Suzanne Larson (Who’s Who at MGM, 1937) 🇺🇸

January 09, 2022

Biography — Suzanne Larson went to the Palace Theatre in Minneapolis one day to spend the afternoon. During the stage show she suddenly got a hunch that in that theatre she would start on the road to success. She managed to meet the director of the show, Carl Johnson, who coached her for a few days, and then put her on the regular bill.

She met with instantaneous success and critics predicted that she had a future in grand opera. She made several electrical transcriptions which were sent to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and resulted in a long-term contract.

Made Debut at 11

Suzanne was born in Chicago on December 6, but has spent most of her life in St. Paul and Minneapolis. She made her debut at the Palace Theatre at the age of 11, without having had any voice training. She is five feet tall, weighs 79 pounds, has golden hair and blue-green eyes.

Mary McCormick was the first to give Suzanne encouragement, and advised her to wait until she was fifteen before taking any singing lessons. At the audition, Suzanne sang G above high C.

She was only ten years of age at the time of this audition. Today, at twelve, she can sing B above high C, an achievement which astounds everyone who hears her.

Her voice is strictly a natural one, since she had no vocal lessons prior to singing with M-G-M; her only tutoring being brief coaching by Carl Johnson prior to her first theatrical appearance. What development her voice has had was secured by Suzanne herself in listening to phonograph records and opera stars on the radio and trying to match the voices of these trained singers.

Wants to Sing In Opera

She attended public schools in Minneapolis, and also the M-G-M school with such youngsters as Freddie Bartholomew, Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney and Juanita Quigley. She excelled in English, spelling, reading and history. She had the highest intelligence quotient of her school when she was in the fourth grade.

Her first ambition was to be a stunt aviatrix for the movies, but she now aspires to sing at the Metropolitan Opera. She collects pictures of Jeanette MacDonald, who is her favorite star. She plays the violin and piano.

Her favorite form of exercise is horseback-riding and she likes to spend her leisure time at the beach. She reads humorous books and her favorite is “Penrod and Sam.” Her pets are dogs and birds.

Doesn’t Like Classics

Suzanne has some very decided opinions. Asked who was her favorite classical author, she said: “I don’t like any of them.” Her pet modern writer is Booth Tarkington and her favorite playwright is Noel Coward. She likes the music of Naughty Mariettaand her favorite historical character is Thomas Jefferson. She hates “bossy” people, loves the seashore, believes in hunches, has an ambition to become a really great singer, sleeps ten hours a night and isn’t afraid of anything.

Suzanne was coached in the M-G-M dramatic school and trained by Mary Garden, famous opera star, who also is under contract to M-G-M.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer formed elaborate plans for her future, including a complete schooling in dramatics as well as a complete musical education. Mary Garden and other noted figures in the world of music and the theatre will contribute to the youngster’s ultimate success.

At 12, Suzanne has a clothes problem. She is already beginning to look longingly at sheer silk stockings.

Source: Who’s Who at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1937