June 19th, 2008

caillebotte_man at his window


Tula Ellice Finklea, originally of Amarillo, Texas, died on Tuesday. You may remember her as Cyd Charisse. In the latter days of the movie musical, she was the screen's dancing queen, her partners ranging from Ricardo Montalban and James Mitchell to Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.

Her own favorite movie performance is said to have been Dancing In the Dark in "The Band Wagon" with Astaire. Also not to be forgotten were her balletic turn with Gene Kelly and a diaphanous, thirty foot white train in a fantasy sequence of "Singin' In the Rain" (the second video link in the Voice of Dance obituary above), and the un-subtly erotic dance with James Mitchell in the "Desert Song" section of the Sigmund Romberg biopic "Deep in My Heart". Cyd Charisse was probably the most accomplished polio survivor this side of Franklin Roosevelt.

Cyd Charisse