Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy rock! Their first film, “Naughty Marietta”, screened today on TCM and tonight the book “Sweethearts” is #1 on this Amazon best seller list! Amazon has it on sale and with Prime free shipping. It’s wonderful that folks are watching their films and learning more about their lives. Very humbling and thank you for your support! The Amazon ordering link is here. Those of you living outside of the U.S. should see similar sale prices on your Amazon websites as well. The book is always available from this website as well and can be autographed at your request.
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.
The page above from Mac/Eddy Today, Issue #74 is an excerpt from an article showing Jeanette MacDonald’s 1948 handwritten desk diary, in which Jeanette notes that on September 5th, she and her husband Gene Raymond hosted a party at their home for singer Eleanor Steber. Nelson Eddy and his wife Ann also attended. It was all very civil. But the very next day, September 6th, Jeanette notes her trip to Lake Tahoe. At least once each year in the fall, she and Nelson went to Tahoe to renew their wedding vows made privately in 1935 while filming “Rose Marie.” If and when Jeanette ever announced publicly that she was off to Tahoe with “my husband,” she considered she was telling the truth. The Rise Steven article in the same magazine provides new details surrounding Jeanette and Nelson’s 1945 trip to Lake Tahoe. (The article is copyright 2017; all rights reserved.)