As a tribute to one of my personal favorite human beings that ever walked the face of the earth, your friendly neighborhood Dilettante is doing a countdown to Jeanette Anna MacDonald’s birthday, on June 18th. She and her movies have been a rather large part of my existence, over the last 15 years, and I hope you’ll see why.
Jeanette, JAM, Jimmie, Jammie, Bunko- it doesn’t matter what you call her; we all love her in our own way. Jeanette was a force of nature- impossible to control. There are many versions of Jeanette that exist, today, but if anything can be gleaned from her own words and applied to all accounts, I hope it is the fact that she was a skilled perfectionist, harder on herself than she ever should have been, but who got her way on her own merit and her own strength. She struggled with work and home life just as all of us do. She had her ups and downs and in-betweens. Over the years, I’ve come to the understanding that not everyone is going to like Jeanette MacDonald, and that’s OK. I hope, at least, people can respect her for her hard work and her affect on the history of the movies. Many teams were formed to try to repeat the success she had alongside Nelson Eddy, with very few that clicked, and none that lasted the course of 8 films. The fact of the matter is that there is something that Jeanette did, that was singularly her own, that became the original for which all others are compared, in the world of movie sopranos. We all have our preferences, but I think even Jeanette’s successors would tip their hats to the pioneer that helped make it all possible.