Mario Lanza Movies and Career Information

Mario Lanza profile image
Aquarius
Jan 31, 1921
Philadelphia
Actor

Mario Lanza (January 31, 1921 - October 7, 1959) was an American tenor and Hollywood movie star of the late 1940s and the 1950s. The son of Italian immigrants, he began studying to be a professional singer at the age of 15. Orchestral conductor Arturo Toscanini would allegedly later call him "the greatest voice of the twentieth century." Others referred to him extravagantly as the "new Caruso", after his "instant success" in Hollywood films, while MGM hoped that he would become the movie studio's "singing Clark Gable" due to his good looks and powerful voice. After appearing at the Hollywood Bowl in 1947, Lanza signed a seven-year contract with MGM's head, Louis B. Mayer, who saw his performance and was impressed by his singing. Prior to this, Lanza had made only two appearances on an operatic stage, when in 1948 he sang the role of Pinkerton in Puccini's Madama Butterfly in New Orleans. His movie debut was in That Midnight Kiss, which produced an unlikely hit song in the form of Giuseppe Verdi's operatic aria "Celeste Aida." The following year, in The Toast of New Orleans, his featured popular song "Be My Love" became his first million-selling hit. In 1951, he starred in the role

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