High notes: why we should sing about actors who avoid lip-syncing

As Judy Garland, Renée Zellweger delivers an all-singing tour de force and reminds us of the power of stars who can also sing their way through musicalsIn the golden age of Hollywood musicals, having your singing voice dubbed was seen as a bit of a cheat: it could be done, in some cases, but chances are you’d be marked down a bit for it.

In 1965, George Cukor’s sumptuous version of the Broadway smash My Fair Lady won eight Oscars, including best actor for Rex Harrison, who manfully did his own speak-singing as Henry Higgins; eyebrows were raised, however, when his co-star Audrey Hepburn wasn’t even nominated for best actress.Related: Is Hollywood still in love with the suffering ‘gay icon’?

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