Greatest Dancers of all time

by princepapi-19468 | created - 10 Nov 2017 | updated - 3 months ago | Public

1. Fred Astaire

Actor | The Towering Inferno

Fred Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Johanna (Geilus) and Fritz Austerlitz, a brewer. Fred entered show business at age 5. He was successful both in vaudeville and on Broadway in partnership with his sister, Adele Astaire. After Adele retired to marry in 1932, Astaire headed to Hollywood. ...

2. Gene Kelly

Soundtrack | Singin' in the Rain

Eugene Curran Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the third son of Harriet Catherine (Curran) and James Patrick Joseph Kelly, a phonograph salesman. His father was of Irish descent and his mother was of Irish and German ancestry.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the largest and most powerful studio in...

3. Ann Miller

Actress | Mulholland Dr.

Ann Miller was born Johnnie Lucille Ann Collier on April 12, 1923 in Chireno, Texas. She lived there until she was nine, when her mother left her philandering father and moved with Ann to Los Angeles, California. Even at that young age, she had to support her mother, who was hearing-impaired and ...

4. Shirley Temple

Actress | Captain January

Shirley Temple was easily the most popular and famous child star of all time. She got her start in the movies at the age of three and soon progressed to super stardom. Shirley could do it all: act, sing and dance and all at the age of five! Fans loved her as she was bright, bouncy and cheerful in ...

5. Rita Hayworth

Actress | Gilda

Rita Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Cansino on October 17, 1918, in Brooklyn, New York, into a family of dancers. Her father, Eduardo Cansino Reina, was a dancer as was his father before him. He emigrated from Spain in 1913. Rita's American mother, Volga Margaret (Hayworth), who was of mostly ...

6. Alvin Ailey

The Turning Point

Ailey was born in the rural town of Rogers, Texas, USA. His childhood memories and experiences often informed his choreography; the most notable of his works was "Blues Suite", "Cry" (choreographed for Judith Jamison), and "Revelations", a ballet based on Ailey's observations and experiences in ...

7. Eleanor Powell

Soundtrack | Born to Dance

Eleanor Powell was born in 1912 in Springfield, Massachussetts, and got her professional start in Atlantic City clubs, from where she moved into in revue in New York at the Ritz Grill and Casino de Paris at the age of sixteen. She started her career on Broadway in 1929, where her machine-gun foot ...

8. Sammy Davis Jr.

Actor | The Cannonball Run

Sammy Davis Jr. was often billed as the "greatest living entertainer in the world".

He was born in Harlem, Manhattan, the son of dancer Elvera Davis (née Sanchez) and vaudeville star Sammy Davis Sr.. His father was African-American and his mother was of Cuban and African-American ancestry. Davis Jr....

9. Bill Robinson

Soundtrack | The Shape of Water

Bill Robinson quit school at age seven and began work as a professional dancer the following year. Bojangles (the name referred to his happy-go-lucky ebullience) starred in vaudeville, musical stage and movies. He invented the stair tap routine and was considered one of the world's greatest tap ...

10. Ruby Keeler

Soundtrack | Sweetheart of the Campus

Ruby Keeler started as a dancer on Broadway. After her marriage to Al Jolson she moved to Hollywood and become a star in Warners musicals opposite Dick Powell. After her divorce from Jolson she retired for almost 30 years, until she appeared in "No No Nanette" on Broadway in 1971 under the ...

11. The Nicholas Brothers

Soundtrack | Kid Millions

Inducted into the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2002 (inaugural class).

12. Hal Le Roy

Actor | Harold Teen

Hal Le Roy's first professional job was in "Hoboken Heroes" at the Lyric Theater, Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1928. He was young, tall, thin as a pole and had a distinctive, dazzling, eccentric style that was acclaimed by audiences and dancers alike. In 1931 he attracted the attention of Broadway ...

13. Adele Astaire

Writer | Round the Film Studios

Adele and her brother Fred were the toast of Broadway in the 1920s and early thirties with such shows as Lady be Good and Funny Face. Many thought Adele was the greater entertainer of the pair, comparing her to Fanny Brice and Imogene Coca. Fred was far more serious about his craft and would ...

14. Cyd Charisse

Actress | Silk Stockings

Cyd Charisse was born Tula Ellice Finklea on March 8, 1921 in Amarillo, Texas. Born to be a dancer, she spent her early childhood taking ballet lessons and joined the Ballet Russe at age 13. In 1939, she married Nico Charisse, her former dance teacher. In 1943, she appeared in her first film, ...

