Sad news today in Los Angeles as we learned of the passing of the very lovely and gracious Cyd Charisse. Born Tula Ellis Finklea in Amarillo, she came to California to reinvent herself as so many do. And she invented something very special.
A very talented and artistic dancer, she added elegance and poise to the many films in which she appeared. Most usually paired with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, but not exclusively.
She starred in my favorite B-Musical about Las Vegas, 1956's "Meet Me in Las Vegas", as the love interest of Dan Dailey. It's one of those fabulous glamour films of the 50's with great sets and amazing costume and no discernible script whatsoever. Dan appeared in the opening scene pulling under the Porte Cochere of the Sands Hotel with a brand new red 1956 Lincoln Premiere convertible and matching horse trailer. Yes, horse trailer.
Here she is dancing to a mid-century adaptation of "Frankie and Johnny" with John Brascia. Sammy Davis Jr. narrates. It's rat pack heaven:
Rest in Peace to a fine lady in every sense of the word.