Cyd Charisse

Dancer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her two-hour Archive interview, Cyd Charisse (1922-2008) talks about her start as a dancer for the Ballet Russe. She describes in detail her 14-year tenure under contract at MGM studios, appearing as a dancer in such film classics as "Ziegfeld Follies," "Singin in the Rain," "The Band Wagon," and "Silk Stockings." Charisse describes the fertile training ground MGM offered for nurturing the talents they had under contract. She talks about her many television appearances including the specials Meet Cyd Charisse, Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall, and The Bob Hope Specials, as well as her multiple appearances with her husband, Tony Martin on the variety series The Hollywood Palace. Henry Colman conducted the interview on January 29, 2004 in Los Angeles, CA.

"Those old movies go all over the world, all those MGM movies. People still look at them on television and I get so many letters about them."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Cyd Charisse on her first television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show
Cyd Charisse on the craft of dancing on television
Cyd Charisse on appearing with Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain"
Cyd Charisse on her television special Meet Cyd Charisse 
Cyd Charisse on how she'd like to be remembered 
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on auditioning for MGM and her first feature for MGM; on how she was treated as one of MGM's stars
On the difference between dancing on film and dancing on stage in the ballet; on various features she did for MGM and logistics of shooting her dance sequences; on being replaced in the feature "Easter Parade" and working with various behind-the-scenes people at MGM

Chapter 2

On her injury on the set of MGM; on her marriage to Tony Martin and how motherhood impacted her career; on appearing with Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain" and "The Bandwagon" with Fred Astaire
On working with director Vincent Minnelli; on working with Fred Astaire in the feature "Silk Stockings" and on acting in the feature "Party Girl"; on the first time she saw television and her early experience with television 
On leaving MGM and on her legacy at MGM; on her first television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show; on appearing on The Hollywood Palace produced by Nick Vanoff
On appearing on MGM Parade, What's My Line?, and Person to Person; on her television special Meet Cyd Charisse 

Chapter 3

On guest-starring on Checkmate in the episode "Dance of Death" and on appearing in the unfinished Marilyn Monroe feature "Something's Gotta Give"; on appearing on The Kraft Music Hall; on appearing on various Bob Hope Specials
On the Cyd Charisse Special and Center Stage: Cyd Charisse; on the craft of dancing on television; on the changing styles of dance and music during her career
On appearing on The Hollywood Palace; on appearing on Bob Hope Specials; on guest-starring on various shows
On appearing on Gene Kelly's American in Pasadena special; on guest-starring on Fantasy Island

Chapter 4

On appearing on The Kennedy Center Honors to honor Donald O'Connor; on guest-starring on various shows; on appearing on Broadway in "Grand Hotel" and appearing in the feature "That's Entertainment III"
On doing a voiceover for Frasier; on keeping herself active and her career highlights and regrets; on dance styles on television and how the television audience has changed over the years  
On her fan mail and interactions with the public; on how she'd like to be remembered 
Shows

Bob Hope Specials

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Cyd Charisse on appearing on various Bob Hope Specials
Cyd Charisse on appearing on Bob Hope Specials

Center Stage: Cyd Charisse

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Cyd Charisse on the Cyd Charisse Special and Center Stage: Cyd Charisse

Checkmate

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Cyd Charisse on guest-starring on Checkmate on the episode "Dance of Death" and on appearing in the unfinished Marilyn Monroe feature "Something's Gotta Give"

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Cyd Charisse on her first television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show

Fantasy Island

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Cyd Charisse on guest-starring on Fantasy Island

Frasier

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Cyd Charisse on doing a voiceover for Frasier  

Hollywood Palace, The

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Cyd Charisse on appearing on The Hollywood Palace produced by Nick Vanoff
Cyd Charisse on appearing on The Hollywood Palace 

Kennedy Center Honors

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Cyd Charisse on appearing on The Kennedy Center Honors to honor Donald O'Connor

Kraft Music Hall, The

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Cyd Charisse on appearing on The Kraft Music Hall

Meet Cyd Charisse

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Cyd Charisse on her television special Meet Cyd Charisse 

Person to Person

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Cyd Charisse on being interviewed by Edward R. Murrow on Person to Person

What's My Line?

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Cyd Charisse on appearing as a mystery guest on What's My Line?
Topics

Hollywood Blacklist

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Cyd Charisse on the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

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Cyd Charisse on the Hollywood Blacklist

Television Industry

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Cyd Charisse on the Hollywood Blacklist
Cyd Charisse on dance styles on television and how the television audience has changed over the years
Professions

Dancer/Choreographer

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Cyd Charisse on the craft of dancing on television

Performers

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Cyd Charisse on the craft of dancing on television
Genres

Comedy Series

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Cyd Charisse on doing a voiceover for Frasier  

Game Shows

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Cyd Charisse on appearing as a mystery guest on What's My Line?

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Cyd Charisse on her first television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show
Cyd Charisse on The Hollywood Palace produced by Nick Vanoff
Cyd Charisse on the Cyd Charisse Special  and Center Stage: Cyd Charisse  and working with various choreographers including Tony Charmoli
Cyd Charisse on appearing on Gene Kelly's American in Pasadena  special 
Cyd Charisse on appearing on The Kennedy Center Honors  to honor Donald O'Connor

News and Documentary

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Cyd Charisse on being interviewed by Edward R. Murrow on Person to Person
People

Fred Astaire

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Cyd Charisse on appearing in the feature "The Bandwagon" with Fred Astaire 
Cyd Charisse on working with Fred Astaire in the feature "Silk Stockings" and on acting in the feature "Party Girl"

Tony Charmoli

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Cyd Charisse on the Cyd Charisse Special  and Center Stage: Cyd Charisse  and working with various choreographers including Tony Charmoli

Bob Hope

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Cyd Charisse on appearing on various Bob Hope Specials

Gene Kelly

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Cyd Charisse on appearing with Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain"

Tony Martin

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Cyd Charisse on her marriage to Tony Martin and how motherhood impacted her career

Vincente Minnelli

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Cyd Charisse on working with director Vincente Minnelli 

Donald O'Connor

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Cyd Charisse on appearing on The Kennedy Center Honors  to honor Donald O'Connor

Nick Vanoff

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Cyd Charisse on The Hollywood Palace produced by Nick Vanoff

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