Marni Nixon, dubbing singer, performs Webern

Marni Nixon, dubbing singer, performs Webern


norman lebrecht

July 25, 2016

She covered Deborah Kerr’s singing voice in The King and I and Audrey Hepburn’s in My Fair Lady.

But here’s how good Marni really was: bareback Webern with Robert Craft at the piano. So beautiful.

Marni Nixon died on Sunday, aged 86.

Her first husband was Ernest Gold, composer of the Exodus theme.


  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    She also sang many of the Charles Ives songs; wonderfully. Rest in peace.

  • OhGlorioso says:

    And Natalie Wood in West Side Story.

  • David Boxwelll says:

    She was a genius with uncanny powers of impersonation. And not half bad as herself.

  • V.Lind says:

    So: an approved crossover singer?

    She also covered Natalie Wood in West Side Story.

    R.I.P. I heard her in two of those as a child.

  • Una says:

    Here is the interview I recently typed up between Marni Nixon and Bruce Duffie in Chicago. It makes for interesting reading and I enjoyed putting it all together with Bruce.

    Have a read!

  • Quodlibet says:

    My first experience with Marni Nixon’s beautiful voice and superb musicianship was her recording of Schoenberg’s Herzgewaechse — I loved the music and her soaring voice… I think I probably wore out that vinyl recording. I was about 18 and working in a university music library with a rich collection of recordings.

    It was not until many, many years later that I learned that she also worked as a ‘ghost’ singer – and in fact, I have always thought of her as a classical singer who also sang in films – just the reverse of how many others will remember her.

  • Brian Morgan says:

    It is Leonard Stein at the piano, not Robert Craft.