I'll See You Again, Volume 3: After the War – The Bittersweet Love Story and Wartime Letters of Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond

I'll See You Again, Volume 3: After the War
419 Pages
ISBN 978-1-62933-450-9 (paperback), 978-1-62933-451-6 (hardback)

Before World War II, actress/singer Jeanette MacDonald and actor Gene Raymond were one of Hollywood’s golden couples. Their friends called them “the MacRaymonds” and they adopted the nickname themselves. They were attractive, successful, and had one of the happiest marriages in the entertainment industry. Like many couples, the Raymonds' idyllic lives were interrupted by the war, when Gene served in England and the United States as an Intelligence Officer in the Army Air Force, and Jeanette tirelessly entertained the troops. After the war, both Raymonds found many challenges as they tried to adapt to changes in the entertainment industry, as well as the country.

Volume 3: After the War examines the Raymonds’ lives following World War II, when many planned projects never materialized. The strain and frustration they faced in their careers put stress on their marriage. They often were apart, due to their work and Gene’s service in the Air Force Reserve. Additionally, Jeanette had numerous health problems, which led to her untimely death in 1965. Although Gene remarried nine years after he was widowed, he never stopped loving Jeanette. He kept her legacy alive by playing an active role in her fan club, taking flowers to her crypt, and promoting her career in TV and print interviews.

Not all fans believe that Jeanette and Gene were as happy as they appeared in public or in their letters. In the 1970s, rumors began circulating that the Raymonds’ happy marriage was a sham. Stories spread about Jeanette having a secret thirty-year affair with her frequent co-star, Nelson Eddy, and questioning Gene’s sexuality, with unsubstantiated evidence to support them. Gene handled the rumors with dignity, choosing to ignore them. Maggie McCormick dispels the myths about Jeanette and Gene's marriage, as well as her relationship with Nelson Eddy, using quotes from the Raymonds' private correspondence, interviews, and various drafts of Jeanette's unpublished autobiography. The photo on the cover depicts the Raymonds walking in their gardens, a wistful image reminiscent of the end of Jeanette’s favorite film, Maytime. It shows how happy they were to finally be together after the war, unaware that, in less than twenty years, they would be separated by death. The book includes pictures from the Raymonds' personal collection, as well as a bibliography for the series.

Maggie McCormick

About Maggie McCormick (Cincinnati, Ohio Author)

Maggie McCormick

Cincinnati native Maggie McCormick was interested in theater and old movies from a young age. Always inquisitive, when she became a fan of a celebrity, she set out to learn all she could about the star, spending hours reading and doing research at the library.

After studying theater and journalism at the University of Cincinnati, McCormick parlayed her hobbies into a career as a magazine writer. She contributed articles to many publications on old movies, theater, and doll collecting.

In 2011, McCormick became interested in Jeanette MacDonald, reading all she could about the actress/singer. McCormick was surprised to find conflicting information about MacDonald's marriage to actor Gene Raymond and her relationship with her frequent co-star Nelson Eddy in many books and web sites. While trying to find out the truth, McCormick gained access to private letters, as well as several drafts of MacDonald's unpublished autobiography. The result was the three-volume set of books I'll See You Again: The Bittersweet Love Story and Wartime Letters of Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond, published by BearManor Media.