Wednesday, September 14, 2005
A publicity shot for Happy Go Lovely shows off Vera-Ellen's most famous assets. She is yet another in a long list of Obscure Stars the Siren Loves. Despite snappy comic timing and considerable dancing talent, Vera-Ellen's popularity never really took off. She seems to have been a likable person, but her personal life was unhappy, including as it did two divorces, an infant daughter who succumbed to SIDS and (reputedly) a long battle with anorexia. According to Hollywood columnist Lee Graham, when the dancer weighed herself in the morning, which she always did in the nude, she would take out her contact lenses. When the musical era died Vera-Ellen's career died with it, even faster than that of Cyd Charisse. If you want to see Vera-Ellen at her best, check out her justly famous "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" number, with Gene Kelly, from Words and Music.