Featured News

Legendary Hollywood choreographer Miriam Nelson

Miriam Nelson is the choreographer behind many of Hollywood’s Golden Age dance routines. She debuted on Broadway in 1938, and can be seen in 1944’s classic film-noir Double Indemnity, and 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, at Holly Golightly’s party. she has worked with Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, Doris Day, Ingrid Bergman, Fred Astaire and Bette Davis. At an appearance in Carmel-By-The-Sea California, she sat down with Beauty the guide for a chat on her 80 year career in show business.

At almost 98, Miriam Nelson still lives a fully charged life. While in Carmel for Doris Day’s birthday celebrations this year, she made multiple appearances for interviews and talks, while fitting in a busy schedule touring the local sites. All after a 8 hour drive from her home in Beverly Hills. She also performed a tap routine for her audience that Doris Day had taught her 67 years earlier on the soundstage at Warner Brothers.

Miriam Nelson’s ‘discovery’ in Hollywood even beats Lana Turner’s sitting in Schwabb’s drugstore. Having married future Warner Brothers star Gene Nelson, the two moved to Santa Monica California in 1943 for a theatre production for Gene. Going out looking for movie-stars in Los Angeles as soon as they arrived, Miriam ran into a dancer she knew from New York who had just gotten a contract at Paramount Studios. He told her he could show her movie stars and invited her inside to the commissary for lunch where she spotted Ray Milland and Dorothy Lamour. Her former Broadway producer, Buddy DeSylva was now president of Paramount.

“‘Miriam’ he asked ‘how would you like to go to work for Paramount?’ Of course I jumped at the chance! By the time we arrived at the Business Affairs office, a contract had already been prepared. It was for seven years: acting and dancing. When I arrived home that night 
I said to Gene ‘You’ll never believe what happened to me today!’ It was my first day in Los Angeles and I got signed to Paramount! It was like something you see in a movie.”

“I was hired to teach Kim (Novak) and Bill (Holden) to dance in Picnic, 1955. They would be filming all day and I would get them in the evening, when they were both tired. That wasn’t the only challenge I encountered. Kim was painfully shy and inhibited, not a good thing for a dancer, and Bill didn’t want to dance, so I had to deal with that. I also dealt with rehearsal conditions in Hutchinson, Kansas, which were unusual to say the least. We rehearsed at a jukebox joint surrounded by bar patrons.

“I am a huge fan of Judy Garland, so I was thrilled when CBS hired me to choreograph Judy’s first television appearance. Every commercial break someone would grab Judy, throw her into her next costume and set her in her next position. By the time the show as over, all of us in the booth were wrecks. I don’t think Judy really knew what she had done during the entire show. There was a party afterwords and by then she seemed in pretty good control of herself. We all laughed a lot. Judy told me she had never worked with a woman choreographer before and she was terribly worried about it. She thought I would have her dance like some ‘damned ballerina.’ But she was very happy with the movements I gave her. Whew!”

Choreographing the grand opening of Disneyland, 1955: “‘Open the drawbridge,’ an actor yelled. We had never rehearsed with children. The characters couldn’t believe their eyes when the gate opened and, instead of a few children, they saw hundreds of screaming children. So instead of beckoning the children into the castle, the children chased the Disney characters inside!”

Miriam Nelson’s autobiography My Life Dancing With The Stars is available at amazon.ca and amazon.com

86 Comments

  • Reply
    www.line-teck.com
    August 1, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    At this time it seems like BlogEngine is the preferred blogging platform available right now.

    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your
    blog?

  • Reply
    http://howtolivefatandhappy.com/
    August 1, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?

  • Reply
    http://vseavtozapchasti.by/?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=433071
    August 1, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Quality articles or reviews is the important to interest the visitors to
    visit the web page, that’s what this web page is providing.

  • Reply
    http://www.fa8.org/home.php?mod=space&uid=19056&do=profile&from=space
    August 1, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am going
    through difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to
    join it. Is there anybody getting the same RSS problems?
    Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  • Reply
    Nannette
    August 1, 2017 at 8:06 am

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who
    was conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered
    me lunch due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him…
    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this subject here on your web site.

  • Reply
    happierplanet.co.uk
    August 1, 2017 at 7:32 am

    I am actually grateful to the holder of this website
    who has shared this enormous article at at this
    time.

  • Reply
    www.tms-ci.com
    August 1, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m planning to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time deciding
    between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m
    looking for something completely unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had
    to ask!

  • Reply
    henancp.com
    August 1, 2017 at 3:29 am

    I’m curious to find out what blog platform you have been using?
    I’m having some minor security problems with my latest
    blog and I would like to find something more secure.
    Do you have any suggestions?

  • Reply
    Lelio Vieira Carneiro Junior
    July 31, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time
    a comment is added I get three e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Thanks!

  • Reply
    Lelio Vieira Carneiro Junior
    July 31, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you, I’ve just been searching for info approximately this subject
    for a while and yours is the greatest I have discovered
    till now. However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you sure in regards to
    the source?

  • Reply
    Deandra
    July 25, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Hi! I understand this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to ask. Does operating a well-established website such as yours require a massive amount work? I’m brand new to operating a blog however I do write in my diary daily. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

  • Reply
    click this site
    July 19, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Admiring the time and effort you put into the site and comprehensive info you offer. It really is awesome to come across a site once in a while that is not the same unwanted rehashed stuff. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your blog and I am including the RSS feeds to our appvn plus blog.

  • Reply
    Mollie
    July 19, 2017 at 1:44 am

    Howdy! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

  • Reply
    Phyllis Cordova
    July 18, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    What a wonderful story!!! It’s almost like a fairy tale.. Thank you for sharing ????

  • Reply
    Emily Mitton
    July 18, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    What a delightful read! Such and inspiration!

  • Reply
    Gail Siemko
    July 13, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I thank you Dave for brightening my world with these wonderful memories from movies not too long ago! I share your love of the Stars ✨ such as Doris Day and her contemporaries…and #MiriamNielson is who I want to be….When I grow up! ????????????

    @gailsiemko

  • Reply
    Lori M
    July 13, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Lovely story…makes me want to dance so I can live as long as her!
    @seniorservicebc

  • Reply
    Melanie E
    July 13, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Wow, what an amazing life! Thanks for relating her story, Dave! @MaraMel

  • Reply
    Gonny Aarts
    July 12, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    What a marvelous Lady

  • Reply
    LINDA G
    July 12, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Thanks for introducing this awesome lady to me…so inspiring,

  • Reply
    Linda L
    July 12, 2017 at 9:28 am

    We should all aspire to be Miriam Nelson! @linlett60

  • Reply
    Diane Lynn Lauzon
    July 12, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Miriam Nelson …… you ROCK!!! ❤️

  • Reply
    Denise Griffin
    July 12, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Loved reading this. Glad she is still so full of life and enjoying it.

  • Reply
    Carol Luciano
    July 12, 2017 at 7:54 am

    God Bless. What an exciting life.

  • Reply
    Thom Anderson
    July 12, 2017 at 6:44 am

    Great article. Talented lady. What an inspiration.
    @disablednurse

1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.