How much did you know?

Did you know the film pictured above?

If not, see below.

Image result for photos from GROUNDS FOR MARRIAGE, 1951, with van johnson and kathryn grayson

Released in 1951, the movie has Johnson portraying Grayson’s ex (a doctor), whom she re-pursues. (Kathryn is cast as an opera singer.)

Yes, it was hatched at MGM, where both stars were under contract.

Now on to the answers to our Kathryn Grayson Quiz.

1) Question:  Grayson was most successfully paired in musicals with Howard Keel. How many did they make together?  a) Eight; b) Three; c) Four; or d) Seven.

Answer: b) Three, 1951’s Show Boat, 1952’s Lovely To Look At and 1953’s Kiss Me Kate.

2) Question:  Which of the following did NOT costar onscreen with Grayson?  a) Mickey Rooney; b) Johnny Johnston; c) Abbott and Costello; or d) Mario Lanza.

Answer: b) Johnny Johnston.  Kathryn didn’t work with him but, worse, married him. It didn’t work out. (See below)

3) Question: MGM was inspired to hire Grayson to rival another young singer-actress making hit films at Universal.  Can you name this highly successful performer?

Answer: Deanna Durbin. 

4) Question: Grayson’s second husband, Johnny Johnston, had a habit which so infuriated her that their marriage was undermined.  What did he do? a) Pick his nose at the dinner table; b) Drop small fortunes at the gambling tables; c) Drink too much; or d) Read to strangers Grayson’s letters detailing their lovemaking.

Answer: d) Kathryn had s0-so luck on the personal front. She was married and divorced twice. As mentioned, the second hubby was Johnny Johnston, a fellow studio stalwart.

He was a former night club and radio crooner who is Esther Williams’ costar in 1947’s This Time For Keeps. Johnston, to say the least, isn’t widely known today but he had his moments of co-stardom at MGM. He was carrying on a torrid affair with Grayson (they married in 1947, divorced five years later) while he and Esther were making This Time on location in upper Michigan. As Esther records in The Million Dollar Mermaidher excellent 1999 autobiography, Johnston was no angel:

To amuse his dewy-eyed groupies on location, Johnnie would read aloud Kathryn’s intimate letters including the all-too-graphic details concerning what she liked about his love-making. I was appalled.” (So, eventually was Grayson.)

5) Question: Grayson worked from 1955 largely on tv but she also made some concert appearances, notably touring in Great Britain in a one-woman show.  What was it called?

Answer: In the 1980’s Kathryn, heavier but still strong-voiced, toured Great Britain in a presentation appropriately titled, An Evening With Kathryn Grayson. She died in 2010 at the age of 88.

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