation for The Fringe at Prestonfield taking place in The Stables at Prestonfield (venue 105), a new 500-seat Edinburgh venue, running from 18-27 August 2023.   

See Tony Award Winner Cady Huffman and Bass Player Mary Ann McSweeney Live at Birdland Theater

Get ready for an extraordinary night of music as Tony Award winner Cady Huffman and bass player Mary Ann McSweeney take the stage at Birdland Theater. Don't miss out on this limited-time performance that guarantees an unforgettable experience.


Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre announces Porchlight ICONS: Celebrating Ben Vereen, Friday, Sept. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Athenaeum Center, 2936 N. Southport Ave.

Rose Marie Estate & Family Celebrates 100th Birthday of Stage/TV & Film Icon

Join in as the 100th birthday celebration of Rose Marie, a beloved stage, TV, and film icon. Discover the legacy she left behind and the enduring impact she made on the entertainment industry.

Paul Iacono To Return to The Green Room 42 With New Show UNFILTERED

Step into The Green Room 42 and immerse yourself in Paul Iacono's unfiltered performance. Get ready to laugh, be entertained, and have an unforgettable evening of unapologetic humor. Don't wait, book your tickets now!

Birdland to Present DREAMING OF A SONG: THE MUSIC OF HOAGY CARMICHAEL With Klea Blackhurst and Billy Stritch

Immerse yourself in the enchanting melodies of Hoagy Carmichael as Klea Blackhurst and Billy Stritch take the stage at Birdland. Don't miss this unforgettable night of 'Dreaming of a Song: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael' with two incredible performers.

Caroline O'Connor Revealed as an Honoree For The Australian Theatre Festival NYC 2023 Gala

Co-Artistic Directors & Executive Producers Mark Barford, Connor Delves & Jillian Geurts has announced Caroline O'Connor as an honoree for the Australian Theatre Festival NYC 2023 Gala.

Amber Gray, Carolina Rial, and More to Play 54 Below Next Week

Next week, 54 BELOW, Broadway's Supper Club and 2022 Tony Awards Honoree for Excellence in the Theatre, presents some of the brightest stars from Broadway, cabaret, jazz, and beyond. 54 Below celebrates Broadway musicals and writers of the past and present, promoting an ongoing engagement with their work.

Review: Audra Mcdonald Opens Caramoor's Season with A Gala Concert

1994, I was crazy in love with Sally Murphy.  She was starring in the Lincoln Center theater import of Nicholas Hytner’s National Theater production of Carousel.  I got a friend who works at Lincoln Center to give me a tour backstage, in hope of “running into” Sally.   Long story short, I got lost and had to ask for directions.  The young lady whom I asked was charming and sweet and she said: “Are you sure you’re allowed back here?” That was my first encounter with Audra McDonald.  Later that day, I saw her on stage as Carrie in the show.  She was wonderful – won her first Tony in the role.  So it was really a treat on Saturday night at Caramoor’s opening gala concert, when she sang “When I Marry Mr. Snow.”  It brought back all sorts of wonderful memories of the myriad of characters and performances I’ve seen/heard Audra do in the last (hard to believe) 30 years.

Review: GYPSY: A MUSICAL FABLE at Music Theater Heritage

Part of the fun of live theater is revisiting favorite materials and seeing how new directors and new actors re-interpret the material.  Often, the resulting production is only peripherally connected to the original show.  One example of this phenomenon is “Gypsy: A Musical Fable,” often called the greatest musical play of all time. 

BREAKING: El próximo proyecto de Antonio Banderas con el Soho será GYPSY

Según ha avanzado la Opinión de Málaga, el actor y empresario desveló el nombre del siguiente proyecto en la gala de fin de curso de la Escuela Superior de Artes Escénicas de Málaga.


Always wished you could experience the authentic joy of Broadway royalty Ethel Merman and Mary Martin? Join us this month as Meredith Beck and Sarah J. Gafgen bring these iconic personalities back to the stage in their upbeat toe-tapper that shares the lives and careers of these show biz luminaries and off-stage friends. 

Review: GYPSY at Shaw Festival

'A Musical Fable.' This is the subtitle that author Arthur Laurents chose when writing his script for the blockbuster musical 'GYPSY.' And after a  delay of almost 3 years due to covid, the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake is presenting their version of this famed musical fable at the Festival Theatre. 

See HANDS ON A HARDBODY Reunion Concert, Jenn Colella, Shaun Cassidy & More at 54 Below in June

This month, 54 BELOW will present some of the brightest stars from Broadway, cabaret, jazz, and beyond.


Mickey Pettit will present EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM ETHEL MERMAN on June 27, 2023 at 54 Below.


Ethel Merman has appeared on Broadway in 19 shows.

Ethel Merman has not appeared in the West End

Ethel Merman has been nominated for several awards throughout her career. She received a Special Tony Award at the Tony Awards. She was also nominated for Outstanding Performance at the Drama Desk Awards for her role in "Hello, Dolly!" Additionally, she received nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical at the Tony Awards for her roles in "Gypsy," "Happy Hunting," and "Call Me Madam."

Ethel Merman has won several awards throughout her career in Broadway. She received a Special Tony Award at the Tony Awards. She also won the Outstanding Performance award at the Drama Desk Awards for her role in "Hello, Dolly!" Additionally, she won the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical at the Tony Awards for her performance in "Call Me Madam."

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