Image of Vera-Ellen


Vera-Ellen began dancing at the age of 10, and a few years later became one of the youngest Rockettes. She appeared in several Broadway musicals until she was spotted by film producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1945. She was only 24 years old when Goldwyn cast her opposite Danny Kaye in Wonder Man (1945). She danced with Fred Astaire in Three Little Words (1950) and with Gene Kelly in On the Town (1949). Blonde, slim of build, and a dancing sensation, she appeared in a string of light-hearted but successful films. Vera-Ellen retired from acting in the late 1950s. Vera's career died down in the late 1950s once filmed musicals lost their fashion. It was later discovered that, due to the dancer's compulsive dieting obsession, she had silently battled anorexia throughout much of the 50s before anyone was even aware or doctors had even coined the term or devised treatments. Moreover, she had developed severe arthritis which forced an early retirement. In order to combat it, she reverted back to taking dance lessons again. The worst blows suffered, however, was in her personal life. On top of of two two failed marriages, she lost her only child, Victoria Ellen Rothschild, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 1963. With one unhappy and tragic event compounded by another, she became a virtual recluse. Little was heard for decades until it was discovered that she had died on August 30, 1981, at age 60 following a long bout with cancer at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was buried at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Sylmar, California. Perhaps less remembered today compared to several of the big stars that shared the stage with her, Vera-Ellen was a lithe and lovely presence who deserved a better personal life than she got. Nevertheless, she has provided true film lovers with a lasting legacy and can easily be considered one of Hollywood's finest dancing legends.

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Feb 16, 1921
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Wonder Man 1945-01-01
Latest Project:
Movie Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer 2002-09-24
Known For
Poster of Let's Be Happy
Poster of Words and Music
Poster of The Ed Sullivan Show
Poster of The Kid from Brooklyn
Movie Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer Herself (archive footage) 2002-09-24
Movie That's Entertainment! III (archive footage) 1994-07-01
Movie That's Dancing! 1985-01-01
Movie Let's Be Happy Jeannie MacLean 1957-05-07
Movie A Star Is Born World Premiere 1954-09-28
Movie White Christmas Judy Haynes 1954-10-14
Movie Big Leaguer Christy 1953-08-19
Movie Call Me Madam Princess Maria 1953-03-25
Movie The Belle of New York Angela Bonfils 1952-02-22
Movie Happy Go Lovely Janet Jones 1951-03-06
Series The Colgate Comedy Hour Unknown 1950-09-10
Movie Three Little Words Jessie Brown Kalmar 1950-07-12
Movie Love Happy Maggie Phillips 1949-10-12
Movie On the Town Ivy Smith 1949-12-08
Series The Ed Sullivan Show Unknown 1948-06-20
Movie Words and Music Vera-Ellen 1948-12-31
Movie Carnival in Costa Rica Luisa Molina 1947-03-28
Movie The Kid from Brooklyn Susie Sullivan 1946-03-21
Movie Three Little Girls in Blue Myra Charters 1946-09-03
Movie Wonder Man Midge Mallon 1945-01-01
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