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 Candy Johnson

Candy Johnson

Birth
San Gabriel, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Death 20 Oct 2012 (aged 68)
Corona, Riverside County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown
Memorial ID 99782690 · View Source
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Candy Johnson, the dancer known to the world as "Miss Perpetual Motion" passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 20, 2012. Miss Johnson who danced her way through four Beach Blanket movies with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello was 68 years old.
Candy was a professional dancer who trained for many years and was "discovered" by a talent agent while purchasing advance tickets to a Chubby Checker all Twist Revue at the Hollywood Palladium.
Most notably, she co-starred with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello in the wildly popular American International Pictures' Beach Party movies: Beach Party (1963); Muscle Beach Party (1964); Bikini Beach (1964) and Pajama Party (1964) as the Twist dancer who, with the sashay of her fringed hips, would send men flying across the room! She could not appear in Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) due to her World's Fair gig.
She was featured on two long playing albums. The first: "Ray Ryan Presents:
"The Candy Johnson Show;" and the other is: "The Candy Johnson Show at Bikini Beach" both on her Canjo Records Label.
Candy was also a featured, major attraction at the 1965 New York World's Fair in her Bourbon Street Revue: "The Candy Johnson Show." It was the only nighttime entertainment revue to pack people in (and make money for The Fair). It hosted a bigger than life size cut out poster of Candy dancing on top of the building!
Candy enjoyed a successful career on the Catskill Mountain circuit; in Las Vegas and in Europe traveling with her band "The Exciters." They toured the major venues in major cities and packed the rooms with celebrities and plain folk alike.
Candy was a vivacious force, who danced four or five shows a night in her nylon stocking feet. She claimed to have worn out dozens of pairs of nylons a week!
Her lighting-fast stage routine was completely impromptu, culled from 192 different dance steps. Patrons would watch in awe at her frenzied shimmying (on stage, in aisles, or on table tops), as the band would play, some swinging upside down from trapezes! She was most famously photographed twisting in mid-air a few times!
The momentum continued with a tour of U.S. Military bases in Europe, performing for the entertainment-starved troops. After which, Candy and her band, which had grown into an 18 piece ensemble, went back to New York, this time opening up a Times Square nightclub called : "The Candy Store." An incredibly popular enterprise, The Candy Store featured different musical acts and an array of Go-Go Girls performing the new dances of the time.
Candy's famous fringe dresses (many created by Marjorie Corso) were a meld of the Roaring Twenties "Flapper" style and the "Go-Go" style of the 1960's. Candy's singularly spectacular style of dancing and dress set the style that is still alive today.
Candy always insisted that the part of the "Sock-it-to me!" girl on Rowan and Martin's "Laugh-In" was created with her in mind. She could not accept the role due to commitments, so the job went to a bright yet un-known named, Goldie Hawn.
Candy's fame was such, that she is mentioned in the lyrics of two popular songs, the first: "I Want Candy" sung by The Strangeloves (1965); and the other being mentioned in the song: "52 Girls", by The B.52's (1979).
She was born Victoria Jean Hulsted in Los Angeles on February 8, 1944 and was raised in San Gabriel, California. Her mother, Jeanne Rathmann, was a professional dancer in her own right and was the sister of two Indy 500 Racing giants, Jim (Ducky) Rathmann and Dick (Rex) Rathmann, all three predecease her.
Candy's first husband and manager, Norton (Red) Gilson passed away in February of this year. She is survived by her brother Jon Johnston and many nieces and nephews.
Candy's effervescence will be sorely missed. We are fortunate to have her dancing on forever on celluloid in her four movies. Services were private.
Sources: Kene J. Rosa, Kenneth Braasch & Jon Johnston


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  • Created by: Kelt
  • Added: 29 Oct 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 99782690
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Candy Johnson (8 Feb 1944–20 Oct 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 99782690, ; Maintained by Kelt (contributor 12691943) Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.