Image of Ann Miller

Ann Miller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Johnnie Lucille Collier (April 12, 1923 – January 22, 2004), known professionally as Ann Miller, was an American dancer, singer and actress. She is best remembered for her work in the Classical Hollywood musical films of the 1940s and 1950s. At age 13 in 1936, Miller became a showgirl at the Bal Tabarin. She was hired as a dancer in the "Black Cat Club" in San Francisco (she reportedly told them she was 18). It was there that she was discovered by Lucille Ball and talent scout/comic Benny Rubin (although some sources say this occurred at Bal Tabarin). This led Miller to be given a contract with RKO in 1936 at the age of 13 (she had also told them she was 18, and apparently provided a fake birth certificate, procured by her father - with the name "Lucy Ann Collier") and she remained there until 1940. In 1941, she signed with Columbia Pictures, where, starting with Time Out for Rhythm, she starred in 11 B movie musicals from 1941 to 1945. In July 1945, with World War II still raging in the Pacific, she posed in a bathing suit as a Yank magazine pin-up girl. She ended her contract in 1946 with one "A" film, The Thrill of Brazil. The ad in Life magazine featured Miller's leg in a large, red, bow-tied stocking as the "T" in "Thrill". She finally hit her mark in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals such as Easter Parade (1948), On the Town (1949) and Kiss Me Kate (1953). Miller was famed for her speed in tap dance. Studio publicists concocted press releases claiming she could tap 500 times per minute, but in truth, the sound of ultra-fast "500" taps was looped in later. Because the stage floors were waxed and too slick for regular tap shoes, she had to dance in shoes with rubber treads on the sole. Later she would loop the sound of the taps while watching the film and actually dancing on a "tap board" to match her steps in the film. Her film career effectively ended in 1956 as the studio system lost steam to television, but she remained active in the theater and on television. She starred on Broadway in the musical Mame in 1969, in which she wowed the audience in a tap number created just for her. In 1979 she astounded audiences in the Broadway show Sugar Babies with fellow MGM veteran Mickey Rooney, which toured the United States extensively after its Broadway run. In 1983, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre. She appeared in a special 1982 episode of The Love Boat, joined by fellow showbiz legends Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Della Reese, Van Johnson and Cab Calloway in a storyline that cast them as older relatives of the show's regular characters. Her last stage performance was a 1998 production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies, in which she played hardboiled Carlotta Campion and received rave reviews for her rendition of the song "I'm Still Here". For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Miller has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6914 Hollywood Blvd. In 1998, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her. To honor Miller's contribution to dance, the Smithsonian Institution displays her favorite pair of tap shoes, which she playfully nicknamed "Moe and Joe".


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Born:
Apr 12, 1923 In Houston, Texas, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
71
First Appeared:
In the movie The Good Fairy 1935-02-18
Latest Project:
Movie Judy Garland: By Myself 2004-02-25
Known For
Poster of The Love Boat
Poster of The Dick Cavett Show
Poster of You Can't Take It with You
Poster of The Devil on Horseback
Filmography
Movie Judy Garland: By Myself Herself 2004-02-25
Movie Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There Self 2003-01-01
Movie Inside the Marx Brothers Herself 2003-01-01
Movie Broadway's Lost Treasures Ann (segment "Sugar Babies") 2003-08-10
Movie Rita Self 2003-09-09
Movie Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 2002-03-21
Movie Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer Herself (archive footage) 2002-09-24
Movie Mulholland Drive Coco 2001-06-06
Movie Frank Sinatra Memorial Self 2000-05-16
Movie Hollywood Musicals of the 40's (archive footage) 2000-09-01
Movie Mulholland Dr. 1999-01-01
Series E! True Hollywood Story Unknown 1996-03-29
Movie Inside the Dream Factory Self 1995-11-01
Movie That's Entertainment! III Herself - Co-Host / Narrator 1994-07-01
Movie Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie Herself 1993-02-14
Series Home Improvement Mrs. Keeney 1991-09-17
Movie That's Dancing! Unknown 1985-01-01
Movie Night of 100 Stars Herself 1982-03-08
Movie Whose Doctor Who 1977-04-03
Series The Love Boat Connie Carruthers 1977-09-24
Movie That's Entertainment, Part II (archive footage) 1976-05-16
Movie Won Ton Ton: the Dog Who Saved Hollywood Presidents' Girl 2 1976-07-26
Movie That's Entertainment! (archive footage) 1974-06-21
Movie Dames at Sea Mona 1971-11-15
Series Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Unknown 1968-01-22
Series The Dick Cavett Show Self - Guest 1968-06-06
Series The Hollywood Palace Unknown 1964-01-04
Movie The Great American Pastime Doris Patterson 1956-11-28
Series The Dinah Shore Chevy Show Unknown 1956-10-05
Series Tony Awards Herself - Performer 1956-04-01
Movie The Opposite Sex Gloria Dahl 1956-11-15
Movie Hit the Deck Ginger 1955-02-24
Movie Deep in My Heart Ann Miller 1954-12-09
Movie Small Town Girl Lisa Bellmount 1953-04-10
Movie Kiss Me Kate Lois Lane / Bianca 1953-11-26
Movie Lovely to Look At Bubbles Cassidy 1952-05-29
Movie Texas Carnival Sunshine Jackson 1951-10-05
Movie Two Tickets to Broadway Joyce Campbell 1951-11-20
Series What's My Line? Self - Mystery Guest 1950-02-02
Movie Watch the Birdie Miss Lucky Vista 1950-12-11
Movie Mighty Manhattan, New York's Wonder City Herself 1949-07-30
Movie On the Town Claire Huddesen 1949-12-08
Movie Easter Parade Nadine Hale 1948-07-08
Series The Ed Sullivan Show Unknown 1948-06-20
Movie The Kissing Bandit Fiesta Specialty Dancer 1948-11-14
Movie The Thrill of Brazil Linda Lorens 1946-09-06
Movie Eadie Was a Lady Eadie Allen / Edithea Alden 1945-01-24
Movie Eve Knew Her Apples Eve Porter 1945-04-12
Movie Hey, Rookie Winnie Clark 1944-04-06
Movie Carolina Blues Julie Carver 1944-12-20
Movie Jam Session Terry Baxter 1944-04-13
Movie Reveille with Beverly Beverly Ross 1943-02-04
Movie What's Buzzin', Cousin? Ann Crawford 1943-07-08
Movie True to the Army Vicki Marlow 1942-03-21
Movie Priorities on Parade Donna D'Arcy 1942-07-23
Movie Hedda Hopper's Hollywood No. 2 Unknown 1941-12-05
Movie Time Out for Rhythm Kitty Brown 1941-06-05
Movie Go West, Young Lady Lola 1941-11-27
Movie Melody Ranch Julie Shelton 1940-09-15
Movie Hit Parade of 1941 Anabelle Potter 1940-10-14
Movie Too Many Girls Pepe 1940-10-08
Movie Having Wonderful Time Vivian (uncredited) 1938-07-01
Movie Radio City Revels Billie 1938-02-11
Movie Room Service Hilda Manny 1938-09-21
Movie You Can't Take It with You Essie Carmichael 1938-09-01
Movie Tarnished Angel Violet McMaster 1938-10-28
Movie New Faces of 1937 Ann Miller 1937-07-02
Movie The Life of the Party Betty 1937-09-03
Movie Stage Door Annie 1937-10-07
Movie The Devil on Horseback Dancer (uncredited) 1936-10-11
Movie The Good Fairy Schoolgirl in Orphanage (uncredited) 1935-02-18