Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Happy Birthday, Marge Champion!

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).

2019 Update: The Marge Champion Centennial.

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


Blogger Beth Ann Gallagher said...

"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" is one of my favorite movie dance scenes, too. They move so beautifully together to that pretty song, and the whole scene is romantic while showing how romance feels for those involved in one.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I agree, it's absolutely gorgeous! :) :)

Best wishes,

9:17 AM  

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