The Katy & Annie Show

Presenting the most fabulous BFFs of all time- OF ALL TIME.

Zelma Kathryn Elisabeth Hedrick & Johnnie Lucille Collier

While I never had the honor of meeting Ann Miller, I did get to hear some of the best stories about her and Kathryn. My favorite story was from Kathryn’s niece, who attended a performance of Madame Butterfly with them. At one point during the opera, Pinkerton lifted Cio Cio San into his arms, and the soprano playing her wiggled her toes. That was all it took to send Annie into a fit of uncontrollable laughter, right at this great, emotional love duet, while the others sort of pretended like they didn’t know her.

Then, there was a time when Annie may or may not have put soap in a fountain, in Beverly Hills, then called Kathryn for an alibi, if the police asked.

This. This is the best of Kathryn Grayson and Ann Miller. Kathryn, who everyone pictures as this quiet, sweet, utterly professional lady (all true, add extra sassy), and Annie, bawdy, hilarious, a little daft at times, but with the biggest heart (also true). Outwardly, people look at them as opposites, but they really cared so much about each other. Even at the end of Annie’s life, she was putting her concern for Kathryn first. She didn’t want her to be upset or worry unnecessarily about the inevitable. I’d be lying to all of you, if I said I wasn’t tearing up just a little, thinking about that.

Basically, these two are my favorite. Ever.

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Kathryn, Annie, Esther Williams, Ann Rutherford, Debbie Reynolds, and Margaret O'Brien attend a "secret meeting of the MGM Girls."

Kathryn, Annie, Esther Williams, Ann Rutherford, Debbie Reynolds, and Margaret O’Brien attend a “secret meeting of the MGM Girls.”

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One thought on “The Katy & Annie Show

  1. I never had the pleasure of seeing Kathryn perform in person, but I saw Annie multiple times in summer stock. Coincidentally, she sang two great friendship anthems in two of the shows: Bosom Buddies (in Mame) and Friendship (in Anything Goes). She used to appear on a local talk show whenever she was in the area. My main memory was her talking about buying luggage at pawn shops because her suitcases and trunks were handled so roughly on the road. With so many tales of bedbugs today, the thought of buying used luggage makes me shudder. She was always a hoot when she appeared on Merv Griffin’s Show. I’m sure she and Kathryn had a blast together.

    The first movie I saw with Kathryn was Kiss Me Kate. I remember setting my alarm because it was on in the middle of the night in the days before cable and VCRs. It remains my favorite.

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