15. Debbie Reynolds

Actress | Singin' in the Rain

Debbie Reynolds was born Mary Frances Reynolds in El Paso, Texas, the second child of Maxine N. (Harmon) and Raymond Francis Reynolds, a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad. Her film career began at MGM after she won a beauty contest at age 16 impersonating Betty Hutton. Reynolds wasn't a ...

16. Danny Kaye

Soundtrack | The Danny Kaye Show

Danny Kaye left school at the age of 13 to work in the so-called Borscht Belt of Jewish resorts in the Catskill Mountains. It was there he learned the basics of show biz. From there he went through a series of jobs in and out of the business. In 1939, he made his Broadway debut in "Straw Hat Revue,...

17. Eduardo Cansino

The Loves of Carmen

Eduardo Cansino was born on March 2, 1895 in Seville, Spain. He is known for his work on The Loves of Carmen (1948) and Ramar of the Jungle (1952). He was married to Volga Hayworth. He died on December 24, 1968 in Pompano Beach, Florida, USA.

18. Gwen Verdon

Actress | Cocoon

Gwen Verdon was born to the theater. Her mother, Gertrude, was a vaudevillian and dancer. Her father, Joseph, was an MGM studio electrician. She had to wear corrective boots as a child to straighten out her legs, which were misshapen by childhood illness. Nonetheless, she first appeared as a tapper...

19. Donald O'Connor

Actor | Singin' in the Rain

Born into a vaudeville family, O'Connor was the youthful figure cutting a rug in several Universal musicals of the 1940s. His best-known musical work is probably Singin' in the Rain (1952), in which he did an impressive dance that culminated in a series of backflips off the wall. O'Connor was also ...

20. Charles 'Honi' Coles

Actor | Dirty Dancing

Charles 'Honi' Coles was born on April 2, 1911 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He was an actor, known for Dirty Dancing (1987), Rocky II (1979) and The Cotton Club (1984). He was married to Marion Coles. He died on November 12, 1992 in New York City, New York, USA.

21. Ginger Rogers

Actress | The Major and the Minor

Ginger Rogers was born Virginia Katherine McMath in Independence, Missouri on July 16, 1911. Her mother, known as Lelee, went to Independence to have Ginger away from her husband. She had a baby earlier in their marriage and he allowed the doctor to use forceps and the baby died. She was kidnapped ...

22. Michael Flatley

Actor | Blackbird

Michael Flatley was born on July 16, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Michael Ryan Flatley. He is an actor and director, known for Blackbird (2020), Lord of the Dance in 3D (2011) and 2001: A Space Travesty (2000). He has been married to Niamh O'Brien since October 14, 2006. They have one child. ...

23. George Balanchine

Actor | Playhouse 90

George Balanchine was a Georgian-American ballet dancer and one of the foremost choreographers of the 20th century. Regarded as the founder of American ballet, he established and led the New York City Ballet for more than three decades.

Balanchine was born Georgy Melitonovich Balanchivadze, the son ...

24. Ann-Margret

Actress | Bye Bye Birdie

Actress and singer Ann-Margret is one of the most famous sex symbols and actresses of the 1960s and beyond. She continued her career through the following decades and into the 21st century.

Ann-Margret was born Ann-Margret Olsson in Valsjöbyn, Jämtland County, Sweden, to Anna Regina (Aronsson) and ...

25. Vera-Ellen

Actress | White Christmas

Vera-Ellen began dancing at the age of 10, and a few years later became one of the youngest Rockettes. She appeared in several Broadway musicals until she was spotted by film producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1945. She was only 24 years old when Goldwyn cast her opposite Danny Kaye in Wonder Man (1945). ...

26. Leslie Caron

Actress | Gigi

Born in the suburbs of Paris, France, Leslie Caron is an actress and dancer. Gene Kelly got her into the movies for the film An American in Paris (1951). Got a world-wide reputation for her roles in Lili (1953) and Gigi (1958). Most recently Caron has appeared in British TV series The Durrells in ...

27. Bob Fosse

Director | Cabaret

Bob Fosse was born on June 23, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Robert Louis Fosse. He is known for his work on Cabaret (1972), All That Jazz (1979) and Lenny (1974). He was married to Gwen Verdon, Joan McCracken and Mary Ann Niles. He died on September 23, 1987 in Washington, District of Columbia...

28. Damita Jo Freeman

Actress | Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

Damita Jo Freeman was born on February 26, 1953 in Palestine, Texas, USA. She is known for her work on Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988), The Man with One Red Shoe (1985) and Private Benjamin (1980).

