skip navigation
Cyd Charisse

Cyd Charisse

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (10)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory... If Hollywood is the land where dreams come true, then the undisputed dream-maker... more info $59.98was $59.98 Buy Now

Words And Music DVD Mickey Rooney and Tom Drake play real-life songwriting geniuses Lorenz Hart and... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Brigadoon DVD Lerner and Loewe's magical musical romance.Look on a map and you won't find it.... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Classic Musicals From The Dream Factory:... The PirateCole Porter's tunes, Gene Kelly and Judy Garland's starpower, and the... more info $59.98was $59.98 Buy Now

Assassination In Rome / Espionage In... Go undercover for a double-feature of spies doing what they do best. In... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

An American In Paris DVD Gene Kelly, producer Arthur Freed, director Vincente Minnelli and a skilled... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now



Also Known As: Tula Ellice Finklea, Lily Norwood, Lily Norwood Died: June 17, 2008
Born: March 8, 1922 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Amarillo, Texas Profession: dancer, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Sinuous, dark-haired dancer with impossibly long legs who enlivened some of the finest MGM musicals of the 1950s. Classically trained yet very much a product of the post-"Oklahoma", semi-modern dance school, the dynamic Charisse was one of the finest dancers ever to achieve star status in Hollywood. While her acting and singing abilities were decidedly modest, her grace, serenity and earthy sensuality (somewhat reminiscent of the more fiery Ava Gardner, whom she strongly resembled) made her presence a decided plus. Charisse starred opposite musical comedy luminaries Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly in such films as "The Band Wagon" (1953), "Brigadoon" (1954), "It's Always Fair Weather" (1955) and "Silk Stockings" (1957) and later appeared in straight dramatic fare like Nicholas Ray's "Party Girl (1958) and Vincente Minnelli's "Two Weeks in Another Town" (1962) before her film career petered out. Charisse later did occasional night club work, often with her second husband, crooner Tony Martin, in which she continued to display the dancing talent which had earned her stardom. After years of performing in summer stock musicals, she made her Broadway debut in 1991 in the musical "Grand Hotel", starring...

Sinuous, dark-haired dancer with impossibly long legs who enlivened some of the finest MGM musicals of the 1950s. Classically trained yet very much a product of the post-"Oklahoma", semi-modern dance school, the dynamic Charisse was one of the finest dancers ever to achieve star status in Hollywood. While her acting and singing abilities were decidedly modest, her grace, serenity and earthy sensuality (somewhat reminiscent of the more fiery Ava Gardner, whom she strongly resembled) made her presence a decided plus. Charisse starred opposite musical comedy luminaries Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly in such films as "The Band Wagon" (1953), "Brigadoon" (1954), "It's Always Fair Weather" (1955) and "Silk Stockings" (1957) and later appeared in straight dramatic fare like Nicholas Ray's "Party Girl (1958) and Vincente Minnelli's "Two Weeks in Another Town" (1962) before her film career petered out. Charisse later did occasional night club work, often with her second husband, crooner Tony Martin, in which she continued to display the dancing talent which had earned her stardom. After years of performing in summer stock musicals, she made her Broadway debut in 1991 in the musical "Grand Hotel", starring in the role originated in the 1932 film by Greta Garbo and on the Broadway stage by Liliane Montevecchi.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

3.
 That's Entertainment! III (1994) Host; Song Performer
6.
 Visioni Privati (1990)
7.
 Swimsuit (1989) Mrs Allison
8.
 Portrait of An Escort, The (1980) Sheilah Croft
9.
 Warlords Of Atlantis (1978) Atsil
10.
 Maroc 7 (1968) Louise Henderson
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved to Hollywood in her early teens
1935:
Toured the U.S. with Ballet Russe's corp de ballet
:
Toured Europe with the Ballet Russe in the late 1930s
1943:
Offered dancing roles in Gregory Ratoff's "Something to Shout About" and "Mission to Moscow"
1944:
Signed to MGM contract
1945:
Danced (unbilled) in a ballet around Fred Astaire in "Ziegfeld Follies"
1946:
Film acting debut in "The Harvey Girls"
1948:
Offered second lead role in "Easter Parade"; broke leg and role went to Ann Miller
1949:
First dramatic film role in "East Side, West Side"
1951:
Lost lead role opposite Gene Kelly in "An American in Paris" because of pregnancy
1951:
Played first romantic lead opposite Ricardo Montalban in "Mark of the Renegade"
1952:
Achieved star status as Gene Kelly's dance partner in the climactic 'Broadway Melody' number of "Singin' in the Rain"
1953:
First female lead, opposite Fred Astaire, in the musical "The Band Wagon"
1957:
Played last starring role, opposite Fred Astaire, in the musical "Silk Stockings"
:
Continued for several years thereafter in non-musicals which sometimes included a dance number or two
1959:
Hosted the TV variety special, "Meet Cyd Charisse"
1963:
Made her nightclub debut with husband Tony Martin
1967:
Starred in two TV concert performance specials, "The Cyd Charisse Special" and "Center Stage: Cyd Charisse"
1976:
Published dual autobiography with Tony Martin, <i>The Two of Us</i>
1991:
Made Broadway debut as a replacement for Liliane Montevecchi in the musical, "Grand Hotel"
1994:
Co-hosted the documentary, "That's Entertainment III," a salute to MGM musicals from the late 1920s through the 50s
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Credited as Lily Norwood in first film, though in credits of second film, "Mission to Moscow," both Cyd Charisse and Lili Norwood appear.

The name Cyd evolved because her brother couldn't pronounce "Sis".

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Nico Charisse. Ballet instructor. Married on August 12, 1939 in France; divorced in 1947; began studying dance with him from the age of 13.
husband:
Tony Martin. Singer. Married on May 15, 1948; born on December 25, 1912 in San Francisco; formerly married to singer and actor Alice Faye from 1937 to 1940.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Ernest Finklea. Jewelry store owner. Died c. 1934.
mother:
Lela Finklea.
son:
Nicky Charisse. Born 1940; father Nico Charisse.
son:
Tony Martin Jr. Born 1950; father Tony Martin.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute