Actress Kitty Carlisle dead at 96
I remember 'To Tell the Truth' but didn't know she was the same actress in 'A Night at the Opera'. TFM is a big Marx brothers fan, and that was in my opinion their best movie.
Otis B. Driftwood: It's all right, that's in every contract. That's what they call a sanity clause.
[Fiorello laughs loudly]
Fiorello: You can't fool me! There ain't no Sanity Claus!
There was another line where Groucho asks Chico if he knew what a duplicate was. Chico says those five kids in Canada. You have to love that movie and Kitty Carlisle was a part of it. RIP.
Linked to- Jo, Pirate's Cove, Random Yak,
NEW YORK (AP) -- Kitty Carlisle Hart, whose long career spanned Broadway, opera, television and film, including the classic Marx Brothers movie "A Night at the Opera," died after a battle with pneumonia, her son said Wednesday. She was 96.
"She passed away peacefully" Tuesday night in her Manhattan apartment, said Christopher Hart, a director-writer-producer who was at her side. "She had such a wonderful life and a great long run. It was a blessing."
Hart was touring the country in her autobiographical one-woman show, "Here's to Life," until the pneumonia struck around Christmas, her son said. Broadway's theaters planned to dim their marquee lights Wednesday in honor of the longtime patron of the arts.
In 1991, she received the National Medal of Arts from the first President Bush. Hart's last gig was a December performance of her show in Atlanta.
David Lewis, Hart's longtime musical director, said she would be remembered "as the grande dame not only of show business but also in her philanthropy and her support for the American musical theater."
Well known for her starring role as Rosa Castaldi in the 1935 comedy "A Night at the Opera," her other film credits included "She Loves Me Not" and "Here Is My Heart," both opposite Bing Crosby; Woody Allen's "Radio Days"; and "Six Degrees of Separation."
But she was probably best known as one of the celebrity panelists on the popular game show "To Tell the Truth." She appeared on the CBS prime-time program from 1956 to 1967 with host Bud Collyer and fellow panelists such as Polly Bergen, Johnny Carson, Bill Cullen and Don Ameche.
The show featured three contestants, all claiming to be the same person, with the panelists quizzing the trio to determine which one was telling the truth. Hart later appeared in daytime and syndicated versions of the show.
"People remember me from television," she once said. "They don't even remember me from `A Night at the Opera.' They have no idea that I played the lead and did all the singing. But they do remember television, particularly `To Tell the Truth.'"
She began her acting career on Broadway in "Champagne Sec" and went on to appear in many other Broadway productions, including the 1984 revival of "On Your Toes." In 1967 she made her operatic debut at the Metropolitan Opera in "Die Fledermaus" and created the role of Lucretia in the American premiere of Benjamin Britten's "Rape of Lucretia."
Hart's late husband was Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Moss Hart, who wrote "You Can't Take It With You" and "The Man Who Came to Dinner" with George S. Kaufman. He won a Tony for directing "My Fair Lady" on Broadway.
When Moss Hart directed "My Fair Lady" on Broadway, winning a Tony award, the production starred a young Julie Andrews.
"Her humanity, her wit, her great style were legendary," Andrews said in a statement Wednesday, calling the star "a beloved and trusted friend."
Kitty Carlisle Hart's film career began in 1934; in "Murder at the Vanities," she sang "Cocktails for Two," a song later made famous in a spoof by Spike Jones.
"A Night at the Opera" the following year was the Marx Brothers' sixth film and their first for MGM, where they shifted after their career at Paramount sagged at the box office. MGM's Irving Thalberg added more romance to the Marxes' formula, bringing in Hart and Allan Jones to play the young opera singers in love, and the film became a huge hit.
Elegant and sophisticated - with hair, makeup and dress perfectly in place - Hart has been called a "great dame."
In a piece on CBS' "60 Minutes" in 2000, Marie Brenner, author of "Great Dames: What I Learned From Older Women," said: "A great dame is a soldier in high heels. ... They lived through the Depression. They lived through the war. They were tough, intelligent and brassy women."
Discipline ruled Hart's success. She began every day with an exercise routine, even after turning 90.
Hart was born in New Orleans on Sept. 3, 1910. She attended the Sorbonne, the London School of Economics and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.