Singer-actress Jeanette MacDonald is a perfect example of what, decades after her death, became known as a "classical crossover" artist. In her films, radio, television appearances, concerts, and recordings, she sang opera, operetta, art songs, and show tunes, often with an eye toward popularizing classical music for the masses. This was a delicate balancing act that worked for most of her career, during which she enjoyed high-grossing films, gold records, and sold-out concerts. But even during that period, like all classical crossover artists, she suffered criticism from both sides of the breach she was attempting to cross. Pop critics sometimes found her soprano singing too highfalutin and pretentious, while classical critics demeaned her for diluting the purity of classical art by performing in popular media. And she was not served well by the cultural trends and fashions in the performing arts that followed her heyday, as rock & roll took over pop music, classical music became ever more removed from mainstream culture, and the movies were swamped by realism. All of that could make it hard to remember that at the height of her career, MacDonald was the leading female musical star at the most prestigious film studio in Hollywood, uplifting audiences with her thrilling performances of classical and semi-classical themes while moving them with her acting in unabashedly romantic stories. While critics of later generations dismissed her most popular films as "high camp," legions of loyal fans worldwide continued to admire her for the same qualities that sympathetic viewers and listeners had identified in her prime.