Hope Holiday

Hope Holiday (born Hope Jane Zee; November 30, 1930) is an American actress, perhaps best known for her role of Mrs. Margie MacDougall, Jack Lemmon's partner in self-pity on Christmas Eve night, in the Billy Wilder film The Apartment (1960).

Hope Holiday
Hope Jane Zee

(1930-11-30) November 30, 1930
OccupationActress, producer
Spouse(s)Frank Marth (1967-2014; his death)
Parent(s)Allen and Doris Zee

Early years

Holiday was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in Manhattan. Her father, a burlesque entertainer who was the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, changed his name from Allen Zaslawsky to Allen Zee before his daughters were born. She attended Public School 117 in Jamaica, Queens, and then went to Forest Hills High School.[1]

Hoping to become a star, she dropped out of high school and sang at the Copacabana nightclub.[2] Her father was also described by Ed Sullivan as a "Capitol Theater exec."[3] Her mother, Doris,[1] worked in the production department at radio station WHN in New York City.[4] Her father at one time was night manager of WHN. She has an older sister, Judy, whose stage name was Judy Sinclair.[1]

Name change

A column in the June 30, 1954, issue of the Brooklyn Eagle noted Zee's change of names: "At the Guy Lombardo extravaganza, 'Arabian Night,' the lassie that almost walked away with the show was Hope Holiday. Hope, before this show, used the name of Hope Zee ..."[5] She later recalled:

I had a featured role as the Teeny Weeny Genie and got to sing two songs. Before this show I had been billed as "Hope Zee," but since my father was a producer of the show along with Lombardo, he purposely changed my name in the program, as he didn't want audiences thinking there was any nepotism imvolved. I literally had no say in choosing my new name. Since he loved Judy Holliday, Daddy decided to call me "Hope Holiday" without the extra "L." I hated the name at first but ending up keeping it.[1]



Holiday has extensive Broadway musical comedy background, beginning with dancing in the chorus lines in Top Banana and Guys and Dolls.[2] As Hope Zee, she also was understudy to Rose Marie in Top Banana, but when the star had to be gone for a week, Zee was laid off, and Audrey Meadows was hired to take over the part.[6] In 1949, she played Fifi and was a member of the singing ensemble of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.[7] In the 1956 Broadway production of Li'l Abner,, Holiday was understudy for Mammy Yokum in addition to being a featured dancer.[1]


Holiday acted in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s film and TV. She has also produced and directed films.


In the early 1950s, Holiday (billed as Hope Zee) sang with Ralph Flanagan's orchestra.[8] An August 4, 1950, newspaper column by Dorothy Kilgallen reported, "Hope Zee ... quit 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' last week to become vocalist with Ralph Flanagan's band ..."[9]

Personal life

Holiday is the widow of actor Frank Marth. They were married April 9, 1967. Marth died in January 2014.[1]

Selected filmography


  1. Brumburgh, Gary (August 2015). "Hope Holiday". Classic Images (482): 6, 8–15, 66–67.
  2. Johnson, Erskine (June 10, 1960). "Hope Holiday: Successful Failure". The Rhinelander Daily News. p. 7. Retrieved October 2, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  3. Sullivan, Ed (January 6, 1950). "Little Old New York". The Morning Herald. p. 4. Retrieved October 2, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  4. "(untitled brief)". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. July 24, 1938. p. 44. Retrieved October 3, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  5. Farrell, Bob (June 30, 1954). "New York at Night". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 12. Retrieved October 3, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  6. Kilgallen, Dorothy (December 10, 1951). "The Voice of Broadway . ." The Oneonta Star. p. 11. Retrieved October 2, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  7. Francis, Bob (December 17, 1949). "Broadway Opening: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (PDF). Billboard. pp. 46–47. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  8. "Ticket Sale Starts for Police Ball". The Oneonta Star. October 2, 1950. p. 5. Retrieved October 2, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
  9. Kilgallen, Dorothy (August 4, 1950). "Backstage on Broadway". The Record-Argus. p. 9. Retrieved October 3, 2015 via Newspapers.com.
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