Kathryn Grayson, the star of MGM musicals Anchors Away, Kiss Me Kate and Showboat gone at 88.

The luminous Grayson passed February 17th at her home in LA, cause of death not reported.

Born Zelma Kathryn Hedrick Feb. 9, 1922, Grayson hailed from Winston-Salem, N.C.

After moving to Los Angeles, the youngster caught the eye of MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer, who was searching for a young soprano to topple rival Universal’s Deanna Durbin’s stranglehold on the box-office.

As a teenager Kathryn quickly rose through the ranks of MGM to join  the greatest musical talent  to illuminate the silver screen.

Like Judy Garland, one of her first roles was as one of Mickey Rooney‘s girl friend in the money-making Andy Hardy series as the titular ingénue of Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary and unleashed her beautiful voice as well, warbling Johan Strauss‘ "Voice of Springs" .

Kathryn vaulted to stardom when she played hoofer Gene Kelly‘s gal pal in Thousands Cheers, an MGM WWII extravaganza featuring many other stars including Lena Horne and Jose Iturbi.

In the 1945 Anchors Aweigh Kathryn confirmed her star status as her soprano singing voice made her the ideal costar to appear in male-dominated musicals alongside Frank Sinatra and others.

She made three films with Howard Keel,  one with Gordon MacRae and  Italo diva Mario Lanza who she is said to have loathed.

In an interview Kathryn confessed she  despised Lanza’s "vulgar" language and his use of a hands-on approach to working with a femme costar.

After retiring from film, Grayson returned to her first love, the stage, and toured extensively in The Merry Widow, Rosalinda, Naughty Marietta and Camelot.

Au voir
, Mlle. Kathryn….