17 Facts About Mary Costa


Mary Costa is a recipient of the 2020 National Medal of Arts.


Mary Costa was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she lived for much of her childhood.


Mary Costa sang with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in concerts at UCLA, and made numerous commercials for Lux Radio Theatre.


In 1958, Costa was called upon to substitute for Elisabeth Schwarzkopf at a gala concert in the Hollywood Bowl, conducted by Carmen Dragon.


Mary Costa went on to perform in 44 operatic roles on stages throughout the world, including Jules Massenet's Manon at the Metropolitan Opera, and Violetta in La traviata at the Royal Opera House in London and the Bolshoi in Moscow, and Cunegonde in the 1959 London premiere of Leonard Bernstein's Candide.


Mary Costa made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Violetta in La traviata on January 6,1964.


Mary Costa impressed television audiences throughout her career with guest appearances on many shows, such as Bing Crosby's Christmas Show on NBC-TV.


Mary Costa appeared with Crosby and Sergio Franchi on The Hollywood Palace in 1970.


Mary Costa appeared on Frank Sinatra's Woman of the Year Timex Special for NBC, where, with others, she was honored as one of the Women of the Year.


Mary Costa sang for the inaugural concert of the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1971.


Mary Costa is a celebrity endorser for child abuse prevention.


Mary Costa continues to do promotional appearances for Disney, most recently for the Blu-ray release of Sleeping Beauty and the 50th anniversary of the film.


When Disney began releasing videocassette versions of its animated films, Mary Costa was one of three actresses to file lawsuits over royalties for their performances; at the time of Mary Costa's 1989 filing, Peggy Lee of Lady and the Tramp later won her lawsuit in April 1990 and Ilene Woods of Cinderella filed hers in December 1990.


In 2014, Mary Costa was named one of the YWCA Knoxville's Tribute to Women Honorees during the 30th anniversary celebration.


On her 86th birthday, Mary Costa wrote an open letter to her fans thanking them for their support.


Mary Costa announced that she would no longer directly reply to fan-mail, but she would continue to sign autographs and meet fans at events while focusing her efforts on working with young children.


Mary Costa was awarded the National Medal of Arts on January 13,2021.