American Soprano and Playback singer, Marni Nixon McEathron, the woman who sang behind the scenes for actresses in musicals like “West Side Story,” “The King and I” and “My Fair Lady” has died at the age of 86, according to New York Times.

Born in California in 1930, McEathron died peacefully from the effects of breast cancer with her family by her side,  her agency said.

During her lifetime, she played a lot of huge roles in big movie musicals. She also sang the high notes for Marilyn Monroe in “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ and “ghosted” Natalie Wood’s vocals in ‘West Side Story’.

In 1956, when she worked closely with Deborah Kerr to supply the star’s singing voice for the film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I’, she signed a contract that made her a ghost singer.

The contract included a clause that she was never to reveal she did the singing.

For her music prowess, she won several awards in her lifetime. She started singing professional choruses as a child.

In the years before she died, she did little singing and did more of starring in her own children’s TV show, appearing in a road tour of “Cabaret” and teaching at the California Institute of the Arts.

Author: Ope Adedeji