Cyd Charisse, dancing phenom of ’50s films, dies

Cyd Charisse, an actress and dancer whose mile-long legs made her a memorable partner of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire in several top musicals of the 1950s, died Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after an apparent heart attack. She was 86.

Astaire called Ms. Charisse "beautiful dynamite," adding, "When you've danced with her, you stay danced with." Their elegant duet of "Dancing in the Dark" in "The Band Wagon" (1953) was a peerless display of romance set to music. In another sequence, she proved dangerous as a barroom seductress in a satire of Mickey Spillane.

Her breakthrough came a year earlier in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) opposite Kelly. She was not the star of the movie and in fact had no dialogue.

(San Jose Mercury News)

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