Nelson Ackerman Eddy was born in Providence, Rhode Island on June 29, 1901. He was the only child of William Darius Eddy and Isabel Kendrick Eddy.
He studied opera in the U.S. and Europe and appeared in more than two dozen opera roles with the Philadelphia Civic Opera, before going on to a highly successful concert career. In 1933, he was “discovered” by Hollywood when he substituted at the last minute for an internationally famous diva. The audience and critics were ecstatic, and Nelson immediately got several film offers. After much soul searching, he signed with MGM, where he would make the first fourteen of his nineteen films.
Nelson was always a very private person. He married his first and only wife, Ann Denitz Franklin, on January 19, 1939 in Las Vegas where they had eloped to avoid publicity.
In 1953, Nelson began a surprising new career. He formed a hit nightclub act with singer Gale Sherwood, assisted by his longtime accompanist, Ted Paxson, and worked continually for the next fifteen years.
In 1967, he was performing at the Sans Souci Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida when he was stricken on stage with a cerebral hemorrhage. He died a few hours later in the early hours of March 6th. He is buried at Hollywood Cemetery, next to his wife, Anne, who survived him by twenty years.