They made eight movies together including Rose Marie, Naughty Marietta and New Moon. Probably the most recognized picture of them is from Rose Marie with Neson Eddy in the scarlet Mountie uniform heading out to arrest Jeanette's brother.
Their relationship was a tumultuous one with many twists and turns. At times they appeared to hate each other, at other times, they seemed to be madly in love. They dated and Nelson pressed Jeanette to marry him. There were two problems. One was that Nelson wanted Jeanette to cut back on her career and raise a family. The other was Mayer of MGM studios. He was adamant the couple shouldn't marry, fearing their volatile relationship would end in divorce and ruin their image as well as his box office incomings. In those days studio bosses had much more power over their actors and were able to blacklist them if they failed to toe the line. Jeanette became pregnant and Mayer pushed her to have an abortion. She miscarried and Nelson thought she had given in to Mayer over the abortion and broke off their relationship.
Jeanette met Gene Raymond, a Nelson look-alike, and married him, a union that lasted 28 years till her death. The marriage had difficulties from the start but they stayed together. In later years it was rumoured that Gene had affairs with men during their marriage. Jeanette still had an off again, on again affair with Nelson through the years. It seems one of those cases where they couldn't live together but couldn't live without each other either. Nelson also married, to Ann Denitz Franklin.
In 1938 Nelson and Jeanette again considered marriage but MGM worked against it; a divorce would spoil their star's image.
Jeanette said "I remember seeing Nelson for the first time and thinking he fulfilled most of my requirements in a man," a rather clinical description for the emotional relationship that followed.
Jeanette suffered from a weak heart and died after surgery in January 1965. When Nelson was told by interviewers of her death, he broke down. "I love her" he stated simply. He lived for two more years, then died of a stroke while performing.
At Nelson's funeral his widow Ann was reportedly overheard to say to Gene Raymond, "Now they can sing together forever."