BRAND NEW FACTORY SEALED.
It's 1960, you and your family are all seated around your brand new twelve inch color TV. Mom made snacks, which are sitting on top of TV trays, (all
the rage) and just for tonight you can even have Kool-aid, one glass each. This is a momentous occasion. Tonight, you will witness a magical event, a live broadcast of Peter Pan, straight from Broadway. It has music, adventure and best of all it's in color thanks to the NBC peacock.
The production, which aired again in 1956, stared Cyril Ritchard as Hook, and Sondra Lee as Tiger Lily with Lynn Fontanne. Mary Martin sealed her fate by recreating the role she performed on Broadway; Peter Pan.
Mary Martin was born in Weatherford, Texas on December 11, 1913. From the beginning, Mary showed an interest in musical theater. At a young age, Mary married and gave birth to her son Larry Hagman ( of Dallas fame) but her marriage didn't last. Divorced, she began pursing a career as a singer on radio and in nightclubs. One of her performances caught the eye of a producer who cast her in a play in New York. Her role in Cole Porter's Leave It To Me brought her national attention and with that the movies came calling. Over the next three years she made more than ten films for Paramount Pictures. Movies were good to her, but Mary belonged on the stage. She returned to Broadway and made her mark playing Nellie Forbush in the Broadway play South Pacific.
In 1954, Jerome Robbins decided to produce a new musical version of the classic story, Peter Pan. Traditionally, the role of Peter is played by a woman and Mary Martin was an easy fit for the part. She wowed audiences for 150 performances and even won a Tony award. When the play aired on TV, live the first two times, and later on tape, Mary became an American icon. Being a star has its downside, though, it is rumored that Mary 'flew' through the wall of the TV set during the taping breaking her leg in the process.
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