Born Hermione Ferdinanda Gingold, December 9, 1897, in London, England; diedat Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, May 24, 1987. Although Hermione Gingold trained for the stage by acting classical roles in such renowned settings as the Old Vic, the Cambridge Festival Theatre, and London's West End, she wasbest known to audiences as a sharp-witted and skilled comedienne. The changein genre was due in part to her manager's decision to star her in the 1939 stage comedy The Gate Revue. Gingold continued to achieve success in revues, including the long-running Sweet and Low, which she performed for thousands ofservicemen during World War II. In 1951 she made her U.S. debut starring inIt's About Time at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA, and opened on Broadway to rave reviews in John Murray Anderson's Almanac, for which she receivedthe Donaldson Award. After these triumphs on the stage, Gingold achieved filmsuccess in such Hollywood musicals as Around the World in 80 Days, 1956, andThe Music Man, 1962. Her raspy-voiced duet of "I Remember It Well" with Maurice Chevalier was one of the most popular scenes in the 1958 film Gigi. Someof her other films included Bell, Book, and Candle, 1958, Promise Her Anything, 1966, and her final film, Garbo Talks, 1984. Gingold made frequent television appearances on such talk shows as those hosted by Jack Paar and Merv Griffin. Her sometimes ribald, tart-tongued responses to interviewers' questionsmade her an audience favorite.
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