July 27, 1884|
Clifton, Ontario, Canada
|Died||April 15, 1956
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Opera singer, actress, magazine editor|
Kathleen Howard (July 27, 1884 - April 15, 1956) was a Canadian-born American opera singer magazine editor and character actress from the mid-1930s through the 1940s. She spent her childhood in Buffalo, New York, and is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery there.
She created the role of Zita in Giacomo Puccini's Gianni Schicchi at the Metropolitan Opera in 1918. She was also memorable as Amelia, the nagging, shrewish wife of W.C. Fields in It's a Gift (1934). She appeared in two other films of W.C. Fields: You're Telling Me! (1934) and Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935).
Howard was part of the repertory system in the opera houses of Metz and Darmstadt previous to World War I. She told of her life as an opera singer in an autobiography, Confessions of an Opera Singer (Knopf 1918).
Howard died on April 15, 1956, aged 71, of undisclosed causes, in Hollywood, California.
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Howard appears to have not made as many opera recordings for companies of the acoustical era such as did her contemporaries Geraldine Farrar and Mary Garden; her few recordings were vertical-cut discs made for the American branch of Pathé Frères in 1918 which received limited distribution. Among them are Harry Burleigh's arrangement of the spiritual "Deep River," arias from Charles Gounod's Faust and Giuseppe Verdi's Il Trovatore (in English), and the "Barcarolle" from Jacques Offenbach's Les contes d'Hoffmann with Claudia Muzio (in French).
|1934||Death Takes a Holiday||Princess Maria|
|You're Telling Me!||Mrs. Edward Quimby Murchison|
|It's a Gift||Mrs. Amelia Bissonette||Starring W.C. Fields|
|1935||Man on the Flying Trapeze||Leona Wolfinger||Alternative title: The Memory Expert|
|1937||Stolen Holiday||Madame Delphine|
|1939||First Love||Miss Wiggins|
|1940||Young People||Hester Appleby|
|1940||Mystery Sea Raider||Maggie Clancy|
|1941||Blossoms in the Dust||Mrs. Sarah Keats|
|Ball of Fire||Miss Bragg||Alternative title: The Professor and the Burlesque Queen|
|1942||Take a Letter, Darling||Aunt Minnie||Alternative title: Green-Eyed Woman|
|You Were Never Lovelier||Grandmother Acuña||Uncredited|
|1943||My Kingdom for a Cook||Mrs. Theodore Carter||Uncredited|
|1944||Laura||Louise, Ann's Cook||Uncredited|
|1945||Eadie Was a Lady||Aunt Priscilla|
|1947||The Late George Apley||Margaret, the Maid||Uncredited|
|1948||The Bride Goes Wild||Aunt Susan|
|1950||Born to Be Bad||Mrs. Bolton|
|1951||The Bigelow Theatre||1 episode|
- Works by Kathleen Howard at Project Gutenberg
- Confessions of an Opera Singer freely available at gutenberg.org in many formats.
- Works by or about Kathleen Howard at Internet Archive
- Kathleen Howard at the Internet Movie Database
- Kathleen Howard at Find a Grave
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