|Babes on Broadway||Director||n/a||4|
|For Me and My Gal||Director||n/a||4|
|Strike up the Band||Director||n/a||4|
|Take Me Out to the Ball Game||Director||n/a||4|
|They Made Me a Criminal||Director||n/a||4|
|Comet over Broadway||Director||n/a||4|
|Forty Little Mothers||Director||n/a||4|
|The Gang's All Here||Director||n/a||4|
|She Had to Say Yes||Director||n/a||4|
|Babes on Broadway||Actor||n/a||7|
|Bird of Paradise||Choreography||n/a||1|
|Fashions of 1934||Choreography||n/a||1|
|Lady Be Good||Choreography||n/a||1|
|Romance on the High Seas||Choreography||n/a||1|
|Two Weeks With Love||Choreography||n/a||1|
|The Gang's All Here||Choreography||n/a||1|
|Gold Diggers in Paris||Choreography||n/a||1|
|The Singing Marine||Choreography||n/a||1|
|Fashions of 1934||Actor||n/a||7|
|Babes in Arms||1938||Director||n/a||4|
|Gold Diggers of 1935||1934||Director||n/a||4|
|Men Are Such Fools||1937||Director||n/a||4|
|The Lullaby Of Broadway||1971||Director||n/a||4|
|Billy Rose's Jumbo||1961||Director||2nd unit director||4|
|Robert Zemeckis on Smoking, Drinking and Drugging in the 20th Century: In Pursuit of Happiness||2000 1999 - 2000||Song Performer||("Hooray For Hollywood")||1|
|Gold Diggers of 1937||1935||Choreographer||choreography||1|
|Gold Diggers of 1935||1934||Choreographer||choreography||1|
|Million Dollar Mermaid||1952||Choreographer||choreography||1|
|Varsity Show||1936||Choreographer||choreography(dance direction)||1|
|Billy Rose's Jumbo||1961||Choreographer||choreography||1|
|Easy to Love||1953||Choreographer||choreography||1|
|The Kid From Spain||1931||Choreographer||choreography||1|
|Gold Diggers of 1933||1932||Choreographer||choreography||1|
|Small Town Girl||1953||Choreographer||choreography||1|
|Going Hollywood: The War Years||1987||Other||film extract("The Gang's All Here" (1943))||1|
|Briefly worked on "The Wizard of Oz" (1939)|
|Acting debut in stock company production of "The Man Who Came Back" (date approximate)|
|For First National, made co-directing debut (with George Amy), "She Had to Say Yes"|
|Signed with Warner Bros.|
|Worked as second unit director on "Jumbo/Billy Rose's Jumbo" (directed by Charles Walters)|
|Solo directing debut (also choreographer), "Gold Diggers of 1935"; received Oscar nomination in the dance direction category|
|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|
|Left MGM and moved to Fox|
|Appeared in feature film "The Phynx"|
|Provided dances for "Dames"|
|First success on Broadway as dance director, Rodgers and Hart's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"|
|Received second dance direction Academy Award nomination for "Gold Diggers of 1937"|
|Loaned to Warner Bros. to choreograph "42nd Street" (1933)|
|Left Warner Bros. and put under contract at MGM|
|Last film as director, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"|
|Choreographed four films for United Artists; first film, "Whoopee!" (directed by Thornton Freeland)|
|Attempted suicide and was temporarily placed in a Los Angeles psychiatric hospital (date approximate)|
|Moved with family to New York aged three; first stage appearance aged five in "Under Two Flags"|
|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 al|
|Choreographed the MGM remake "Girl Crazy"|
|Returned to Broadway as supervisor of revival of "No, No, Nanette"|
|Worked as management trainee with a Massachusetts shoe factory|
|Earned third Oscar nomination for dance direction of "Varsity Show"; category discontinued after this year|
|Served as dance director for "The Gang's All Here"; choreographed the "Lady With the Tutti Frutti Hat" number for Carmen Miranda|
|Performed and directed on Broadway and in stock before going to Hollywood|
Born on Nov. 29, 1895 in Los Angeles, Berkeley was raised by his father, Francis, a stage director and actor who died when Berkeley was a child, and his mother, Gertrude, also an actor who toured with Tim Frawley's repertory company. When he was three years old, he moved with his family to New York and made his first stage debut when he was five. Berkeley enlisted in the army during World War I, serving as a second lieutenant in the artillery where he found himself conducting trick parade drills for as many as 1,200 men and training as an aerial observer - two experiences that clearly shaped his approach to dance on film. He later served with the Third Army of Occupation in Germany as an entertainment officer. After the war, Berkeley worked in the theater, acting in a stock company production of "The Man Who Came Back" (1920) and choreographing numbers for touring musicals. A few years later, he performed and directed a number of productions on Broadway and had his first major success as a dance director in a Rodgers and Hart production of "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1927).
