Gwen Verdon

Gwen Verdon

Highest Rated: 84% Marvin's Room (1996)

Lowest Rated: 31% Cocoon: The Return (1988)

Birthday: Jan 13, 1925

Birthplace: Culver City, California, USA

A hugely successful and influential force in the realm of musical theater, Gwen Verdon was born in Culver City, California in 1925. Though she suffered from rickets as a child and was forced to wear orthopedic boots, the young Verdon helped overcome the effects of the disease by strengthening her body through dance, beginning ballet classes at age six. By 15, she was appearing in the Los Angeles Light Opera Festival's revival of "Show Boat." Though she would make a few uncredited appearances in the choruses of movie musicals like "The Girl After My Heart" (1941), Verdon would ultimately switch coasts to pursue a chance to work as an assistant to Broadway choreographer Jack Cole. She eventually made her Broadway debut in the chorus of the musical revue "Alive and Kicking" in 1950, though her big break would come three years later when she was cast as the second female lead in Cole Porter's "Can-Can." By the time Verdon took on the role of Lola in another Broadway hit, "Damn Yankees," she had become an icon of the musical theater stage. She moved on to star in "New Girls in Town," a musical based on Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie," before returning briefly to Hollywood to reprise the role of Lola for the film adaptation of "Damn Yankees" (1958). In 1960, Verdon began a partnership with legendary dancer and choreographer Bob Fosse, starring in his Broadway directorial debut "Redhead." The pair would marry that same year, and would collaborate on further Broadway hits like "Sweet Charity" and "Chicago," in which Verdon originated the role of Roxie Hart. Though she and Fosse would legally separate in 1971, their creative partnership continued unabated. Verdon would even serve as the real-life inspiration for the character of the friend and helper played by Leland Palmer in Fosse's autobiographical film "All That Jazz" (1979). Verdon would eventually transition into film, appearing in films like "Cocoon" (1985) and on TV shows like "Magnum P.I." (CBS, 1980-88). She also choreographed the 1996 revival of "Chicago" to ensure that the dancing reflected Fosse's distinct style. Verdon passed away in 2000 at 75 years old. In keeping with theater tradition, all the marquee lights on Broadway were dimmed at 8:00 p.m. in tribute to her memory.

Highest rated movies

Marvin's Room
Damn Yankees
The Cotton Club
David and Bathsheba
Cocoon: The Return




No Score Yet 89% Walking Across Egypt Alora (Character) - 1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet Best Friends for Life Edith Cooper (Character) - 1998
84% 63% Marvin's Room Ruth (Character) $12.8M 1996
71% 57% Alice Alice's Mother (Character) $6.8M 1990
31% 34% Cocoon: The Return Bess McCarthy Selwyn (Character) $18.5M 1988
46% 25% Nadine Vera (Character) $5.7M 1987
76% 60% Cocoon Bess McCarthy (Character) $75.9M 1985
77% 54% The Cotton Club Tish Dwyer (Character) - 1984
No Score Yet No Score Yet Legs Maureen Comly (Character) - 1983
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Deadly Visitor Unknown (Character) - 1973
78% 70% Damn Yankees Lola (Character) - 1958
No Score Yet 56% The Merry Widow Specialty Can-Can Dancer (Character) - 1952
75% 32% David and Bathsheba Specialty Dancer (uncredited) (Character) - 1951


No Score Yet 8% Walker, Texas Ranger Unknown (Guest Star) 1997 1999
No Score Yet No Score Yet Promised Land Unknown (Guest Star) 1998
No Score Yet No Score Yet Touched by an Angel Unknown (Guest Star) 1997
No Score Yet No Score Yet Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All Unknown (Character) 1994
91% 100% Homicide: Life on the Street Unknown (Guest Star) 1993
No Score Yet No Score Yet Dear John Unknown (Guest Star) 1989
No Score Yet No Score Yet Hotel Unknown (Guest Star) 1987
No Score Yet 100% The Equalizer Unknown (Guest Star) 1986
No Score Yet 94% Magnum, P.I. Unknown (Guest Star) 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Trapper John, M.D. Unknown (Guest Star) 1985
No Score Yet No Score Yet Gimme a Break Unknown (Guest Star) 1984
No Score Yet No Score Yet Fame Unknown (Guest Star) 1982
No Score Yet 93% M*A*S*H Brandy Doyle (Guest Star) 1981
No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Guest 1966 1974
No Score Yet 100% The Carol Burnett Show Guest 1967 1969
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Danny Kaye Show Guest 1963-1965