29. James Brown

Soundtrack | Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown

James Brown was born on May 3, 1933 in Barnwell, South Carolina, USA as James Joseph Brown. He was married to Tomirae Brown, Adrienne Rodriguez, Deidra Jenkins and Velma Warren. He died on December 25, 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

30. Michael Jackson

Soundtrack | Michael Jackson: Thriller

Michael Joseph Jackson was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, and entertained audiences nearly his entire life. His father, Joe Jackson (no relation to Joe Jackson, also a musician), had been a guitarist, but was forced to give up his musical ambitions following his marriage to Michael's ...

31. Jeffrey Daniel

Moonwalker

Jeffrey Daniel was born on August 24, 1957 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is known for his work on Moonwalker (1988), Michael Jackson: Bad (1987) and Michael Jackson: Smooth Criminal (1988).

32. Mikhail Baryshnikov

Actor | The Turning Point

Boyishly cute, diminutive and strong as a bull, but as graceful as any gazelle or swan, Mikhail Baryshnikov is a household name even to non-balletomanes. Widely considered to be one of the greatest and biggest names in dance.

Mikhail began his ballet studies in his native Riga, Latvia. He was ...

33. Patrick Swayze

Actor | Dirty Dancing

Patrick Wayne Swayze was born on August 18, 1952 in Houston, Texas, to Patsy Swayze (née Yvonne Helen Karnes), a choreographer, and Jesse Wayne Swayze, a chemical plant engineer draftsman. His mother owned a dance school in Houston, where Patrick was also a student. His father passed away in 1982. ...

34. Gregory Hines

Actor | History of the World: Part I

Gregory Hines was born on February 14, 1946 in New York City, New York, USA as Gregory Oliver Hines. He was an actor, known for History of the World: Part I (1981), Running Scared (1986) and Will & Grace (1998). He was married to Pamela Koslow and Patricia Panella. He died on August 9, 2003 in ...

35. Savion Glover

Happy Feet

Savion Glover was born on November 19, 1973 in Newark, New Jersey, USA. He is known for his work on Happy Feet (2006), Sesame Street (1969) and Happy Feet Two (2011).

36. Madonna

Actress | Evita

The remarkable, hyper-ambitious Material Girl who never stops reinventing herself, Madonna is a seven-time Grammy Award-winner who has sold over three hundred million records and CDs to adoring fans worldwide. Her film career, however, is another story. Her performances have consistently drawn ...

37. Prabhu Deva

Director | Wanted

Prabhu Deva was born as Prabhu Sundaram. He is known for his work on Wanted (2009), Lakshya (2004) and Pokkiri (2007). He was previously married to Ramlath.

38. Bruno Mars

Soundtrack | Rio 2

Bruno Mars was born on October 8, 1985 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA as Peter Gene Bayot Hernandez.

39. Usher Raymond

Actor | The Faculty

Usher Raymond IV was born in Dallas, Texas, to Jonetta Patton (née O'Neal) and Usher Raymond III. He began singing when he was six years old, joining the local church choir at the behest of his mother who acted as choir director. Jonetta, a single mom, raised Usher and his younger brother, James, ...

40. M.C. Hammer

Soundtrack | The Addams Family

Stanley Kirk Burrell (born March 30, 1962), better known by his stage name MC Hammer (or simply Hammer), is an American hip hop recording artist, dancer, record producer and entrepreneur. He had his greatest commercial success and popularity from the late 1980s, until the early 1990s. Remembered ...

41. Paula Abdul

Actress | Robots

Paula Abdul grew up in the San Fernando Valley, California. She began taking dance lessons when she was eight. She attended Van Nuys High School, where she was senior class president and head cheerleader. After graduating in 1980, she started college at Cal State-Northridge, majoring in TV and ...

42. Jennifer Lopez

Actress | Gigli

Jennifer Lynn Lopez was born on July 24, 1969 in the The Bronx, New York City. Her parents, Lupe López & David López were born in Ponce, Puerto Rico: the second largest Puerto Rican city. The two were brought to the continental United States during their childhoods and, eventually, met while living...

43. Janet Jackson

Soundtrack | Poetic Justice

Janet Damita Jo Jackson was born on May 16, 1966 in Gary, Indiana, to Katherine Jackson (née Katherine Esther Scruse) and Joe Jackson, a musician. She is the youngest of ten children. After her birth, her brothers formed a band later called The Jackson 5. She lived at home with her sisters, while ...

44. Rosie Perez

Actress | White Men Can't Jump

Rosie Perez was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City, to Lydia Perez and Ismael Serrano, a merchant marine. She is of Puerto Rican descent. Rosie attended Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, Queens, New York, and later enrolled at Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, California. ...



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