2 3 Throwback Thursday and Vera-Ellen | Ballet Webb

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday and Vera-Ellen

Throwback Thursday and Vera-Ellen
Vera-Ellen Westmeyer Rohe was born on February 16, 1921 in Norwood, Ohio. She began her dance training at age 9, but within only a few years she became one of the youngest Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. She also performed on Broadway.
In 1945 she was discovered by film producer Samuel Goldwyn and went to Hollywood to play opposite Danny Kaye in the film Wonder Man. She quickly established herself as a highly motivated, hard worker and she went on to dance with Gene Kelly (On the Town), and Fred Astaire (Three Little Words). But her most famous role was in the movie White Christmas with Bing Crosby.
She was married twice: first to actor and dancer Robert Hightower, then to Victor Rothschild, but both marriages ended in divorce. She lost her only daughter in 1963 to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Vera-Ellen is believed to have suffered from anorexia, and this may be why in White Christmas her neck is always covered – since anorexia ages the body, and the effects are readily seen in the neck.
Her last film was Let’s Be Happy in 1957, after which she retired from public life, but continued to take dance classes, partly as a treatment for her arthritis. Vera-Ellen died of cancer on August 30, 1981 in Los Angeles.
A biography called Vera-Ellen: the Magic and the Mystery was written by David Soren.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Dance History Factoid #92:  
Vera-Ellen is best remember for her role in the movie White Christmas.”
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Quote of the Day:
“Dancing is like breathing-missing a day doing either is very bad.
-          Vera-Ellen
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