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Dinah Shore: About

Dinah Shore (born Frances Rose Shore, February 29, 1916 - February 24, 1994) was an American singer, actress and talk show host. She first became famous as a "girl singer" during the Big Band era, then went on to become a movie star. She was then the host of a long-running series of popular TV variety programs.


Born to Solomon and Anna Stein Shore, Jewish immigrants from Russia, in Winchester, Tennessee, Dinah Shore was stricken with polio at 18 months, but recovered. For most of her childhood and teenage years she lived in Mobile, Alabama. She was a 1938 graduate in sociology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduation she moved to New York City, where she began singing. She recorded with bandleader Xavier Cugat and eventually changed her name to Dinah after the title of a favorite song.

Shore remained one of the most popular singers in the United States, making regular radio broadcasts and having over 80 hit records, most of them in the 1940s and early 1950s. Shore made many popular appearances entertaining members of the United States Armed Forces during World War II, for which she was awarded the USO Medallion.

The Dinah Shore Show premiered on the NBC television network in 1951 and ran (with a title change) through 1963. The sponsor's theme song ("See the USA in your Chevrolet") became the singer's signature piece. She continued to appear in Chevrolet advertising through the 1950s.

From 1970 through 1980, Shore hosted two daytime programs, Dinah's Place (1970-1974) on NBC and Dinah! (later Dinah and Friends) in syndication from 1974 through 1980. On her show Dinah!, she once had the misfortune of interviewing the comedian Andy Kaufman in his Tony Clifton guise. He took deliberate offense at her questions and eventually tipped a pan of eggs over her head. This happened live on the air in front of a huge TV audience and Shore's producers cut to an impromptu commercial as Kaufman was escorted out of the studio.

As an actress, Shore appeared in many musical films, such as Belle of the Yukon and Up in Arms (both in 1944), and Till the Clouds Roll By (1946). She was also featured in numerous TV movies and series. She lent her musical voice to two Disney films: Make Mine Music (1946) and Fun and Fancy Free (1947).

Shore founded one of the most prestigious golf tournaments on the LPGA tour, the Colgate/Dinah Shore Winner's Circle Golf Championship (now the Kraft Nabisco Championship) in Rancho Mirage, California.

Shore was married to actor George Montgomery from 1943 to 1962 and had a daughter, Melissa Ann (known today as Melissa Montgomery-Hime, executor of the Dinah Shore Trust and the owner of the rights to most of Shore's television series). Shore later adopted a son, Jody Montgomery. After her divorce from Montgomery, she briefly married Maurice Smith. In the early 1970s, Shore had a long and happy public romance with actor Burt Reynolds, who was 19 years her junior. The relationship gave Shore an updated, sexy image, and took some of the pressure off Reynolds in maintaining his image as a ladies' man.

Rumors Yet Shore, with her Dixie drawl and demure manner, was always identified with the South, and guests on her shows often commented on it.

Shore won nine Emmys, a Peabody Award and a Golden Globe.

Shore guest starred on Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special, calling Pee-wee on his picturephone and singing "The 12 Days of Christmas". Throughout the special, Pee-wee walks past the picturephone, only to hear her going past the original 12 days ("...on the 500th day of Christmas...")

Dinah Shore died in Beverly Hills, California of ovarian cancer at age 77 (5 days before her 78th birthday). Her ashes were divided and she has 2 burial sites. Half were interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California and the other half interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery (Cathedral City) near her beloved second home in Palm Springs, California.

Into the new millennium, Dinah Shore's legacy is set to remain, and according to an article in JazzImprov Magazine by Stephen Thanabalan, her silky vocals continue to resonate posthumously, with a 1998 album featuring the arrangement skills of Andre Previn combined with the re-releasing of some of her classic recordings like 'April in Paris', and 'My Funny Valentine', garnering moderate success.  


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