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

Ethel Merman STAGE CREDITS

[Broadway]
1975
Performer

[Broadway]
Return Engagement [Broadway], 1966
Annie Oakley

[Broadway]
Lincoln Center Revival, 1966
Annie Oakley

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

[US Tour]
1st National Tour, 1961
Rose

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1959
Rose

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1956
Liz Livingstone

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1950
Mrs. Sally Adams

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1946
Annie Oakley

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1944
Sadie Thompson [Replacement]

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1943
Blossom Hart

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1940
Hattie Maloney

Hattie Maloney

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

May Daly

Mme. La Comtesse du Barry

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1939
Jeanette Adair

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

Nails O'Reilly Duquesne

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1934
Reno Sweeney

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1932
Wanda Brill

Wanda Brill

Lora (Blackmail)</i>

The Queen (Eadie)</i>

Lora

The Queen

[Broadway]
1931
Performer

[Broadway]
Original Broadway Production, 1930
Kate Fothergill


Ethel Merman Movies

Follow the Leader
[ 1930 ] Helen King
We're Not Dressing
[ 1934 ] Edith
Kid Millions
[ 1934 ] Dot Clark
The Big Broadcast of 1936
[ 1935 ] Ethel Merman
Strike Me Pink
[ 1936 ] Joyce Lennox
Anything Goes
[ 1936 ] Reno Sweeney
Alexander's Ragtime Band
[ 1938 ] Jerry Allen
Happy Landing
[ 1938 ] Flo Kelly
Straight Place and Show
[ 1938 ] Linda Tyler
Stage Door Canteen
[ 1943 ] Ethel Merman
Call Me Madam
[ 1953 ] Sally Adams
There's No Business Like Show Business
[ 1954 ] Molly Donahue
It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
[ 1963 ] Mrs. Marcus
The Art of Love
[ 1965 ] Madame Coco La Fontaine
Journey Back to Oz
[ 1972 ] Mombi, The Bad Witch
Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood
[ 1976 ] Hedda Parsons
Airplane!
[ 1980 ] Lieutenant Hurwitz

Ethel Merman TV Shows

That Girl
Ethel Merman
The Love Boat
Roz Smith

Ethel Merman Awards and Nominations


winner
Tony Awards - 1972 - Special Tony Award

Ethel Merman


winner
Drama Desk Awards - 1970 - Outstanding Performance

Ethel MermanHello, Dolly!


winner
Drama Desk Awards - 1970 - Outstanding Performance

Ethel MermanHello, Dolly!

Tony Awards - 1960 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Ethel Merman, Gypsy

Tony Awards - 1957 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Ethel Merman, Happy Hunting


winner
Tony Awards - 1951 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical

Ethel Merman, Call Me Madam

Ethel Merman Videos

Ethel Merman News


Tickets Now On Sale for Porchlight's 2024 ICONS Gala Celebrating its 30 Anniversary

Award-winning Porchlight Music Theatre will present the return of its annual fundraising gala, the ICONS Gala. Learn how to purchase tickets.
Theatre In The Park Sets Sail With ANYTHING GOES, Beginning Next Week

Theatre in the Park will present Cole Porter's musical comedy ANYTHING GOES from June 28 to July 6.
Review: Hello, Jodi! It's a Match Made in Heaven with Encore! Performing Arts in HELLO, DOLLY!

Encore! Performing Arts’ production of HELLO, DOLLY! leans heavily into the relentless optimism and good time that’s made the musical a classic. They’ve crafted together a show which takes advantage of every aspect of its production, from the costumes to the orchestrations to the simple power of a Look from the lead.
Review: GYPSY: A MUSICAL FABLE at Music Theatre Wichita At Century II Concert Hall

What did our critic think of GYPSY: A MUSICAL FABLE at Music Theatre Wichita At Century II Concert Hall? There is a reason the musical Gypsy: A Musical Fable is a Golden Age classic. The text, suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee and written by Authur Laurents, is economical and succinct. Jule Styne’s music varies from catchy tunes to lush, foreboding orchestral maneuvers, and Sondheim’s nascent lyrics are simple and accessible, yet cut to the core of each scene’s objective.
Interview: Theatre Life with Stephen Cole

Today’s subject Stephen Cole is an accomplished lyricist, performer, and book writer. You can now add novelist to that already impressive list of accomplishments. Stephen Cole’s latest literary endeavor takes us back to the Golden Age of Broadway with his first novel entitled Mary & Ethel…and Mikey Who?. The book is now available everywhere for purchase in both hardcover and digital versions.
Video: Audra McDonald Talks GYPSY on TODAY

