Monday, March 8, 2010


Cyd Charisse was best known for her dance numbers with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. She first performed with Astaire in a dance routine in Ziegfeld Follies. Her next performance with him was as lead role in The Band Wagon (1953), where she danced with Astaire in "Dancing in the Dark" and "Girl Hunt Ballet".

Another early role for her was opposite Judy Garland in The Harvey Girls (1946). Debbie Reynolds was not a trained dancer, Gene Kelly chose Charisse to dance with him in "Broadway Melody" ballet finale from Singin' in the Rain (1952), and she co-starred with Kelly in Brigadoon (1954).

She also took the lead role alongside Kelly in his MGM musical It's Always Fair Weather (1956).

In 1957, she rejoined Astaire in the film version of Silk Stockings, a musical remake of Ninotchka(1939), with Charisse taking over Greta Garbo's role. In his autobiography, Astaire paid tribute to Charisse, calling her "beautiful dynamite" and writing: "That Cyd! When you've danced with her you stay danced with."

In her autobiography, Charisse shared her experience with Astaire and Kelly: "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."

She had a supporting role in "Something's Got To Give", the last, unfinished film of Marilyn Monroe.

She made cameo appearances in Blue Mercedess "I Want To Be Your Property" (1987) and Janet Jacksons "Alright" (1990) music videos.

Her last film appearance was in 1994 in That's Entertainment! III as one of the onscreen narrators of a tribute to the great MGM Musical films. 

My 5 top favorite Cyd Charisse films are:
FIESTA (1947)


  1. Dawn my favorite Cyd films are, the Unfinished Dance, Singing In The Ran, The Band Wagon (In Stereophonic Sound) Silk Stockings and It's Always Fair Weather.

  2. Paul, I have not seen Unfinished Dance. I wish that TCM would have added that to the Cyd line up of Birthday films.:(

  3. Dawn, TCM ran it back in January or Early Feb, My wife had me watch it and of course burn a DVD.

  4. Paul, I'm sorry I missed it. Hopefully TCM will run it again soon.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.