Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Johnnie Lucille Collier (April 12, 1923 – January 22, 2004), known professionally as Ann Miller, was an American dancer, singer and actress. She is best remembered for her work in the Classical Hollywood musical films of the 1940s and 1950s.

At age 13 in 1936, Miller became a showgirl at the Bal Tabarin. She was hired as a dancer in the "Black Cat Club" in San Francisco (she reportedly told them she was 18). It was there that she was discovered by Lucille Ball and talent scout/comic Benny Rubin (although some sources say this occurred at Bal Tabarin). This led Miller to be given a contract with RKO in 1936 at the age of 13 (she had also told them she was 18, and apparently provided a fake birth certificate, procured by her father - with the name "Lucy Ann Collier") and she remained there until 1940.

In 1941, she signed with Columbia Pictures, where, starting with Time Out for Rhythm, she starred in 11 B movie musicals from 1941 to 1945. In July 1945, with World War II still raging in the Pacific, she posed in a bathing suit as a Yank magazine pin-up girl. She ended her contract in 1946 with one "A" film, The Thrill of Brazil. The ad in Life magazine featured Miller's leg in a large, red, bow-tied stocking as the "T" in "Thrill". She finally hit her mark in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals such as Easter Parade (1948), On the Town (1949) and Kiss Me Kate (1953).

Miller was famed for her speed in tap dance. Studio publicists concocted press releases claiming she could tap 500 times per minute, but in truth, the sound of ultra-fast "500" taps was looped in later. Because the stage floors were waxed and too slick for regular tap shoes, she had to dance in shoes with rubber treads on the sole. Later she would loop the sound of the taps while watching the film and actually dancing on a "tap board" to match her steps in the film.

Her film career effectively ended in 1956 as the studio system lost steam to television, but she remained active in the theater and on television. She starred on Broadway in the musical Mame in 1969, in which she wowed the audience in a tap number created just for her. In 1979 she astounded audiences in the Broadway show Sugar Babies with fellow MGM veteran Mickey Rooney, which toured the United States extensively after its Broadway run. In 1983, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre. She appeared in a special 1982 episode of The Love Boat, joined by fellow showbiz legends Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Della Reese, Van Johnson and Cab Calloway in a storyline that cast them as older relatives of the show's regular characters. Her last stage performance was a 1998 production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies, in which she played hardboiled Carlotta Campion and received rave reviews for her rendition of the song "I'm Still Here".

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Miller has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6914 Hollywood Blvd. In 1998, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her. To honor Miller's contribution to dance, the Smithsonian Institution displays her favorite pair of tap shoes, which she playfully nicknamed "Moe and Joe".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Johnnie Lucille Collier (April 12, 1923 – January 22, 2004), known professionally as Ann Miller, was an American dancer, singer and actress. She is best remembered for her work in the Classical Hollywood musical films of the 1940s and 1950s.

At age 13 in 1936, Miller became a showgirl at the Bal Tabarin. She was hired as a dancer in the "Black Cat Club" in San Francisco (she reportedly told them she was 18). It was there that she was discovered by Lucille Ball and talent scout/comic Benny Rubin (although some sources say this occurred at Bal Tabarin). This led Miller to be given a contract with RKO in 1936 at the age of 13 (she had also told them she was 18, and apparently provided a fake birth certificate, procured by her father - with the name "Lucy Ann Collier") and she remained there until 1940.

In 1941, she signed with Columbia Pictures, where, starting with Time Out for Rhythm, she starred in 11 B movie musicals from 1941 to 1945. In July 1945, with World War II still raging in the Pacific, she posed in a bathing suit as a Yank magazine pin-up girl. She ended her contract in 1946 with one "A" film, The Thrill of Brazil. The ad in Life magazine featured Miller's leg in a large, red, bow-tied stocking as the "T" in "Thrill". She finally hit her mark in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals such as Easter Parade (1948), On the Town (1949) and Kiss Me Kate (1953).

Miller was famed for her speed in tap dance. Studio publicists concocted press releases claiming she could tap 500 times per minute, but in truth, the sound of ultra-fast "500" taps was looped in later. Because the stage floors were waxed and too slick for regular tap shoes, she had to dance in shoes with rubber treads on the sole. Later she would loop the sound of the taps while watching the film and actually dancing on a "tap board" to match her steps in the film.

