Proving once again that just having talent and good looks isn’t necessarily enough to make it big in show business, we offer the case of Nan Wynn. A gorgeous gal with a soft and sweet singing style, she had a nice career that included time spent as a big band songbird and radio entertainer, along with appearances in several films during the 1940s. She also dubbed the singing voice for several movie stars (including Rita Hayworth) and occasionally showed up on Broadway, but was never able to really find lasting stardom for herself.
Born as Marsha Vatz, the daughter of a Wheeling, WV, department-store owner, her first professional appearances took place on the New York Vaudeville circuit in the early 1930s. Still just a teenager, she soon began appearing on the radio and eventually latched on with some of the big-name bands of the era, including those led by Rudy Vallee, Eddie Duchin, and Hal Kemp.
Within a few years she’d worked her way into small parts in a number of movies, usually playing a singer, and even received co-star billing in 1941’a A Shot In The Dark. But in the post-war years things began to go downhill. Her career was already in decline when she had to undergo surgery that left her unable to sing, but she was eventually able to regain her vocal abilities. She even managed to hit the recording studio again, trying her hand at early rock and roll (sort of) before eventually retiring for good. She died in 1971 at age 55.