Marie McDonald

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Marie McDonald was born Marie Frye in Burgin, KY, in 1923. She worked as a model in her teens and movies seemed like the logical next step -- she made her movie debut at age 17 with a small role in It…
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Marie McDonald was born Marie Frye in Burgin, KY, in 1923. She worked as a model in her teens and movies seemed like the logical next step -- she made her movie debut at age 17 with a small role in It Started With Eve (1941), and spent the war years as one of Hollywood's more memorable pieces of "eye candy," her curvaceous figure decorating everything from Abbott & Costello comedies to biographical films such as Our Hearts Were Young and Gay. She was sort of a next-generation second-string sex symbol in the manner of Ann Sheridan (known as "the Oomph Girl"), with the nickname "the Body," which stuck for obvious reasons.

Her movie career slowed down considerably after World War II, and it was while taking a break from pictures that she ended up pursuing music, even singing for a time with one of Tommy Dorsey's latter-day big bands. Her only record grew out of that gig and the activity that followed -- it's possible that someone at RCA Victor saw a chance to parlay her picture on the cover of the LP to success as Liberty Records had with Julie London. In any case, her album The Body Sings! appeared on RCA Victor in 1957, with Hal Borne as her musical director. And smirky suggestions to the contrary, McDonald could, indeed, sing.