- Began singing as a child; entertained at military camps during World War I.
- Worked as a stenographer before achieving stardom in the 1930 Broadway hit Girl Crazy, giving a show-stopping performance of "I Got Rhythm."
- Her favorite and best-known role was in Gypsy, which ran for more than 700 performances starting in 1959.
- In her 1978 memoir, Merman, the chapter devoted to her 32-day marriage to Ernest Borgnine consists of one blank page.
- Her final film appearance was a cameo in the 1980 comedy Airplane!
- The auditorium of her high school is named in her honor.
- 1954, Golden Globe — Actress in a Leading Role - Musical or Comedy: Winner
- 1959, Grammy — Best Broadway Show Album: Winner
- 1954, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Winner
- 1960, Tony — Actress (Musical): Nominee
- 1951, Tony — Actress (Musical): Winner
- 1972, Tony — Special Award: Winner
- 1957, Tony — Actress (Musical): Nominee
- Edward Zimmermann — Father
- Robert Levitt — Ex-husband
- Ernest Borgnine — Ex-husband
- William B. Smith — Ex-husband
- Agnes Zimmermann — Mother
- Robert Six — Ex-husband
- Ethel Levitt — Daughter
- Robert Levitt Jr. — Son
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