Ann Miller

24 10 2008

I love old musicals, and I am a big fan of the musical star Ann Miller.
I don’t know why, but she always was given the second lead, and she was beautiful, a good actress, a good comedian, singer, clever, and a fantastic dancer! It’s really unfair I think.

She was named Johnny at birth because her father wanted a boy. (tsss) And when her parents divorced, she was called Annie. She started dancing as a child to help with her rickets. Ann supported herself and her mother who couldn’t get a job because of her deafness. She started her first job as a dancer in the ”Black Cat Club” when she was 11 (she told them she was 18!). She then worked for filmcompanies, also lying about her age, until she got her first big break for MGM, replacing their dance-wonder Cyd Charisse, who had broken her leg, in the musical ”Easter Parade” (1948) Starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland. She danced the fantastic ”Dancing the blues away” while in a metal corset, because her soon to be divorced husband had thrown her down the stairs after a beating. She broke her back and lost her baby due to that fall. She must have been in pain dancing!
This is an increadibly courageous woman and a fantastic dancer!

Shakin’ the blues away

Ann Miller invented the panty-hose! Yes, those panties we all wear today have been invented by a woman! Inventions of women get quickly overlooked, so I am glad to be able to share this with you πŸ™‚
Ann died at the age of 80, in 2004.

After musicals went out of fashion Ann went to perform on Broadway, television, you name it, an incredibly hard worker, and I am happy she also made a lot of money.

You can see on the photo left that she conquered her rickets and had some of the nicest legs ever seen on the planet.

I saw an interview with Ann Miller a couple of years ago, and I was sΓ³ impressed! You know how all the stars are always complaining how they are being used, and the studio’s are draining them dry, forcing them to make bad movies, etc. While this is also true, women lead-actresses have only been getting the same pay very recently, and only a very few female actresses manage to get equal pay.

Still, it was impressive to hear Ann tell how much she loved her life as a contract actress for the big film-companies, how she was taken care off, and treated like a princess, and how she enjoyed it. It’s one thing to be treated like a princess, and another to be able to enjoy it! Even through the tv-screen she came across as a wonderful, warm personality. I already loved her in movies I saw on television as a kid, together with my mum, πŸ™‚ , but knowing her story and seeing what a loving person she was in real made me a serious fan! I’m leaving you with another clip showing her fantastic dancing!

.
Too darn hot! From ”Kiss me Kate” (another great musical!)

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21 responses

24 10 2008
Jeff Atkinson

Hi there,

I looked over your blog and it looks really good. Do you ever do link exchanges on your blog roll? If you do, I’d like to exchange links with you.

Let me know if you’re interested.

Thanks..

24 10 2008
Umm Ibrahim

What a great woman. I used to love watching this old movies back in my teen days. Not much choice of English language stuff here in Saudi though so I haven’t watched anything like that in a while.

What a !”Β£$$% husband she had. 😑

24 10 2008
Aafke

Isn’t it amazing how the most wonderful women can get cursed with the most useless Γ€**^#*^s for husbands???

24 10 2008
Susie of Arabia

Hi Aafke – Thanks for all the great information about Ann Miller. I always enjoyed watching her in old movies/musicals with my mom, who is about the same age as Ann if Ann were still alive. She really was beautiful! I know she always got stuck playing second fiddle, and I truly don’t see why either. What a lovely tribute you have made for her. Thanks!

24 10 2008
misspecs

You know what? The last picture is exactly what I’ve always imagined you to look like. πŸ˜€

Loved her videos.. and hurray for panties. So, er, what did women wear before that?

And where did you get that information? Haha, this calls for a black marker. Again. πŸ˜€

24 10 2008
Marahm

Wow, what a great dancer! Thanks for this refreshing look at a woman and a genre that is no more.

24 10 2008
Tony

That was a short pause….

24 10 2008
Aafke

Susie glad you enjoyed! πŸ™‚

Miss Specs, no, alas… Ann Miller is far more beautiful than I am. Annis defenitely black marker material! Before women wore loose stockings, with garters and suspenders, very uncomforrtable. For the stage and movies, they stitched very long stockings to panties, but when it went wrong, or when you got a run, a comletely new pair had to be made, so Ann had made special ones made by her instructiones, and they turned out to become the pantyhose we wear now!

Marahm, I think modern musicals are nothing compared to the old ones, My mum used to love them, and we would watch them together.

Tony: I got over it much sooner than I expected! πŸ˜€

24 10 2008
always in the kitchen

I love watching old movies on TCM.Ann Miller is one of my favs.I never new she had such a tough life.What a smart,brave,intelligent woman.

24 10 2008
fairuza

Gorgeous!

Ahhh, the good old days…back when women were allowed to be naturally beautiful AND classy (as opposed to today where you are supposed to be rail thin and skanky).

I wish some old fashioned-ness would creep back into Hollywood. There are very few actresses that I respect anymore because most of them have completely sold themselves out. Many Hollywood actresses today are nothing better than glorified porn stars.

I liked this post. Shows us what true femininity looks like!

24 10 2008
Aafke

Always, you’d never guess from her performances.

Fairuza, I so agree with you! It’s as if bad taste, nakedness and sluttiness are the goal now! You gave me an idea for another post! I do miss the real elegance and glamour of yore! I’ve been collecting some photo’s of elegance in dress, and sophisticated actresses, and I get stuck way back in the past!
Stay tuned for my Diva post! πŸ™‚

25 10 2008
Achelois

I’m not a big fan of musicals. I watched High School Musical 3 with kids yesterday and cried out of boredom πŸ˜€ But I liked Hairspray.

25 10 2008
Aafke

Achelois, I like the old ones! Gigi, Kiss me kate, Easter parade, funny face, so many! I don’t like the modern ones!
never even heard of ”high School Musical 3” ?

26 10 2008
Haleem

first time hearing of her!

26 10 2008
Haleem

first time hearing of her!

26 10 2008
Aafke

No that second comment was the second time! :mrgreen:

3 11 2009
jill miller

she was my favorite actress and dancer. Loved all her movies. So sad that she had such an abusive husband. But she had the guts to overcome adversity, good for her.

3 11 2009
Aafke

Hi Jill, thanks.

31 05 2011
John Ryan

We are all better off for having seen her perform and to know her during her fast life however she retained a “Dancer’s Physique” to a rather late age to her credit and performed small shows up until a late age and on Television too.

She was not forgotten by many who made it big and remebered her for her clean cut looks and lovely smile and her movements like a ”Swan”.

Dad and my Step Mom introduced me to her when watching old black and white movies in New York City many decades ago and I never forgot anything of her, how could I.

Don’t worry “Annie” no one has come close to topping you yet and won’t if music and dance continue on the path it seems to be following now!!

31 05 2011
Aafke-Art

You were so lucky to have seen her perform!

13 01 2012
Jennifer

Ann Miller was a marvelous dancer and actress. I am a BIG oldies movie fan, so I definitely know who she is. There is one movie that she played an extra in, and throughout the whole thing, she was dancing around in pointe shoes! I myself am a dancer and wish so badly that dance training was still as good as it was back then. Thank you for sharing! God Bless,

Jenny~

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