Biography

Vera-Ellen began dancing at the age of 10, and a few years later became one of the youngest Rockettes. She appeared in several Broadway musicals until she was spotted by film producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1945. She was only 24 years old when Goldwyn cast her opposite Danny Kaye in Wonder Man (1945). She danced with Fred Astaire in Three Little Words (1950) and with Gene Kelly in On the Town (1949). Blonde, slim of build, and a dancing sensation, she appeared in a string of light-hearted but successful films. Vera-Ellen retired from acting in the late 1950s.

Vera's career died down in the late 1950s once filmed musicals lost their fashion. It was later discovered that, due to the dancer's compulsive dieting obsession, she had silently battled anorexia throughout much of the 50s before anyone was even aware or doctors had even coined the term or devised treatments. Moreover, she had developed severe arthritis which forced an early retirement. In order to combat it, she reverted back to taking dance lessons again. The worst blows suffered, however, was in her personal life. On top of of two two failed marriages, she lost her only child, Victoria Ellen Rothschild, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 1963. With one unhappy and tragic event compounded by another, she became a virtual recluse.

Little was heard for decades until it was discovered that she had died on August 30, 1981, at age 60 following a long bout with cancer at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was buried at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Sylmar, California. Perhaps less remembered today compared to several of the big stars that shared the stage with her, Vera-Ellen was a lithe and lovely presence who deserved a better personal life than she got. Nevertheless, she has provided true film lovers with a lasting legacy and can easily be considered one of Hollywood's finest dancing legends.

Vera-Ellen began dancing at the age of 10, and a few years later became one of the youngest Rockettes. She appeared in several Broadway musicals until she was spotted by film producer Samuel Goldwyn in 1945. She was only 24 years old when Goldwyn cast her opposite Danny Kaye in Wonder Man (1945). She danced with Fred Astaire in Three Little Words (1950) and with Gene Kelly in On the Town (1949). Blonde, slim of build, and a dancing sensation, she appeared in a string of light-hearted but successful films. Vera-Ellen retired from acting in the late 1950s.

Vera's career died down in the late 1950s once filmed musicals lost their fashion. It was later discovered that, due to the dancer's compulsive dieting obsession, she had silently battled anorexia throughout much of the 50s before anyone was even aware or doctors had even coined the term or devised treatments. Moreover, she had developed severe arthritis which forced an early retirement. In order to combat it, she reverted back to taking dance lessons again. The worst blows suffered, however, was in her personal life. On top of of two two failed marriages, she lost her only child, Victoria Ellen Rothschild, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 1963. With one unhappy and tragic event compounded by another, she became a virtual recluse.

Little was heard for decades until it was discovered that she had died on August 30, 1981, at age 60 following a long bout with cancer at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. She was buried at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Sylmar, California. Perhaps less remembered today compared to several of the big stars that shared the stage with her, Vera-Ellen was a lithe and lovely presence who deserved a better personal life than she got. Nevertheless, she has provided true film lovers with a lasting legacy and can easily be considered one of Hollywood's finest dancing legends.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Female

Known Credits 20

Birthday 1921-02-16

Day of Death 1981-08-30

Place of Birth Norwood, Ohio, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe
  • Vera Ellen Westmeier Rohe
  • Vera Ellen

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2002 Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer as Herself (archive footage)
1994 That's Entertainment! III as (archive footage)
1957 Let's Be Happy as Jeannie MacLean
1956 The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (1 episode)
1954 White Christmas as Judy Haynes
1954 A Star Is Born World Premiere
1953 Big Leaguer as Christy
1953 Call Me Madam as Princess Maria
1952 The Belle of New York as Angela Bonfils
1951 Happy Go Lovely as Janet Jones
1950 The Colgate Comedy Hour (1 episode)
1950 Three Little Words as Jessie Brown / Jessie Kalmar
1949 On the Town as Ivy Smith
1949 Love Happy as Maggie Phillips
1948 Words and Music as Herself
1948 The Ed Sullivan Show (1 episode)
1947 Carnival in Costa Rica as Luisa Molina
1946 Three Little Girls in Blue as Myra Charters
1946 The Kid from Brooklyn as Susie Sullivan
1945 Wonder Man as Midge Mallon

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