Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cyd Charisse: 1921-2008

Cyd Charisse, the elegant dance legend and beautiful movie star, passed away earlier today at the age of 86.

As a teenager, Charisse was a member of the famed Ballet Russe, but it was the silver screen where she found her lasting fame, dancing with Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain and Brigadoon and Fred Astaire in The Band Wagon and Silk Stockings (receiving a Golden Globe nomination for the latter). Other movie musical classics she starred in include The Harvey Girls, Ziegfeld Follies, Till the Clouds Roll By and It's Always Fair Weather.

In later years, she made several television appearances (including The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Frasier) and performed with her husband, singer Tony Martin, in nightclub revues. She also starred on Broadway in the musical version of Grand Hotel. Her final film appearance was as a co-host of That's Entertainment III, a fitting tribute to her thoroughly entertaining life on film.

UPDATE: Turner Classic Movies will pay tribute to Cyd Charisse with screenings of Singin' in the Rain, The Band Wagon and Silk Stockings on Friday night, beginning at 8:00 PM EST.

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