March 6, 1967: Remembering Nelson Eddy

Nelson Eddy
Nelson Eddy

Nelson Eddy…43 years ago today he died at age 65, too young and too soon. While he brought pleasure to millions with his voice, his personal life wasn’t particularly blissful. There’s no doubt that stress and unhappiness helped lead him to an early death.

In the midst of this Oscar weekend in which Hollywood and the film industry is celebrated, this is one sad note for the many Nelson Eddy fans who still remember.

It is always a sore point that Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald never had one of their great films acknowledged by the Academy with a Best Picture Oscar.  Their movie Maytime, the highest grossing movie worldwide of 1937, wasn’t even nominated! In fact, it only received a single nomination for the score by Herbert Stothart.

I attended an Oscar party once and I held a real Oscar in my hands. It was heavy and yes, there was something special about it.

But all the awards in the world don’t replace undying loyalty and caring of filmgoers or fans that endures for half a century and even more. Or a movie that is entertaining, timeless and enjoyable as well as excellent – even decades after its first release. Being able to watch a film over and over – 20 or 50 or 100 times – and still love it and find something new to see or hear – now that is a Best Picture!

Thank you, Nelson, for the musical legacy you left us.