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Thursday, 17 June 2010

The Quotable Cyd Charisse ... the Hollywood goddess with the million dollar legs

The Quotable Cyd Charisse ... the Hollywood goddess with the million dollar legs

Born Tula Ellice Finklea in Amarillo, Texas in 1922, this great entertainer also went by the names of Lily Norwood, Felia Siderova and Maria Istomina. It was as Cyd Charisse that she achieved Hollywood stardom and on the way she blazed an unforgettable trail across the cinematic dance floor. Sadly, it was on this day in 2008 that Cyd Charisse died after a heart attack and she was laid to rest at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City.

In celebration of a great dancer and an unforgettable lady, here is a selection inspirational quotations by and about Cyd ...

"My father had a jewellery store in Amarillo, Texas and on Saturday afternoons we could go to the movies. The first time I saw Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, I fell in love with dancing."
Cyd Charisse in Los Angeles magazine (2004)

On dancing with Fred Astaire - "Coming from a Russian ballet company and a lot of hard training, I was a strong dancer and I loved to dance and I loved to work and he found someone who liked to work just as much as he did and we got along fabulously well together."
Cyd Charisse

"Cyd Charisse is a terrific dancer, a wonderful partner. She has precision plus - beautiful dynamite, I call it ... When you danced with her, you stayed danced with her.'"
Fred Astaire, Steps in Time (1959)

"Like all pure dancers of Hollywood, Charisse expressed persona through movement rather than dialogue, and in her case that persona was smoky, sinuous, and cool: a quintessential ‘50s mix of sex and poise. She was the choreographic equivalent of a classic Sinatra LP."
Ty Burr in The Boston Globe (2008)

"How anyone can watch Singin’ In The Rain’s billowing, over-the-top fantasy sequence and not be seduced by the woman is beyond me. Forget all that Two-step / Cha-Cha-Cha Dancing With The Stars nonsense. This is what real dancing is about."
Sarah Hepola on (2008)

"Her duet with Gene Kelly [in Singin’ In The Rain] is one sexually charged ‘do me now’ pas de deux ... if that doesn’t steam your jeans right then and there, you might as well cancel your subscription to Maxim."
Mark Bourne on (2008)

"She looked like a woman who liked to shock priests with wicked confessions."
Gene Kelly

Her tongue-in-cheek suggestion for an epitaph - "People sometimes had a problem placing her face, but they never forgot her pins."
Cyd Charisse

"Her legs were sensational, of course, as long, mesmeric and dangerous as the M1, and insured by the film studio MGM for a million dollars."
Peter Evans in The Daily Mail (2008)

"Cyd Charisse - whose legs are deadlier than all the firearms in Chicago."
Stuart Klawans in The New York Times (2003)

"Her long legs made her look streamlined like the Chrysler Building."
Howard Dietz

"The amazing 'Girl Hunt' ballet [in The Band Wagon ], a film noir pastiche in which Cyd Charisse demonstrates once again that her legs reach up to her armpits."
Anne Billson in The Sunday Telegraph

"It’s Always Fair Weather is an amazing film - for Cyd’s legs alone … After this you’ll find yourself dancing in the street, as well as checking out more movies with the amazing Cyd Charisse."
Louis Black in The Austin Chronicle (1998)

Quotes taken from

The Quotable Dancer 
(1300 Humorous Dance Quotations from Stage and Screen)

The Quotable Fred Astaire 
(2000 Biographical Quotations about the world's greatest dancer)

published by Blue Eyed Books

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