While the studio publicity people were busily linking Nelson romantically with every studio starlet, Nelson was quietly courting Ann Denitz Franklin, former wife of noted director Sidney Franklin.
If Jeanette had the wedding every woman dreams about, Nelson Eddy’s courtship and marriage were the kind that every man in the public eye longs for. Gossip columnists and reporters had long sought to pair him with every eligible star and starlet on the lot. As nature abhors a vacuum, so every female heart abhors an unclaimed bachelor, and the media were constantly reciting the name of his latest “love.” He recalled later that when he denied a story of his “living in sin” with a young lady, the reporter responded by questioning his masculinity.
Eddy could never accept the idea that his personal life was the business of anyone with the price of a newspaper. Essentially a very private person, he was always dismayed at the hunger of his “public” for stories, real or imaginary. It was probably with great satisfaction that he kept his courtship of pretty Ann Denitz Franklin in the background until they decided to marry. His bride was the former wife of director Sidney Franklin and had a fourteen-year-old son, Sidney Jr.
On Thursday, January 19, 1939, the couple quietly slipped away to Las Vegas and were married in the chambers of District Judge William E. Orr. Present were Eddy’s mother and his business manager, E. J. Osborne, as well as silent film star Doris Kenyon, who had introduced the couple five years earlier.
Their honeymoon was not as tranquil as that of his singing costar. The new Mrs. Eddy accompanied her husband on his concert tour, witnessing firsthand the enthusiastic mobs that occasionally lifted the strapping Eddy off his feet in the crush. It was truly a baptism by fire.
Generally the wives of singers have a reputation in show business second only to that of stage mothers for fierceness and aggressiveness in promoting their darling’s career. Ann Eddy was a shining exception to that rule. Her time was spent in making a serene retreat for Eddy in the home he had longed for all his life. He was dedicated to his work, she said, and she was dedicated to him.
After Nelson’s death, Ann never remarried. She died on August 28, 1987, and is buried next to Nelson and his mother in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.