January 14 is a doubly sad day for fans of Jeanette MacDonald. For not only is it the day that she died at age 61 in 1965 but thirteen years later, Jeanette’s older sister Blossom died on the very same day at age 82.
Most of the time fans do not mourn siblings of their idols but in the case of Jeanette MacDonald, we owe much to Blossom. She fiercely loved her sister and throughout the decades was known to speak candidly about Jeanette’s life. Because of Blossom opening up her private phone book all those years ago and encouraging me to call this person or that…the personal story of Jeanette’s life began to be revealed. Not the Hollywood version but the stranger-than-fiction version which Jeanette – and Nelson – buried and publicly denied as best they could in their lifetimes.
It is because of Blossom’s feisty nature and insistence that her sister not be forgotten that we are all here today celebrating not only the life, movies and music of Jeanette MacDonald but the complicated and fascinating relationship she had with Nelson Eddy.
So today – January 14th – let’s celebrate the lives of two sisters. Blossom was no doubt Jeanette’s closest confidante and we have ample documentation to show how many times Blossom was there for Jeanette in moments of physical or spiritual crisis.
In the photo above, Jeanette and Blossom are pictured with their mother, Anna MacDonald.
If you would like to share your remembrances of where you were and how you learned of Jeanette’s passing in 1965, please email it to me.