Vera Ellen White Christmas
Co-starring Vera Ellen White Christmas is one of the most successful Christmas movies ever. Here is a biography of Vera Ellen and her movie career
Full Name: Vera Ellen Westmeier Rohe
DOB: 16th February 1921
DOD: 30th August 1981
Where born: Norwood, Ohio, USA.
Before co-starring the famous 1954 movie “White Christmas,” Vera-Ellen had already made a name for herself as dancer on Broadway, and in pictures. As an 18-year-old She debuted on Broadway in 1939 in the musical “Very Warm for May.”
Although small for a dancer Vera-Ellen became part of the Rockettes dance troupe.
Several Broadway roles followed which led to Vera-Ellen taking her first step into the world of cinema.
She attracted the attentions of film producer Samuel Goldwyn who cast her in the 1945 movie “Wonder Man”, which starred Danny Kaye, with whom she was to feature in “White Christmas” almost a decade later, and Virginia Mayo.
Vera-Ellen literally danced to stardom, appearing with Gene Kelly in “Words and Music” and “On the Town,” and co-starred with Fred Astaire in “Three Little Words” and “The Belle of New York.”
She also appeared with the Marx Brothers in what was to be their final movie “Love Happy.”
Vera-Ellen was sharing starring rolls with the best entertainers in the business and that included Bing Crosby in “White Christmas.”
Although a great dancer, Vera-Ellen did not have the kind of singing voice to merit being heard by the public. Indeed, any songs “sung” by her in “White Christmas,” were dubbed, mainly by Trudy Stevens.
Vera-Ellen's career was relatively short-lived, spanning just 20-years from 1937 to 1957 when she was only 36.
One reason may have been her rumoured parlous state of health, with claims that she was suffering from “slimmer's disease” otherwise known as anorexia nervosa.
Vera-Ellen appeared in her 14th and last movie, “Let's be Happy” in 1957, but over the next two years appeared in TV shows with Perry Como and Dinah Shore.
Vera-Ellen finally withdrew from public life in tragic circumstances, following the death of her daughter Victoria Ellen at just three months old in 1963.
At the time she was married to the millionaire Victor Rothschild, who she had married in 1954. Vera-Ellen had previously been married to Robert Hightower, who was also a dancer. That marriage lasted five years before ending in divorce in 1946.