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Added by Moon River on 11 Apr 2013 07:10
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Happy Birthday! - Ann Miller

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Born: April 12 1923, Chireno, Texas, U.S.
Died: January 22, 2004, Los Angeles, California, U.S., 80 years old
Celebrated age: 90

Ann Miller was an American dancer, singer and actress. She is remembered for her work in Hollywood musical films of the 1940s and '50s. Actress and dancer. Charismatic and popular, Ann Miller performed on stage and screen for more than 60 years. She made films opposite some of Hollywood's most beloved male dancers, including Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. Though she worked hard and always gave her best in any role, she never made it to the level of leading lady until 1979 when she starred in the Broadway show Sugar Babies with movie legend Mickey Rooney. Richard Severo of the New York Times reported that she once said of the role, "I was never the star in films. I was the brassy, good-hearted showgirl . Sugar Babies gave me the stardom that my soul kind of yearned for." Throughout the rest of the 1930s and 1940s, she appeared in a variety of B-grade movies produced by RKO, Columbia, and Republic. Always a favorite with the critics, even when the movie was not well liked, Miller never made it to the leading role in a major Hollywood film. The closest she came was in 1948 after she signed to MGM Studios. She played the ex-girlfriend of Fred Astaire in the classic film Easter Parade. Miles Kreuger, president of the Institute of the American Musical, described her performance of "Shaking the Blues Away" to the Los Angeles Times, "It's a great solo turn where she's on the stage alone and she just uses the space wonderfully. That number captures all the essence . of Ann Miller—the bravura tap dancing and her enormous energy and that joyous smile that was so engaging." Unfortunately, the era of the Hollywood musical ended. Miller had memorable roles in a couple other films including 1949's On the Town, which starred Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, and 1953's Kiss Me Kate. By the end of the 1950s she had moved to the small screen and was making occasional appearances on television variety shows like The Ed Sullivan Show. She also supported herself by performing at nightclubs. In 2001, Miller returned to the big screen for a role in director David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. As Coco Lenoix, Miller imparted an air of old Hollywood glamour into a film that meant to expose the illusions Hollywood can create.

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9 votes
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