99-Year-Old Opera Star Who Had Key Role in 1944 Best Picture Oscar Winner Has Died

Dead at 99: Opera star and Crosby's ex-girlfriend in 1944 Best Picture Oscar winner Risë Stevens, the Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano that moviegoers remember as Nelson Eddy's romantic partner in Roy Del Ruth's 1941 musical The Chocolate Soldier and as Bing Crosby's ex-girlfriend in Leo McCarey's 1944 Oscar-winning blockbuster Going My Way, died on Wednesday, March 20, at her Manhattan home. The former singer was 99 years old. (Pictured above: Stevens in her most famous operatic role, that of Bizet's anti-heroine Carmen.) Born in The Bronx, New York City, Stevens sang at the Metropolitan from 1938 to 1961; among her most popular roles were Dalila in Camille Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila, Mignon in Ambroise Thomas' opera of the same name, and most notable of all, the lead in Bizet's Carmen. After leaving the stage, she became an arts administrator with the Met and president of the Mannes College of Music.
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