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Saturday, 13 January 2018

Tommy Rall .....A Dancers Dancer .

Gene Kelly is quoted as saying:
''The best all round dancer we ever had at MGM was Tommy Rall, he could do anything - and better than any other dancer''...........

I fell in love with Tommy Rall as he  played Frank(incense) in 'Seven Brides For Seven Brothers' (1954)....


Tommy Rall was born in Kansas City on December 27th 1929. He spent his early years in Seattle,.
If you google Tommys name it will state that, yes, one of his eyes was crossed and , yes, his mother enrolled him into dance classes at 4 years old because of it . Delve deeper and you'll find the reason she did this was she realised he would have difficulty reading and hoped  it would lead him to a career that didn't involve bookwork - he later had surgery to correct this but by then he had fallen in love....with dancing.

                                                          The Jivin' Jack and Jills (1942)
In the 40's the family moved to Los Angeles and Tommy was taken up by Universal Pictures , along with a troupe of young teenage performers including Donald O'Connor- who later described Tommy as “one of the greatest dancers living...above Astaire and Kelly.”
At 14 he joined the ensemble of the, now, American Ballet Theatre where he stayed for three and a half years honing his skills as a ballet dancer.
                                                                   Interplay (1946)

He decided to leave ballet and pursue a career in musical theatre. He would remain in New York for five years, his biggest roles being Principal Dancer in 'Miss Liberty' and 'Call Me Madam'.
It would be on his return to Hollywood that Tommy really stole peoples/dancers hearts......


                                               With Ann Miller in 'Kiss Me Kate' (1953)



               
                  With Mr Jazz Hands himself,  - Bob Fosse in 'My Sister Eileen' (1955)

Tommy returned to Broadway in 1959 , notably starring in Jerry Hermans musical debut 'Milk and Honey' as well as appearing intermittently in movies - including an uncredited performance in 'Funny Girl' (1968) alongside Barbra Streisand as The Prince ....


                                          And not forgetting 'Pennies From Heaven'' (1981)




* for more info on Tommy try here *

2014 interview with Tommy for Modern Times.com

                                  
                                   As we began with a Barn Dance I thought we'd end with one !


                                                           'The Second Greatest Sex' (1955)

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