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Quotes About the Marriage of Maria and Nat King Cole

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Maria and Nat King Cole Picture

American singer Nat King Cole and his wife Maria at the opening ceremony of the Cocoanut Grove in Hollywood on August 11, 1964.

Photo: Keystone / Getty Images
Maria: "I miss the closeness of my marriage to Nat," Cole said in the 1989 Boston Globe interview. "I loved hearing his key in the door. I loved preparing his meals. I loved being married to him."
Source: Dennis McLellan. "Maria Cole dies at 89; singer was widow of Nat King Cole." LATimes.com. 7/13/2012.

Jessie Carney Smith: "Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Maria's aunt, did not approve of the marriage because Nat Cole was a divorced musician. Many friends, onlookers, and relatives felt that that two were from completely different worlds."
Source: Jessie Carney Smith, Shirelle Phelps. Notable Black American Women. pg. 119.

Maria after the death of Nat: “Nat was a very humble man. I don't think he ever realized what a great international talent he had become.”
Source: "Nat King Cole." AllAboutJazz.com.

Maria: "All I can do now is live from day to day. I will say this about my whole life: Since my husband has been gone, I don't plan things as I once did. When he was living, I could tell you what we were going to do this time next month. Now I can't. I live my personal life one day at a time."
Source: Mrs. Nat King Cole. "Why I am Returning to Show Business." Ebony. 01/1966. pg. 45.

Natalie Cole: "The church was packed and several thousand people stood on the sidewalk for a glimpse of the couple. After a honeymoon in Acapulco, well, the honeymoon was over. The mutual distaste between the two sides of the family created a lot of tension in my parents' marriage ..." Source: Natalie Cole, Digby Diehl. Angel on My Shoulder. 2000. pg. 28.

Charles Sanders: "It's said that Cole, who was standing behind Maria the first time he saw her, checked out her legs and decided that if the rest of her looked as good he wanted her as his wife. Obviously the rest did."
source: Charles L. Sanders. "The Elegant and Busy world of Maria Cole." Ebony. 10/1981.

Natalie Cole: "... I knew nothing of Gunilla Hutton, the woman Dad had been having an affair with, but my mother certainly did, and it must have made dealing with the aftermath of his death even more difficult for her."
Source: Natalie Cole, Digby Diehl. Angel on My Shoulder. 2000. pg. 57-58.

Margo Jefferson: "The last years of Cole's life were complicated and painful ... In 1964, at the age of 44, he discovered he was dying of lung cancer and fell recklessly in love with a young Swedish dancer, Gunilla Hutton, who was touring with his stage show. He was soon hospitalized, and a byzantine melodrama unfolded. Maria blocked all incoming telephone calls and sat by his bed while they went from lethal words to lethal silences. Gunilla called Maria at home and asked her to give Nat the divorce he wanted. Maria went back to the hospital, dialed Gunilla's number for Nat (he was too weak to hold the phone), then listened as he told her that he was dying and must remain with his family. Nat (King) Cole died a month later."
Source: Margo Jefferson. "Review of Unforgettable." NYTimes.com. 12/26/1999.

Jack Benny at Nat's funeral: "Time, as always, will work its healing ways and I know that some day the dew drops will glisten on the Rambling Rose; the Ballerina will dance again and Mona Lisa will smile."
Source: Louie Robinson. "The Life and Death of Nat King Cole." Ebony. April 1965. pg. 130.

Maria and Nat King Cole Marriage Profile

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