Patricia Morison

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An actress and singer on stage and in films, most readily linked with Cole Porter songs.
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Patricia Morison was born into a show business family in New York City on March 19, 1915. Her father was an actor and playwright, her mother a theatrical agent, and she attended drama school and also studied dance under Martha Graham. She made her Broadway debut in the early '30s, and late in the decade was signed by Paramount Pictures. The stage shows in which she appeared included The Two Bouquets (1938), while among her films were The Magnificent Fraud (1939), One Night in Lisbon (1941), Beyond the Blue Horizon (1942), The Fallen Sparrow and The Song of Bernadette (both 1943), Lady on a Train (1945), Dressed to Kill (1946) and Song of the Thin Man (1947). Meanwhile, she had made occasional return trips to New York for shows such as Allah Be Praised (1944), but with her film career going nowhere thanks to being cast in indifferent films, she decided to concentrate on Broadway and won the leading role in Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate (1948). As Lilli Vanessi/Katherine, she co-starred with Alfred Drake; songs that she introduced included "Wunderbar," "So in Love," and "I Hate Men." This show was not only a box office success, it was also a personal triumph for Morison. Thereafter, she was mostly seen on the stage, including taking over as Anna in 1954 in The King and I, with which production she also toured. She and Drake reprised their roles for a critically acclaimed NBC-TV production of Kiss Me, Kate (1958). Morison made additional movies, including Song Without End (1960) and Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976). She also made appearances in concert into the '90s, singing the Porter songs with which she was still most readily linked. She died in West Hollywood, California on May 20, 2018 at the age of 103.