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Ella Fitzgerald: An actress as well as a legendary singer (+video)

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Ella Fitzgerald isn’t known as the First Lady of Jazz for nothing – she’s chiefly remembered today for her remarkable singing career, which spanned more than 50 years and won her 13 Grammy Awards.

But she also made her way to Hollywood, starring in a few movies that included “Pete Kelly’s Blues,” which came out in 1955, and “St. Louis Blues,” which was released in 1958.

“Kelly” centered on the protagonist of the same name who worked as a musician but often had run-ins with various residents of the criminal world. Actor Jack Webb of “Dragnet” starred as Pete Kelly, while “Psycho” star Janet Leigh played Pat’s love interest Ivy.

Fitzgerald portrayed singer Maggie Jackson in the movie and performed two numbers, including “Hard-Hearted Hannah.”

Sharp-eyed viewers could also spot future star Jayne Mansfield in the film in a brief role, for which she was billed only as “Cigarette Girl.”


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