The Kennedy Center

Mary Martin


Mary Martin
(actress/singer, born December 1, 1913, Weatherford, Texas; died November 3, 1990)

Actress Mary Martin had that special ability to take a part and make it her own. The mention of her name brings to mind a particularly vivid set of images : Ensign Nellie Forbush washing that man right out-a her hair, Dolly Winslow--whose heart belongs to Daddy--shedding her furs, and Peter Pan teaching the Darling children to fly and to crow: er-er-er-errrh!

Since her debut singing "When Apples Grow on the Lilac Trees" at a fireman's ball in Weatherford, Texas, at age 5, Martin brought to life--on stage, screen, television, and radio--a formidable range of characters including Maria in The Sound of Music, for which she won the Tony Award in 1960. Martin also garnered Tony Awards for her work as Peter Pan (1955) and as Annie Oakley in the touring company of Annie Get Your Gun (1948).

The televised version of Peter Pan , only recently re-broadcast to a new generation of fans, also won her the Emmy. Who has not been touched by the captivating Peter? In Martin's own words, "Never Land is the way I would like real life to be: timeless, free, mischievous, filled with gaiety, tenderness, and magic."

Among the songs which will forever be associated with Mary Martin is "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," from the 1938 production of Cole Porter's Leave It to Me, which launched her Broadway career. Later, adding another Dolly to her repertoire in 1965, Martin toured the United States and the world and Dolly Levi in the international touring company of Hello, Dolly!, which included engagements in Okinawa, Korea, Japan, South Vietnam, and London.

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