Her film career effectively ended in 1956 as the studio system lost steam to television, but she remained active in the theater and on television. She starred on Broadway in the musical Mame in 1969, in which she wowed the audience in a tap number created just for her. In 1979 she astounded audiences in the Broadway show Sugar Babies with fellow MGM veteran Mickey Rooney, which toured the United States extensively after its Broadway run. In 1983, she won the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theatre. She appeared in a special 1982 episode of The Love Boat, joined by fellow showbiz legends Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Della Reese, Van Johnson and Cab Calloway in a storyline that cast them as older relatives of the show's regular characters. Her last stage performance was a 1998 production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies, in which she played hardboiled Carlotta Campion and received rave reviews for her rendition of the song "I'm Still Here".

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Miller has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6914 Hollywood Blvd. In 1998, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her. To honor Miller's contribution to dance, the Smithsonian Institution displays her favorite pair of tap shoes, which she playfully nicknamed "Moe and Joe".

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 61

Birthday 1923-04-12

Day of Death 2004-01-22

Place of Birth Houston, Texas, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Johnnie Lucille Collier

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2004 Judy Garland: By Myself as Herself
2003 Rita
2003 Broadway: The Golden Age as Herself
2003 Inside the Marx Brothers as Herself
2002 Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer as Herself (archive footage)
2001 Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song
2001 Mulholland Dr.
2001 Mulholland Drive as Catherine Lenoix
2000 Hollywood Musicals of the 40's as Herself
2000 Hollywood Musicals of the 40's as Archive footage
1996 E! True Hollywood Story(1 episode)
1994 That's Entertainment! III as Herself - Co-Host / Narrator
1993 Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie as Herself
1991 Home Improvement(1 episode) as Mrs. Keeney
1976 Won Ton Ton: the Dog Who Saved Hollywood as Presidents' Girl 2
1976 That's Entertainment, Part II
1974 That's Entertainment! as Clip from 'Small Town Girl' (archive footage)
1971 Dames at Sea as Mona
1968 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In(2 episodes)
1964 The Hollywood Palace(2 episodes)
1956 The Great American Pastime as Doris Patterson
1956 The Opposite Sex as Gloria
1956 The Dinah Shore Chevy Show(1 episode)
1955 Hit the Deck as Ginger
1954 Deep in My Heart as Ann Miller
1953 Kiss Me Kate as Lois Lane / Bianca
1953 Small Town Girl as Lisa Bellmount
1952 Lovely to Look At as Bubbles Cassidy
1951 Two Tickets to Broadway as Joyce Campbell
1951 Texas Carnival as Sunshine Jackson
1950 Watch the Birdie as Miss Lucky Vista
1949 On the Town as Claire Huddesen
1948 The Kissing Bandit as Fiesta Specialty Dancer
1948 Easter Parade as Nadine Hale
1948 The Ed Sullivan Show(1 episode)
1947 Tony Awards(1 episode)
1946 The Thrill of Brazil as Linda Lorens
1945 Eve Knew Her Apples as Eve Porter
1945 Eadie Was a Lady as Eadie Allen / Edithea Alden
1944 Carolina Blues as Julie Carver
1944 Jam Session as Terry Baxter
1944 Hey, Rookie as Winnie Clark
1943 What's Buzzin', Cousin? as Ann Crawford
1943 Reveille with Beverly as Beverly Ross
1942 Priorities on Parade as Donna D'Arcy
1942 True to the Army as Vicki Marlow
1941 Go West, Young Lady as Lola
1941 Time Out for Rhythm as Kitty Brown
1940 Hit Parade of 1941 as Anabelle Potter
1940 Too Many Girls as Pepe
1940 Melody Ranch as Julie Shelton
1938 Tarnished Angel as Violet McMaster
1938 Room Service as Hilda Manny
1938 You Can't Take It with You as Essie Carmichael
1938 Having Wonderful Time as Vivian - Camp Guest Next to Itchy in His First Routine (uncredited)
1938 Radio City Revels as Billie
1937 Stage Door as Annie
1937 The Life of the Party as Betty
1937 New Faces of 1937 as Dancer Ann Miller
1936 The Devil on Horseback as Dancer (uncredited)
1935 The Good Fairy as Schoolgirl in Orphanage (uncredited)
1934 Anne of Green Gables as School Girl (uncredited)

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