What is Mitzi Gaynor’s Net Worth?
Mitzi Gaynor is an American actress, singer, and dancer who has a net worth of $50 million. Mitzi Gaynor is known for her performances in such musical films as “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Anything Goes,” “The Birds and the Bees,” “Les Girls,” and “South Pacific.” She also starred in “The I Don’t Care Girl,” “Three Young Texans,” “Happy Anniversary,” and “For Love or Money,” among other films. After transitioning away from film, Gaynor starred in a series of television specials in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s.
Early Life and Education
Mitzi Gaynor was born as Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber on September 4, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois to Pauline, a dancer, and Henry, a cellist, violinist, and music director. Through her father’s second marriage, she became the stepsister of Vietnam War veteran and prominent antiwar activist Donald Walter Duncan. As a child, Gaynor moved with her family to Elgin, Illinois, and then to Detroit, Michigan. When she was 11, the family moved to Los Angeles, California. There, Gaynor trained as a ballerina, and went on to sing and dance with the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera starting when she was 13. She was educated at Le Conte Junior High in Hollywood.
When she was 17, Gaynor signed a seven-year contract with 20th Century Fox. She went on to make her film debut in the 1950 musical “My Blue Heaven,” starring Betty Grable and Dan Dailey. After that, she appeared in the drama “Take Care of My Little Girl” and starred in the musical biopic “Golden Girl,” portraying entertainer Lotta Crabtree. In 1952, Gaynor was in the romantic comedy anthology “We’re Not Married!” and the musical “Bloodhounds of Broadway.” The following year, she starred as legendary vaudeville star Eva Tanguay in the biopic “The I Don’t Care Girl,” and also starred in the musical comedy “Down Among the Sheltering Palms.” Gaynor subsequently played the female lead in the 1954 Western “Three Young Texans.” The same year, she had a hit with the Irving Berlin musical “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” costarring Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Donald O’Connor, Dan Dailey, and Johnnie Ray.
At Paramount in 1956, Gaynor starred in the studio’s remake of the musical “Anything Goes.” Also that year, she starred in “The Birds and the Bees,” a musical remake of Preston Sturges’s 1941 screwball comedy “The Lady Eve.” For her third film at Paramount, Gaynor starred alongside Frank Sinatra in the musical biopic “The Joker is Wild,” about singer and comedian Joe E. Lewis. She subsequently starred alongside Gene Kelly, Kay Kendall, and Taina Elg in George Cukor’s musical comedy “Les Girls,” with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Gaynor had her most famous role in 1958, starring as Ensign Nellie Forbush in the film adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical “South Pacific.” She earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance. Gaynor subsequently starred opposite David Niven in the MGM comedy “Happy Anniversary.” She starred in only two more feature films after that: the 1960 crime comedy “Surprise Package” and the 1963 romantic comedy “For Love or Money.”
In 1967, Gaynor appeared in her first television special on NBC, a Christmas special. She starred in a self-titled television special on the network the next year; another one followed in 1969. Gaynor went on to star in six more specials throughout the 1970s that were broadcast on CBS. For her specials, she garnered a total of 16 Emmy Award nominations. Gaynor’s specials were later the focus of the 2008 PBS documentary “Mitzi Gaynor: Razzle Dazzle! The Special Years.”
Having moved away from film by the 1960s, Gaynor began performing at nightclubs in Las Vegas. She was known to develop and rehearse her routines at the Cave, a club in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Additionally, Gaynor recorded two albums for Verve Records: “Mitzi” and “Mitzi Gaynor Sings the Lyrics of Ira Gershwin.” Later, in the 1990s, she became a featured columnist for the Hollywood Reporter. Returning to the stage in the 21st century, Gaynor toured her one-woman show “Razzle Dazzle: My Life Behind the Sequins” from 2009 to 2014.
Honors and Awards
Gaynor has received many honors and accolades for her long career in show business. In 2007, she was honored by the Museum of Television & Radio in Los Angeles with an evening celebrating her old television specials. Two years later, Gaynor was given lifetime achievement awards from Boston Youth Moves and Chapman University. In 2010, she received the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bistro Awards in New York City. Later, in 2017, Gaynor was inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame.
In late 1954, Gaynor married talent agent and PR executive Jack Bean. The pair did not sire any children. In late 2006, Bean passed away from pneumonia at the age of 84.