Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cyd Charisse dead at 86.

Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952).

She was lovely and talented, one heck of a dancer, and for my money one of the most beautiful women who ever lived.

She overcame polio to become a world class dancer. That alone should tell you a lot about her grit and determination. She set out to become a star and she made it...with a little help from Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.

As she noted in her autobiography:

"As one of the handful of girls who worked with both of those dance geniuses, I think I can give an honest comparison. In my opinion, Kelly is the more inventive choreographer of the two. Astaire, with Hermes Pan's help, creates fabulous numbers — for himself and his partner.

But Kelly can create an entire number for somebody else ... I think, however, that Astaire's coordination is better than Kelly's ... his sense of rhythm is uncanny. Kelly, on the other hand, is the stronger of the two. When he lifts you, he lifts you! ... To sum it up, I'd say they were the two greatest dancing personalities who were ever on screen. But it's like comparing apples and oranges. They're both delicious."

I miss her already.

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