News has reached us that singer/actress/comedian Nanette Fabray has passed away at age 97. She surely lived up to that old adage as a “star of stage, screen, and TV”, and was a trouper in the best sense of the word. Nanette began her career as a child in vaudeville, became a sensation on the Broadway stage, and moved to TV in the 50’s as part of CAESAR’S HOUR , with Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, and Howard Morris. She was a regular on HOLLYWOOD SQUARES, and later became a professional TV mom to the likes of Mary Tyler Moore (THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW), Bonnie Franklin (ONE DAY AT A TIME), and her real-life niece Shelley Fabares (COACH). Miss Fabray long suffered from hearing loss, and was noted for her work in deaf and hard-of-hearing causes.
Her best known film is undoubtedly THE BAND WAGON (1953), a backstage musical comedy starring Fred Astaire , Oscar Levant, and Jack Buchanan. Most fans fondly remember the number “Triplets”, with Nanette, Astaire, and Buchanan as babies, but for me the show biz anthem “That’s Entertainment” really sums up what Nanette was all about. Keep your eyes on her, she’s delightful:
Job well done, Nanette, rest in peace.