Muriel Rahn

Muriel Rahn

Muriel Rahn as Cora in The Barrier.
Photograph by Carl Van Vechten.
Born Muriel Ellen Rahn
June 12, 1911(1911-06-12)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died August 8, 1961(1961-08-08) (aged 50)
New York, New York, United States
Occupation singer, actor, musical director
Years active 1929–1961
Spouse Charles Rountree (divorced)
Dick Campbell (c. 1932–1961) (her death)

Muriel Rahn (1911 – 1961) was an American vocalist and actress. She co-founded the Rose McClendon Players with her husband, Dick Campbell and was one of the leading black concert singers of the mid-20th Century.[1] She is perhaps best known for her starring role in the original Broadway production of Carmen Jones. Rahn also served as musical director of the German State Theater in Frankfurt.[2]

Contents

Biography

Muriel Ellen Rahn was born in Boston in 1911, the daughter of Willie and Bessie Rahn.[3]

Rahn was awarded a degree from the Music Conservatory of the University of Nebraska, at Lincoln. She also attended Tuskegee Institute, Atlanta University, Columbia University and studied voice at Juilliard School of Music.[3]

In 1929, she launched her professional career in New York City. One of her earlier appearances on Broadway was in the musical, Come of Age written and staged by Clamence Dane with music by Richard Addinsell.[3][4]

In 1950, Rahn made one of her last appearances on Broadway. She played the role of Cora Lewis in the musical, The Barrier, based on the play, Mulatto by Langston Hughes.[5]

Later stage credits included the off-Broadway production of Sara Reavin’s melodrama, The Ivory Branch with Diana Barrymore.[6] In 1959, Rahn became the first black musical director of the Stadtische Buhnen Theatre in Frankfurt, Germany.[7]

Personal

Rahn died on August 8, 1961 at Sydenham Hospital in New York City from lung cancer.[2]

Selected Credits

Theatre

Year Production Role Theatre(s) Notes
1956 The Ivory Branch.[6] Provincetown Playhouse
1950 The Barrier[2][5] Cora Lewis Broadhurst Theatre
1943 Carmen Jones[2] Carmen Broadway Theatre Alternated lead role with Muriel Smith
1942 The Pirate[8] Lizarda Martin Beck Theatre
1939 Swingin’ The Dream [9] Singer Center Theatre
1934 Come of Age[4] An Entertainer Maxine Elliott’s Theatre

Television

Year Series Role Notes
1958 The Arlene Francis Show Herself
1957 Hallmark Hall of Fame Zipporah A production of The Green Pastures
1952 Hollywood Screen Test[10]
1951 The Ed Sullivan Show Herself

Motion Pictures

Year Title Role Distributor Notes
1934 King for a Day (short) Herself

References

  1. ^ Wilson, Melinda D. (2004-10-14). "Dick Campbell". In Cary D. Wintz, Paul Finkelman. Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance. 1. New York: Routledge. pp. 208–209. 
  2. ^ a b c d Johnson, John H., ed. (August 24, 1961) Jet (Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc.) 20 (18) 
  3. ^ a b c "Muriel Rahn (1911-1961)". Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. "African-American singer Muriel Rahn began performing while in college and launched her professional career in New York in 1929…" 
  4. ^ a b "Come of Age". New York, New York: Internet Broadway Database. http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=11820. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  5. ^ a b "The Barrier". New York, New York: Internet Broadway Database. http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=1879. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  6. ^ a b Calta, Louis. "Sara Reavin play to open tonight; ‘Ivory Branch,’ with Muriel Rahn and Diana Barrymore, to bow at Provincetown, Ewell set in ‘Candide,’ Granger may do ‘Playboy’". New York Times (New York, New York): p. 26. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E10FF3458157B93C6AB178ED85F428585F9. "The Ivory Branch," a melodrama by Sara Reavin, will have its off-Broadway premiere at the Provincetown Playhouse tonight at 8 o'clock." 
  7. ^ Johnson, John H., ed. (November 5, 1959) "Muriel Rahn gets music post in Germany" Jet (Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc.) 17 (2) 
  8. ^ "The Pirate". New York, New York: Internet Broadway Database. http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=1245. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  9. ^ "Swingin’ The Dream". New York, New York: Internet Broadway Database. http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=13212. Retrieved 2011-07-11. 
  10. ^ Johnson, John H., ed. (February 21, 1952) "Week's Radio-TV Preview" Jet (Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc.) 1 (17) 

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