Cyd Charisse - Rotten Tomatoes

Cyd Charisse

Highest Rated:   100% That's Entertainment! III (1994)
Lowest Rated:   75% Ziegfeld Follies (1946)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Amarillo, Texas, USA
"When you've danced with Cyd Charisse, you stay danced with." So said Fred Astaire, in tribute to the ability and allure of his last big-screen dancing partner. Cyd Charisse was the last great musical star to come out of MGM, and she barely made it to stardom before the musical genre began its decline. One of the greatest dancers ever to come out of Hollywood, Charisse worked in movies for almost a decade before being allowed to take center stage in a major musical feature; but when she did, she fairly exploded onscreen in The Band Wagon, Vincente Minnelli's greatest musical.Charisse was born in Tula Ellice Finklea in Amarillo, TX, and took to dancing at an early age, encouraged by her father, who loved the ballet. By age 14, she was dancing with the Ballet Russe under the more glamorous (and European-sounding) name Felia Sidorova -- the Sidorova came from her childhood nickname "Sid," which she carried into adulthood. She later studied dance in Los Angeles with Nico Charisse, who became her first husband. Charisse appeared both solo and with her first husband (working as "Nico and Charisse") in several early '40s "soundies" and played small roles in Mission to Moscow and Something to Shout About (both 1943), working under the name Lily Norwood. In 1945 Charisse was signed to MGM; Lily Norwood disappeared and Sid became Cyd, while the Charisse -- the one major legacy of the failed marriage -- remained. Charisse appeared in some lesser studio productions during the second half of the '40s, of which the most notable was The Unfinished Dance, a notoriously bad MGM remake of a pre-World War II French film. At the time, Ann Miller was getting all of the really good high-profile dancer co-star roles in the studio's biggest songbook musicals, while Charisse got featured dancer roles in composer-tribute movies such as Till the Clouds Roll By (based loosely on the career of Jerome Kern) and Words and Music (based loosely on Richard Rodgers' and Lorenz Hart's careers). During the late '40s, she married singer Tony Martin, a union that would last more than 50 years. Charisse had the chance to work opposite Gene Kelly in An American in Paris, but turned it down as she and Martin were starting a family, a decision that she never regretted, even if it cheated film audiences of a brilliant showcase for her work. Finally, in 1952, she made it into a frontline studio production in as prominent a role as a dancer could possibly have without dialogue, playing the vamp who appears in the middle of the "Broadway Ballet" segment of Singin' in the Rain.In 1953, with the help of Fred Astaire and director Vincente Minnelli, Charisse emerged a full-blown star in The Band Wagon. The movie, one of the greatest musicals ever made, was even more impressive as a total vehicle for Charisse -- her eight years at the studio had allowed her to absorb a fair amount of acting training, which made her just as impressive in her dramatic, romantic, and comedic scenes as she was when she danced. And when she and Astaire danced, it was literally poetry in motion, before that phrase was overused. Charisse got to work alongside Gene Kelly again in Brigadoon and It's Always Fair Weather, in which she again got to showcase her acting ability (her singing was dubbed by vocalist India Adams in most of her movies). She got to do one more major Hollywood musical, Silk Stockings (1957), acting and dancing opposite her greatest dancing partner, Fred Astaire, in a screen adaptation of Cole Porter's last great stage musical, before the musical genre disappeared. During the 1960s, she moved her career to Europe for one last dazzling musical film, Black Tights, and onto television, where Charisse became an Emmy-winning performer, and then onto the stage. Luckily for Charisse, she was a good enough actress to credibly work in straight drama and comedy, and was so striking a physical presence that she kept her career going well into the 1970s, including a successful nightclub act wit

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Soundies: A Musical History Hosted by Michael Feinstein
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet Gene Kelly - Anatomy of a Dancer
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet What a Glorious Feeling: The Making of 'Singin' in the Rain'
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days
  • Actor
2001
No Score Yet Frank Sinatra Memorial
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Words and Music
  • Margo Grant
1998
100% That's Entertainment! III
  • Host
1994
No Score Yet Stars of the Century
  • Actor
1988
No Score Yet That's Dancing!
  • Actor
1985
No Score Yet Swimsuit
  • Mrs. Allison
1984
No Score Yet Portrait of an Escort
  • Actor
1980
No Score Yet Warlords of Atlantis
  • Atsil
1978
No Score Yet Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood
  • President's Girl 4
1976
No Score Yet Maroc 7
  • Louise Henderson
1967
No Score Yet The Silencers
  • Sarita
1966
No Score Yet Assassination in Rome
  • Actor
1965
No Score Yet Something's Got to Give
  • Actor
1962
No Score Yet Black Tights (1-2-3-4 ou Les Collants noirs)
  • Actor
1962
100% Two Weeks in Another Town
  • Carlotta
1962
No Score Yet Five Golden Hours
  • Baronessa Sandra
1961
No Score Yet Black Tights
  • Actor
1960
80% Party Girl
  • Vicki Gaye
1958
100% Silk Stockings
  • Ninotchka Yoschenko
1957
No Score Yet Meet Me in Las Vegas
  • Maria Corvier
1956
100% It's Always Fair Weather
  • Jackie Leighton
1955
No Score Yet Deep in My Heart
  • Guest Star
1954
83% Brigadoon
  • Fiona Campbell
1954
No Score Yet Easy to Love
  • Actor
1953
100% The Band Wagon
  • Gaby Gerard
1953
No Score Yet The Wild North
  • Indian girl
1952
100% Singin' in the Rain
  • Guest Artist
1952
No Score Yet East Side, West Side
  • Rosa Senta
1949
No Score Yet Tension
  • Mary Chanler
1949
No Score Yet The Kissing Bandit
  • Fiesta Dancer
1948
No Score Yet The Unfinished Dance
  • Mlle. Ariane Bouchet
1948
No Score Yet On an Island with You
  • Yvonne Torro
1948
No Score Yet Fiesta
  • Conchita
1947
100% Till the Clouds Roll By
  • Dance Specialty
1947
100% The Harvey Girls
  • Deborah
1946
75% Ziegfeld Follies
  • Dance Specialty
1946
No Score Yet Mission to Moscow
  • Specialty Dancer
1943

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet American Masters
2001
  • Appearing
  • 2002
No Score Yet Frasier
1993-2004
  • Guest
  • 1995
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • Actor

Quotes from Cyd Charisse's Characters

No quotes approved yet.