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Ann Miller

Ann Miller

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Also Known As: Lucille Ann Collier Died: January 22, 2004
Born: April 12, 1923 Cause of Death: lung cancer
Birth Place: Chireno, Texas, USA Profession: actor, dancer, singer, author

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A lovely and talented star of movie musicals for over two decades who then enjoyed an equally long run on the stage, Ann Miller was one of the prime practitioners of "machine gun tap dancing" and was capable of several hundred taps per minute. Starting in small productions from studios like RKO and Columbia, the long-legged brunette gradually worked her way up to the big-budget musical extravaganzas produced by MGM, where she received guidance from top flight choreographers like Busby Berkeley, Hermes Pan and Nick Castle, and was dubbed Ann "Legs" Miller by influential gossip columnist Walter Winchell. Though her 5 foot-7-inch frame reportedly intimidated screen partners Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, Miller's beauty and irrefutable dancing and singing abilities won her a following, thanks to hits like "Easter Parade" (1948), "On the Town" (1949), "Two Tickets to Broadway" (1951), "Small Town Girl" (1952) and "Kiss Me Kate" (1953). When her MGM contract ended in the mid-1950s, Miller took her talents to the stage and went on to star in various productions, including a hugely successful nine-year run in the musical comedy smash "Sugar Babies" alongside Mickey Rooney. Cast mostly as the second lead in...

A lovely and talented star of movie musicals for over two decades who then enjoyed an equally long run on the stage, Ann Miller was one of the prime practitioners of "machine gun tap dancing" and was capable of several hundred taps per minute. Starting in small productions from studios like RKO and Columbia, the long-legged brunette gradually worked her way up to the big-budget musical extravaganzas produced by MGM, where she received guidance from top flight choreographers like Busby Berkeley, Hermes Pan and Nick Castle, and was dubbed Ann "Legs" Miller by influential gossip columnist Walter Winchell. Though her 5 foot-7-inch frame reportedly intimidated screen partners Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, Miller's beauty and irrefutable dancing and singing abilities won her a following, thanks to hits like "Easter Parade" (1948), "On the Town" (1949), "Two Tickets to Broadway" (1951), "Small Town Girl" (1952) and "Kiss Me Kate" (1953). When her MGM contract ended in the mid-1950s, Miller took her talents to the stage and went on to star in various productions, including a hugely successful nine-year run in the musical comedy smash "Sugar Babies" alongside Mickey Rooney. Cast mostly as the second lead in her movies, she did not attain the heights of popularity enjoyed by Ginger Rogers or Eleanor Powell, but Miller was a dazzler in her own right and one of the premiere tap dancers and all-around performers in the Golden Age of movie musicals.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Mulholland Dr. (2001) Coco [Lanois]
3.
4.
 That's Entertainment! III (1994) Host; Song Performer
5.
 Head (1968)
6.
 The Opposite Sex (1956) Gloria [Dahl]
7.
 The Great American Pastime (1956) Mrs. Doris Patterson
8.
 Hit the Deck (1955) Ginger
9.
 Deep in My Heart (1954) [performer in] "Artists and Models"
10.
 Small Town Girl (1953) Lisa Bellmount
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began tap dancing at age five (date approximate)
1937:
Lied about her age (by adding four years) and landed a seven-year contract with RKO; gained attention with a supporting role in "Stage Door"
1938:
Appeared with the Marx Brothers in "Room Service"
1938:
Loaned to Columbia for "You Can't Take It With You"
1939:
Broadway debut in George White's "Scandals of 1939"
:
Set a record in the early 1940s for the fastest tap-dancing, producing over 500 tap sounds in one minute
1940:
On loan to Republic, co-starred in "Melody Ranch" and "Hit Parade of 1941"
1948:
Signed with MGM; first film there, "Easter Parade"
1949:
Co-starred in "On the Town"
1953:
Played Lois Lane/Bianca in the film version of "Kiss Me Kate"
1956:
Last films, "The Opposite Sex" and "The Great American Pastime"
:
Made frequent appearances in nightclubs and in television variety specials and series throughout the late 1950s and 1960s
:
Was one of the replacement stars of the Broadway musical, "Mame"; later toured with the show (1970-71)
1970:
Made classic Heinz "Great American Soup" commercial written by Stan Freberg
1974:
Played Reno Sweeney in a tour of "Anything Goes"
1976:
Again toured in "Anything Goes"
:
Appeared in a tour of the stage comedy "Cactus Flower"
:
Starred on Broadway in "Sugar Babies"
:
Toured in "Sugar Babies"
1989:
Took "Sugar Babies" to London
1994:
Was one of the hosts of the compilation documentary looking back at the MGM movie musical, "That's Entertainment! III"
1998:
Played Carlotta Campion in a revival of the Stephen Sondheim-James Goldman musical "Follies" at the Paper Mill Playhouse
1999:
Had featured role in the David Lynch-directed pilot "Mulholland Drive"; when ABC passed on series, Lynch shot additional footage and turned project into feature film; screened at Cannes in 2001; released theatrically in USA in 2001
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Lawler Professional School: Hollywood , California -

Notes

"Honey, I have my MGM training. I wouldn't go out the door without my eyelashes and my hair perfectly in shape and my makeup on ... You go out looking nice because there are fans in the grocery store as well as the movie theater." --Ann Miller to USA Today, August 20, 1997.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Reese Milner. Divorced.
husband:
William Moss. Second husband; divorced.
husband:
Arthur Cameron. Third husband; divorced.

Family close complete family listing

father:
John Collier. Separated from Miller's mother while Miller was a child.
mother:
Clara Emma Collier.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Miller's High Life"
"Ann Miller, Tops in Taps: An Authorized Pictorial History"
"Tapping Into the Force"

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