TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (4)
|Also Known As:||Died:||March 14, 1976|
|Born:||November 29, 1895||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Los Angeles, California, USA||Profession:||Dance ...|
RATE AND COMMENT
Moved with family to New York aged three; first stage appearance aged five in "Under Two Flags"
Worked as management trainee with a Massachusetts shoe factory
Enlisted in US Army the day before USA entered WWI; served as second lieutenant in the artillery where he worked out trick precision drills for 1200 men in parade formation; served with Third Army of Occupation in Germany as entertainment officer
Acting debut in stock company production of "The Man Who Came Back" (date approximate)
Performed and directed on Broadway and in stock before going to Hollywood
First success on Broadway as dance director, Rodgers and Hart's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"
Choreographed four films for United Artists; first film, "Whoopee!" (directed by Thornton Freeland)
Loaned to Warner Bros. to choreograph "42nd Street" (1933)
For First National, made co-directing debut (with George Amy), "She Had to Say Yes"
Signed with Warner Bros.
Provided dances for "Dames"
Solo directing debut (also choreographer), "Gold Diggers of 1935"; received Oscar nomination in the dance direction category
Received second dance direction Academy Award nomination for "Gold Diggers of 1937"
Earned third Oscar nomination for dance direction of "Varsity Show"; category discontinued after this year
Was involved in a fatal three-car automobile accident; charged with second degree murder in the deaths of three people as well as with driving under the influence; lawyers made plea to jury playing up his care of his then 80-year-old mother; cleared of all charges after three trials
Left Warner Bros. and put under contract at MGM
Briefly worked on "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)
Choreographed the MGM remake "Girl Crazy"
Left MGM and moved to Fox
Served as dance director for "The Gang's All Here"; choreographed the "Lady With the Tutti Frutti Hat" number for Carmen Miranda
Attempted suicide and was temporarily placed in a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital (date approximate)
Last film as director, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"
Worked as second unit director on "Jumbo/Billy Rose's Jumbo" (directed by Charles Walters)
Appeared in feature film "The Phynx"
Returned to Broadway as supervisor of revival of "No, No, Nanette"
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