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June 18, 2008: "Movie Dancer Cyd Charisse Dies At 86"
Movie dancer Cyd Charisse, an MGM ballet dancer at the height of Hollywood's golden era, has died of an apparent heart attack. She was 86.
According to her rep, the dancer died early Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Charisse wooed Fred Astaire in such classic '50s musicals as "The Band Wagon" and "Silk Stockings" and Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain" and "Brigadoon." Even though Cyd Charisse was a glamorous dancer, her coworkers adored her and often called her by her real name, Tula Finklea, from Amarillo, Texas.
Kelly was a huge fan of his beautiful brunette costar and often said that MGM didn't really know what to do with her. Once the studio system collapsed, Charisse made only the occasional appearance, often on TV or in nightclubs. She would appear with her husband singer Tony Martin, whom she married in 1948.
Actress and Dancer Cyd Charisse pictures and photo gallery.
Birth name:Tula Ellice Finklea .
Born:March 8, 1921 Amarillo, Texas.
The name "Cyd" was a nickname taken from a sibling trying to say "Sis".
Charisse performed in celebrated on-screen pairings with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Her work includes two of the most acclaimed dance sequences in musical cinema, the "Broadway Melody Ballet" sequence from the movie Singin' in the Rain and the "Girl Hunt Ballet" from The Band Wagon. She appeared more recently in Janet Jackson's "Alright" music video. Charisse's singing voice was usually dubbed in her musical film appearances, most often by India Adams.