Jeanette Anna MacDonald was born June 18, 1903 in her family’s Philadelphia home at 5123 Arch Street, the youngest of the three daughters of Daniel and Anna Wright MacDonald.
She was a Broadway musical comedy star before making her first film in 1929, the first year that major U.S. movie houses were wired for sound. Unlike most other Broadway stars, she survived the 1931 wave of anti-musical sentiment, and went on to star in a total of 28 films over the next 18 years, working principally at Paramount, Fox, and MGM.
On June 16, 1937, she married handsome, blond film star Gene Raymond in a traditional ceremony at Wilshire Methodist Church in Los Angeles. Her bridesmaids included Ginger Rogers and Fay Wray. It was the first marriage for both Jeanette and Gene. He was still at her side twenty-seven years later when she died on January 14, 1965 in Houston, Texas while awaiting heart surgery. She was interred on January 18, 1965 in a crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.