Ann Miller


Ann Miller

Original Name Johnnie Lucille Collier
Chireno, Nacogdoches County, Texas, USA
Death 22 Jan 2004 (aged 80)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Section F
Memorial ID 5832474 View Source
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Actress, Dancer. She was born Johnnie Lucille Collier in Chireno, Texas, the first name dictated by her father, who had wanted a boy. After her parents divorced, she was called Annie, for reasons she never knew. Growing up in Houston, Annie suffered from rickets, and dancing lessons helped straighten her legs. Her mother was almost totally deaf and could not find work. By the age of 12, she was almost full grown at 5 feet 5, and she danced to support her mother and herself. While her career in Hollywood prospered, Miller became a regular figure in the town's night life, and she caught the eye of Louis B. Mayer, the head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Motion Picture Studios. They began dating and could be seen on the dance floors of Ciro's and Mocambo clubs. she reached the peak of her film career at MGM in the late 1940s and early 1950s with "On the Town," "Easter Parade" and "Kiss Me Kate." She remained an acclaimed dancer in her 60s and earned millions on Broadway and touring with Mickey Rooney in "Sugar Babies," a tribute to the era of burlesque. Miller's looks and fast tapping (she claimed the record of 500 taps a minute) earned her jobs in vaudeville and night clubs when she first came to Hollywood. She adopted the stage name of Anne Miller. Her early film career included working as a child extra in films and as a chorus girl in a minor musical, "The Devil on Horseback." An appearance at the popular Bal Tabarin in San Francisco, California won a contract at RKO studio, where her name was shortened to Ann. Her first film at RKO, "New Faces of 1937," featured her dancing. She next played an acting hopeful in "Stage Door," with Katharine Hepburn , Ginger Rogers , Lucille Ball and Eve Arden. Most of her RKO films were low-budget musicals and comedies. A contract at Columbia Pictures started impressively with the role of the would-be ballerina in Frank Capra Oscar-winning "You Can't Take It with You." Then she was cast in a series of wartime B musicals with titles like "True to the Army," "Priorities on Parade" and "Hey Rookie." When Cyd Charisse broke a leg before starting "Easter Parade" at MGM with Fred Astaire, Miller replaced her. That led to an MGM contract and her most enduring work. She was teamed with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra in "On the Town," Red Skelton in "Watch the Birdie," and Bob Fosse in "Kiss Me Kate." Other MGM films included: "Texas Carnival," "Lovely to Look At," "Small Town Girl," "Deep in My Heart," "Hit the Deck" and "The Opposite Sex." The popularity of musicals declined in the 1950s, and her film career ended in 1956. Miller remained active in television and the theater, dancing and belting songs on Broadway in "Hello, Dolly" and "Mame." Ann Miller died in 2004 after a long battle with cancer.

Bio by: Noni

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: AJM
  • Added: 8 Oct 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 5832474
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ann Miller (12 Apr 1923–22 Jan 2004), Find a Grave Memorial ID 5832474, citing Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .