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Updated: Aug 1, 2019

Did Ethel Merman deal with her short-lived marriage by including a blank page in her autobiography?

Ethel Merman at her typewriter
“What are all these letters? Won’t be needing these.” (Public domain)

Remember when Britney Spears and Jason Alexander got married in 2005, and then split up 55 hours later? No, me neither. They probably don’t either. And speaking personally, I’m not 100% sure what exactly ‘Brittany spears’ are. And wasn’t Jason Alexander that guy from Seinfeld?

But, I digress. This fact is actually about another famously rocky and short-lived Hollywood marriage.

In 1964, Ethel Merman, the actress and entertainer best known for being her explosive signature song, There’s No Business Like Showbusiness, married the Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine. Their relationship was a rocky one from the start (reportedly due to Borgnine’s famously explosive temper) and their marriage—Merman’s fourth—was dissolved just 32 days later.

All of that, of course, is familiar Hollywood lore. Less well known is how Merman dealt with the episode in her 1978 self-titled autobiography, Merman: in it, the chapter headed “My Marriage To Ernest Borgnine” consists of a single blank page.

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