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Mary Costa
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Vocalist
    (April 5, 1930- )
    Born in Knoxville, Tennessee
    Operatic soprano
    Provided the voice of Princess Aurora/Briar Rose in Disney's 'Sleeping Beauty' (1959)
    Performed 44 operatic roles worldwide, including Musetta in 'La Boheme,' Tyrania in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' Ninette in 'Blood Mooh' (all 1961), and Anne Truelove in 'The Rake's Progress' (1964)
    Also acted in 'Marry Me Again' (1953), 'The Big Caper' (1957),'The Merry Widow' (1968), and 'The Great Waltz' (1972)
    Made appearances on specials with Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin and Milton Berle
    Her earliest gig was on the Chase and Sanborn Hour with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.
    She had only eighteen minutes of screen time in 'Sleeping Beauty,' despite playing its title role (the shortest amount for such a character excluding the mute Dumbo).
    She admitted to being such a fan of the 'Snow White' movie, as a kid, that she paraded around her house with a towel as a makeshift cape pretending to be the princess.
    She described Walt Disney as having eyes that looked like they were 'plugged into sockets' on their first meeting.
    She had to work to downplay her thick Southern-Knoxville accent to speak her lines, and it almost cost her the part (but apparently Disney's rationale was that 'if Vivien Leigh, a beautiful English lady, could do a southern belle, then surely a southern girl can do an English princess!')
    She sued the Walt Disney Company for royalties on the videocassette tapes of 'Sleeping Beauty,' settling for an undisclosed amount (1990).
    She was raised a Baptist and sang Sunday school solos at the age of six.
    She sang for the San Francisco and Metropolitan Operas.
    She collaborated with Leonard Bernstein for his 'Candide' production in London in 1959.
    She was honored as one of Frank Sinatra's Women of the Year during a Timex Special for NBC (1960).
    She sang at a memorial service for President John F. Kennedy at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, after being personally requested by Jackie Kennedy (1963).
    She later sang for the inaugural concert of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (1971).
    She received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation (1989).
    She is a celebrity ambassador for Childhelp, a child abuse prevention and treatment non-profit organization.
    She was honored by the Metropolitan Opera Guild for Distinguished Verdi Performances of the 20th Century (2001).
    She was appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Council on the Arts, a position she held for six years (2001).
    She continued to actively engage with fans of 'Sleeping Beauty' at Disney expos and public events.
    When asked about her work with Disney she said: '[Sleeping Beauty] is like a beautiful glass time capsule where the joyest part of my youth has been kept preserved and eternally sealed.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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