Monday, September 02, 2019

The Marge Champion Centennial

NOTE: The marvelous dancer Marge Champion turns 100 today, September 2, 2019. In celebration of her centennial birthday I am reposting my 95th birthday tribute.

The great dancer Marge Champion turns 95 years old today.

She was born Marjorie Belcher on September 2, 1919, in Los Angeles, California.

She teamed with husband Gower Champion for several MGM musicals, including SHOW BOAT (1951), LOVELY TO LOOK AT (1952), GIVE A GIRL A BREAK (1993), and JUPITER'S DARLING (1955). Their "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes," seen in the stills above and below, is one of my all-time favorite movie dance numbers.

Years before teaming with Gower, Marge worked at RKO in bit parts in films such as SORORITY HOUSE (1939).

More significantly, she had an important role in Disney history, working as a model for Disney animators. She was the model for Snow White in SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937), the Blue Fairy in PINOCCHIO (1940), and the dancing hippo in FANTASIA (1940).

I was fortunate to see her discussing her Disney work in person at Destination D two years ago, and I even had the chance to receive her autograph, which was a thrill after admiring her for so many years.

For much more on Marge Champion and her career, please visit this 2009 post.

Best wishes for a very happy birthday to a wonderful lady!

Update: Here's a review of Marge and Gower in EVERYTHING I HAVE IS YOURS (1952).

October 2020 Update: Dancing Great Marge Champion Dies at 101.


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