2 3 Throwback Thursday and Miriam Nelson | Ballet Webb

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Throwback Thursday and Miriam Nelson

Throwback Thursday and Miriam Nelson

The world recently lost a significant person in dance history last month. Miriam Nelson, a dancer and choreographer for many films and television programs, died on August 12, 2018 at her home in Beverly Hills. She was 98.

Born in Chicago, Miriam Lois Frankel was fascinated bly tap dancing at an early age. When she was a teenager, her family moved to New York  where she continued the dance lessons she’d begun in Chicago.

She made her Broadway debut in “Sing Out the News” and went on to dance in five other musicals including Cole Porter’s “Panama Hattie”. Fellow performers included June Alllyson and Vera Ellen.

After her marriage to Gene Nelson (an actor, dancer and ice skater), the couple moved to Los Angeles and she began working a a contract player at Paramount. She danced in “Lady in the Dark” , “Cover Girl”, and other uncredited roles. She soon became known as a choreographer for films, creating numbers for her husband and many others.

In the 1950s she worked on television variety shows and choreographed the live, televised opening of Disneyland in July 1955. She worked on early TV programs like the “Donna Reed Show” and “Father Knows Best” and on through the decades with “Colombo” and “Murder She Wrote”. As if this weren’t enough she choreographed nightclub acts for Carol Channing, Ann Miller and others.

Behind the scenes, she was the “ghost tapper” for many movies, providing the tap sounds much like singers whose voices were dubbed over the celebrity leads.

She continued to tap dance into her 90s.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets
Dance History Factoi #247:
“Miriam Nelson “ghost tapped” the audio for movies.

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“I knew, really knew, I would never die with my song unsung.”
― Gary Russo, Don't Die with Your Song Unsung

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