As his reputation on Broadway grew, Berkeley found his talents being sought by Hollywood, which was considerable, give the fact that he had not seriously studied choreography and dance. He was given the opportunity to work in Hollywood on the newest movie genre, the film musical, then in its first flush of popularity after the arrival of sound pictures. Sam Goldwyn hired him to direct the musical sequences of "Whoopee!" (1930), starring Eddie Cantor. In one sequence, Berkeley filmed the Goldwyn Girls, deployed in symmetrical fashion from overhead, a technique that would become perhaps his most famous trademark. Berkeley worked on several other musicals for MGM before settling in at Warner Bros., where he choreographed "42nd Street" (1933). He made his debut as a solo director with "Gold Diggers of 1933" (1933), which was notable for its humorous and voyeuristic eroticism. The film opened with chorines, including a young unknown named Ginger Rogers, singing "We're in the Money" clad in nothing but large coins - a striking image of women as objects of exchange within a patriarchal society. His choreography earned an Academy Award nomination, while the following year he directed the dances for "Dames" (1934), which featured Berkeley's geometrical arrangement.
In 1935, Berkeley was involved in a fatal three-car automobile accident in which he was driving under the influence and which resulted in the deaths of three people. Others were severely injured, while Berkeley was seriously cut and bruised. A witness saw him speeding down a highway in Los Angeles county, where he changed lanes and crashed head-on with another vehicle. Two trials for second degree murder ended with hung juries and Berkeley was finally cleared of all charges following a third. Despite the high-profile scandal, Berkeley maintained his career, earning Oscar nominations for his dance direction for "Gold Diggers of 1937" (1936) and "Varsity Show" (1937), the latter of which marked the last time the Academy offered awards for the category. After directing and choreographing "Gold Diggers in Paris" (1938), he steered away from musicals to direct the crime thriller "They Made Me a Criminal" (1939) before leaving Warner Bros. He continued the trend of directing non-musicals while under a new contract with MGM, helming the B-movie mystery "Fast and Furious" (1939).
When he returned to MGM in 1939, Berkeley demonstrated that good musicals could be made with smaller budgets, but the development of the integrated dramatic musical left little room for his bravura approach. He directed the finale for "Broadway Serenade" (1939), before helming "Babe in Arms" (1939), starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. The pair reunited again for Berkeley's "Strike Up the Band" (1940) and "Babes on Broadway" (1941), while he staged the musical numbers for "Ziegfeld Girls" (1941) and "Lady Be Good" (1941). He began as the director of "Girl Crazy" (1943), but continued conflicts with Garland led to his firing, though his lavish choreography for "I Got Rhythm" remained in the picture. Berkeley moved on to direct "The Gang's All Here" (1943), a camp classic that featured Carmen Miranda performing "The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat." In 1946, Berkeley became seriously depressed when his mother died and attempted suicide, which landed him in a psychiatric hospital for a temporary spell. He moved on to serve as the choreographer on "Romance on the High Seas" (1948), before directing Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly in the box office hit "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (1949), his last film as a director.
From there, Berkeley was the choreographer on "Two Weeks with Love" (1950), "Two Tickets to Broadway" (1951) and "Million Dollar Mermaid" (1952). For "Small Town Girl" (1953), he staged several memorable dance numbers, including Bobby Van's hopping street dance through town. After choreographing "Easy to Love" (1953) and "Rose Marie" (1954), Berkeley stepped away from Hollywood for a spell before returning to make his final film as a choreographer on "Billy Rose's Jumbo" (1962), starring Doris Day. He settled into semiretirement, traveling the lecture circuit and directing the occasional commercial, as well as appearing for the first time on screen in the spy comedy "The Phynx" (1970), before returning to Broadway for a revival of "No No Nanette" (1971). Berkeley entered into permanent retirement and died five years later on March 14, 1976 in Palm Springs, CA, from natural causes. He was 80 years old and was survived by his sixth wife, Elizabeth Berkeley (née Dunn). His previous five marriages were brief, and included the likes of silent film star Merna Kennedy and character actress Esther Muir.
By Shawn Dwyer
|Gertrude Berkeley||Mother||died in 1946; acted and toured with Tim Frawley repertory company|
|Etta Berkeley||Wife||sixth wife|
|Francis Enos||Father||died when Berkeley was a child|
|George Enos||Brother||died when Berkeley was in his teens|
|Merna Kennedy||Wife||married in 1934; divorced in 1935|
|Esther Muir||Wife||married c. 1929; divorced in 1931|
|Mohegan Lake Military Academy|
|Nicknamed after turn-of-the-century New York stage star Amy Busby.|
Chris Hemsworth as John Smith? Yes, please. We cast (or re-cast) celebs as their Disney character counterparts.
You'll be surprised by the names on these celebrities' birth certificates!
Are these men drinking from the fountain of youth? Because we sure want some.
You won't believe how cute these celebrities' furry friends are! We want to adopt a dog of our own now.
We all know what Hilary Duff and Miley Cyrus are up to...but what about their best friends?