Alias confirmed: Nelson and Jeanette… Randall?!

On November 1, 1963, Jeanette MacDonald signed her last will (though she added a short codicil in June 1964) and headed to Houston Methodist Hospital for a months-long stay. Look carefully at her name on the above hospital paperwork as part of her medical records: Mrs. JEANETTE RANDALL.

The address provided was an office one.

While more complete hospital paperwork attached to this was sold at the auction of Jeanette  MacDonald’s papers in recent years, very early on in the 1970s, I learned that among the aliases that Nelson and Jeanette used together was the last name RANDALL. Yes, Nelson once jokingly made a hotel reservation for Jeanette (to meet him while he was on tour) under the comical name of Lucie Glutzenheimer, an example of his sense of humor.

But in general, they used more nondescript names. I was told Nelson didn’t use his real first name because it was too obvious. Yet I was told that they had financial matters together under the last name of RANDALL, including bank accounts. The folks I interviewed back then were not sure of what first name Nelson used with RANDALL but they said it was likely one of three family names that he often used as aliases: ACKERMAN, KENDRICK or ISAAC.

Years later I found among Nelson’s papers the script he wrote about the life of Feodor Chaliapin, in which he planned to star as the great basso. The screenwriter was named as “ISAAC ACKERMAN.” (And these sources didn’t know the existence of that script, by the way.)

More years passed, this hospital record using JEANETTE RANDALL finally surfaced and it was confirmed to me that Nelson used the name ACKERMAN RANDALL. So here is visual proof that the Randall surname existed in their world…

Below, Jeanette’s signed and dated will page, the very day that she flew to Houston. Soon after this, Nelson had to cancel his Australian tour for “health reasons”, hop on a plane and rush back to the US, where he was subsequently spotted in the Houston hospital visiting Jeanette. One wonders why, if Nelson was having throat problems as told to the press, a local Australian doctor could not have treated him. Instead, Nelson rescheduled the tour for 1964.