Nelson Ackerman Eddy was an American singer and actor who appeared inmusical films during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as in opera and on the concert stage, radio, television, and in nightclubs. A classically trained baritone, he is best remembered for the eight films in which he costarred with soprano Jeanette MacDonald. He was one of the first crossover stars, a superstar appealing both to shrieking bobby soxers as well as opera purists, and in his heyday, he was the highest paid singer in the world.
Eddy was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the only child of Caroline Isabel and William Darius Eddy. His father was a machinist and toolmaker whose work required him to move from town to town. Nelson grew up in Providence and Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and in New Bedford, Massachusetts. As a boy, he was a redhead and quickly acquired the nickname Bricktop. As an adult, his red hair was streaked with silver, so that his hair photographed as blond.