Watch Audra McDonald discuss imposter syndrome, stage fright, and GYPSY on Today with Hoda and Jenna in the video here!
Audra McDonald Will Return to Broadway This Fall in GYPSY; Watch New Trailer

It's official! six-time Tony Award Winner Audra McDonald will return to Broadway this fall, taking on what is widely regarded as the greatest role in musical theatre, “Rose” in GYPSY. We have all of the details!
Review: JERRY'S GIRLS, Menier Chocolate Factory

Deeply mining the scores of four musicals Jerry Herman is best known for (Hello, Dolly, Mame, Mack & Mabel, La Cage Aux Folles), with a handful from others like Dear World and Parade, this will appeal to Herman devotees and musical generalists alike.
How Often Do Shows Tour Before Coming to Broadway?

This time, the reader question was: How often do shows like The Wiz start on tour before coming to Broadway?
Review: ONE OF THE GIRLS Is a Springtime Sensation at Chelsea Table + Stage

Chelsea Table + Stage continued its 'Box Set' of shows by Klea Blackhurs. With the May installment, she finds joy and pow with Jerry Herman's show tunes. Jerry Herman's lively life-affirming songs are a perfect fit for Blackhurst.
Feature: MONTHLY BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE: Let's salute Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin's songs continue to fill the air. Let's toast him on the anniversary of his birth, May 11.
Mile Square Theatre Reveals Lineup Of Shows For All Ages This May

Comedian John Franklin, Paper Bag Players, Between Broadway Variety Hour, and more will grace the Hoboken stage at Mile Square Theatre.
Joshua Henry, Krysta Rodriguez & More to Headline MR. FINN'S CABARET Season at BSC

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Interview: VARLA JEAN MERMAN of STAND BY YOUR DRAG at MATCH

I live in Florida, and I love Florida; Florida has amazing people and an amazing LGBTQ community, but, as you know, the government really isn't on our side there. When the drag bans started to happen, it really freaked you out because it happened like suddenly you weren't allowed to perform outside in Florida. People didn't know this happened, but many of the Pride Celebrations in Florida were canceled.
Interview: Varla Jean Merman STANDs BY Her DRAG For One-Nighter @ Catalina Jazz Club

Drag icon Varla Jean Merman brings her latest one-woman show Stand By Your Drag to the Catalina Jazz Club for one night only April 23, 2024. Varla Jean found time after her Palm Springs engagement to answer a few of my queries. 
Review: AUTUMN IN NEW YORK: VERNON DUKE'S BROADWAY Is a Crowd-Pleaser at Chelsea Table + Stage

At Chelsea Table + Stage, Klea Blackhurst 'Box Set' shows are continuing to draw crowds and bring smiles. Songs of Vernon Duke were on the bill in April, and May 5 will find her saluting Jerry Herman.
Klea Blackhurst to Return to Chelsea Table + Stage With ONE OF THE GIRLS

CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE will present the return of Klea Blackhurst in “The Box Set,” a fantastic season-long retrospective of the celebrated theater and concert artist’s acclaimed shows. Learn how to purchase tickets.
Interview: Klea Blackhurst Brings Broadway History to Life at Chelsea Table + Stage

Singer Klea Blackhurst has long been doing tribute shows rich in song and Broadway history. Now, starting this Sunday, April 14th at 7 pm, Blackhurst will be revisiting each of these shows in a season-long series of “The Box Set” at Chelsea Table + Stage, starting this Sunday with “Autumn in New York: Vernon Duke’s Broadway.”
Sutton Lee Seymour to Present BROADWAY BARBIE at The Green Room 42

THE GREEN ROOM 42 will present international NYC Glam Award-winning drag star Sutton Lee Seymour for two shows in May. Learn how to purchase tickets.
Broadway Baby Andrea McArdle to perform in Follies in Las Vegas

FOLLIES, Stephen Sondheim, and James Goldman’s legendary production will be brought to life in a spectacular performance featuring a 45-person cast, including 12 of Las Vegas’s original showgirls. The limited-run engagement will be a star-studded affair at Access Showroom at Aliante Casino + Hotel + Spa, April 11-14.

Ethel Merman FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How many Broadway shows has Ethel Merman been in?

Ethel Merman has appeared on Broadway in 19 shows.

How many West End shows has Ethel Merman been in?

Ethel Merman has not appeared in the West End

What awards has Ethel Merman been nominated for?

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 performances in "Gypsy," "Happy Hunting," and "Call Me Madam."

What awards has Ethel Merman won?

Ethel Merman has won several awards throughout her career. 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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