Hollywood Celebrates Dance Tonight on TV

September 9, 2012

We’re psyched that Turner Classic Movies will be delving into the work of Jack Cole, the under-recognized genius of dance in Hollywood. He started with modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis and became a huge influence on Bob Fosse, Gwen Verdon, Marilyn Monroe and many others.


Left: Cole c. 1950. Photo by Marcus Blechman, Museum of the City of New York, DM Archives.

Right: Gwen Verdon and Cole. Photo by Ben and Sid Ross, DM Archives.


As I said in my blog back when Dancers Over 40 paid tribute to him, Marilyn Monroe and others learned so much from him about how to present themselves.


Betty Grable and Cole onset for the film
Three for the Show. Photo from DM Archives.


Who better than the witty and insightful Debra Levine, the expert on Jack Cole, to introduce four movie musicals with TCM host Robert Osborne. In Tonight and Every Night (1945), On the Riviera (1951), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and Les Girls (1957), he made brilliant choreography for the camera, and helped Hollywood stars shine even brighter. To vary that old saying about Fred and Ginger, Cole gave them class and he gave them sex. So tune into TCM tonight at 8:00 EST. —Wendy Perron



Cole in the revue he choreographed,
Alive and Kicking (1950). Photo by Eileen Darby, DM Archives.