Vera-Ellen was an American actress and dancer born on February 16, 1921. She began dancing at the age of ten and quickly became very proficient. At age sixteen, she was a winner on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour, and from then on she began her professional career. In 1939, Vera-Ellen debuted in her first Broadway theatre performance at the age of eighteen. She then became one of the youngest Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall even though she was not tall. This led to many roles on Broadway where Samuel Goldwyn spotted her and cast her opposite Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo in Wonder Man. Vera-Ellen danced in many Hollywood musicals and films, including her most well -known and beloved film White Christmas, with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney. She was partnered with Clooney in “Sisters”, Kaye in “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing” and “Choreography”, and dancer John Brascia in “Mandy”, “Choreography”, and “Abraham”. Vera-Ellen was also in Let’s Be Happy, which was her final film.
Vera-Ellen was married twice, first to dancer Robert Hightower and second to millionaire Victor Rothschild. Both of her marriages ended in divorce but while she was married to Rothschild, she gave birth to a daughter named Victoria Ellen Rothschild. Sadly, her daughter died at three months old of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1963. After her child died, Vera-Ellen withdrew from public life. She later died at the age of sixty from cancer on August 30, 1981. She was a beautiful dancer and will always be known for having the “smallest waist in Hollywood.”
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