Eleanor Powell

Dancer, Actor
Ever-smiling, world-class tap artist who danced her way through a dozen successful MGM musicals in the late 1930s and early 40s before retiring from the screen--save for a guest role in "The Duchess of Idaho" (1950) ... Read more »
Born: 11/21/1912 in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA

Filmography

Actor (15)

Waikiki, in the Wake of Dreams 2000 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

That's Entertainment! III 1994 (Movie)

Song Performer (Actor)

Born to Dance 1935 (Movie)

Nora Paige (Actor)

Broadway Melody of 1936 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

Broadway Melody of 1938 (Movie)

Sally Lee (Actor)

Broadway Melody of 1940 (Movie)

Clara Bennett (Actor)

George White's Scandals (Movie)

Marilyn Collins (Actor)

Honolulu (Movie)

Dorothy March (Actor)

I Dood It (Movie)

Constance Shaw (Actor)

Lady Be Good (Movie)

Marilyn Marsh (Actor)

Rosalie (Movie)

Princess Rosalie (Actor)

Sensations of 1945 (Movie)

Ginny Walker (Actor)

Ship Ahoy (Movie)

Tallulah Winters (Actor)

Thousands Cheer (Movie)

Herself (Actor)
Producer (1)

Friends and Lovers 1999 (Movie)

(Co-Executive Producer)

Biography

Ever-smiling, world-class tap artist who danced her way through a dozen successful MGM musicals in the late 1930s and early 40s before retiring from the screen--save for a guest role in "The Duchess of Idaho" (1950). Typically cast as the determined hopeful whose talent and determination get her to the top, Powell was not a major actress, but she did display exuberance and a certain tongue-in-cheek charm, and her aggressive, androgynous dancing style made her as familiar a sight in top hat and tails as Fred Astaire.

Relationships

Glenn Ford

Husband
married in 1943 divorced in November 1959 reportedly he was frequently unfaithful to Powell during their marriage

Peter Ford

Son
born on February 5, 1945

EDUCATION

Jack Donahue Dance School

New York , New York
studied tap dancing

Milestones

1981

Made final TV appearance at the AFI tribute to Fred Astaire

1953

Hosted the religious-themed TV program "Faith of Our Children"; won five local area Emmy Awards

1950

Returned to films to dance a solo routine in the Esther Williams musical, "The Duchess of Idaho"

1943

Last starring vehicle, "Sensations of 1945"

1942

One of many guest stars to appear in the fund-raising musical, "Thousands Cheer"

1942

Left MGM after completing "I Dood It", co-starring Skelton

1940

Saw star status slip a bit when given second lead in "Lady Be Good"; also first of three films with Red Skelton

1940

Teamed with Fred Astaire in "Broadway Melody of 1940"

1937

Had title role in "Rosalie"

1936

Co-starred with James Stewart in "Born to Dance"

1935

Became a star at MGM in "Broadway Melody of 1936"

1935

Made feature film debut in Fox's "George White's 1935 Scandals"

1931

Appeared with Anita Page and Fanny Brice in "Crazy Quilt" on Broadway

1930

Film debut in a dance sequence in "Queen High"

1929

Broadway debut in "Follow Thru"

1927

Became emcee at the Martins Club

1925

Hired for first professional engagement by Gus Edwards; performed at the dinner show at the Ambassador Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Resurfaced in the mid-1970s with release of compilation films "That's Entertainment" (1974) and "That's Entertainment, Part 2" (1976)

Lost several roles to the much younger Judy Garland

Achieved success on the musical comedy stage in the early 1930s; came to films known as "The World's Greatest Female Tap Dancer"

Performed a nightclub act, including gigs at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas and the London Palladium

Began ballet lessons as a child; did not study tap until much later in the mid-1920s

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