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Vera-Ellen was an American actress and dancer who gained fame for her performances in musical films during the 1940s and 1950s. Here’s an overview of her biography and some of her notable works:
Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe was born on February 16, 1921, in Norwood, Ohio, USA. She began dancing at a young age and quickly developed a passion for the art.
Vera-Ellen’s career was marked by her exceptional dancing skills and her appearances in popular musical films:
- “Wonder Man” (1945): She had an uncredited role as a specialty dancer in this musical comedy film starring Danny Kaye.
- “On the Town” (1949): Vera-Ellen danced and sang in this musical comedy film that followed the adventures of three sailors on shore leave in New York City.
- “Three Little Words” (1950): She portrayed dancer Jessie Brown alongside Fred Astaire in this musical biographical film about the songwriting team Kalmar and Ruby.
- “White Christmas” (1954): Vera-Ellen is perhaps best known for her role as Judy Haynes in this iconic musical film starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.
- “The Belle of New York” (1952): She starred as Angela Bonfils in this musical comedy film alongside Fred Astaire.
- “Call Me Madam” (1953): Vera-Ellen played the role of Princess Maria in this musical comedy film starring Ethel Merman.
Behind her successful career, Vera-Ellen faced personal challenges. She battled health issues and underwent several surgeries throughout her life. Despite her hardships, she remained dedicated to her craft.
Vera-Ellen retired from films in the late 1950s but continued to perform on stage, including in Broadway productions. She ultimately stepped away from the entertainment industry to focus on her health and personal life.
Later Life and Passing:
After retiring from show business, Vera-Ellen led a private life. She passed away on August 30, 1981, at the age of 60, due to cancer. Her contributions to the world of dance and entertainment continue to be remembered and celebrated.
Please note that my information is based on data available up to September 2021, and there may have been developments or changes since that time.
Trivia of Vera-Ellen
Certainly! Here are some interesting trivia and lesser-known facts about Vera-Ellen:
- Birth Name: While she is commonly known as Vera-Ellen, her full birth name was Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe.
- Early Dance Training: Vera-Ellen’s mother recognized her daughter’s natural dancing abilities at a young age and enrolled her in ballet lessons when she was just six years old.
- Radio Performances: Before her film career, Vera-Ellen gained early exposure by performing on radio shows and participating in dance competitions.
- Professional Debut: She made her professional debut at the age of 16 as a dancer in the Broadway musical “Very Warm for May.”
- Stage and Screen Parallel: Vera-Ellen often balanced her film and stage careers, moving seamlessly between musicals on both platforms.
- Dubbing Singing Voices: In some of her films, including “White Christmas,” her singing voice was dubbed by other vocalists, as her natural singing voice was considered less strong compared to her exceptional dancing abilities.
- Dance Techniques: Vera-Ellen was skilled in various dance techniques, including tap, ballet, and jazz. Her impeccable dance skills contributed significantly to her success in musical films.
- Equestrian Skills: Outside of her dancing talents, she was an accomplished equestrian and enjoyed horseback riding.
- Unique Stage Name: She adopted the stage name Vera-Ellen by combining the first name of her first ballet teacher with the name Ellen, which was her mother’s maiden name.
- Famous Partners: Vera-Ellen had the opportunity to dance alongside legendary performers such as Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Danny Kaye in her film roles.
- Frequent Co-Star: She appeared in multiple films with actor Danny Kaye, including “Wonder Man,” “The Kid from Brooklyn,” and “White Christmas.”
- Retirement: Vera-Ellen retired from the film industry in the late 1950s due to health issues but continued performing on stage in musicals and revues.
- Health Struggles: Throughout her life, Vera-Ellen faced health challenges, including various surgeries and health concerns that ultimately contributed to her early passing.
- Legacy: Despite her relatively brief career, Vera-Ellen’s exceptional dance talent and performances in classic musical films continue to be celebrated by fans of both classic Hollywood and dance enthusiasts.
Remember that my information is based on data available up to September 2021, and there may have been developments or changes since that time.
Movies and webseries of Vera-Ellen
As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Vera-Ellen’s career primarily focused on movies and stage performances, and she did not participate in web series or digital content due to the era she was active in. Here are some notable movies she appeared in:
- “Wonder Man” (1945) – Vera-Ellen had an uncredited role as a specialty dancer in this musical comedy film starring Danny Kaye.
- “On the Town” (1949) – She danced and sang in this musical comedy film about three sailors on shore leave in New York City.
- “Three Little Words” (1950) – She portrayed dancer Jessie Brown alongside Fred Astaire in this musical biographical film about the songwriting team Kalmar and Ruby.
- “The Belle of New York” (1952) – Vera-Ellen starred as Angela Bonfils in this musical comedy film alongside Fred Astaire.
- “Call Me Madam” (1953) – She played the role of Princess Maria in this musical comedy film starring Ethel Merman.
- “White Christmas” (1954) – Vera-Ellen is perhaps best known for her role as Judy Haynes in this iconic musical film starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.
Please note that her filmography is relatively compact compared to later eras, as she focused on her exceptional dancing and acting career during the height of the Hollywood musical era.
Please also be aware that my information is based on the status as of September 2021, and there may have been developments or changes since that time.