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The title, “The Queen of Tap Dancing” is not an exaggeration when you talk about Eleanor Powell. During the 1930’s and 1940’s she starred in the biggest musicals for MGM that there were. She danced her way through them tirelessly, making it all look so easy.
She was known as one of MGM’s top dancing stars during the Golden Age of Hollywood in a series of musical vehicles tailored especially for her talents, such as Born to Dance (1936), Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937) and Rosalie (1937), believed to be equalled only by Fred Astaire in terms of dancing talent. In 1965, she was named the World’s Greatest Tap Dancer by the Dance Masters of America.
She was well received in her first starring role in 1935 At Home Abroad (in which she was supported by Jack Benny and Frances Langford), and delighted 1930s audiences with her endless energy and enthusiasm, not to mention her stunning dancing. According to dancer Ann Miller, quoted in the “making-of” documentary That’s Entertainment! III, MGM was headed for bankruptcy in the late 1930s, but the films of Eleanor Powell, particularly Broadway Melody of 1936, were so popular they made the company profitable again. Miller also credits Powell for inspiring her own dancing career, which would lead her to become an MGM musical star a decade later.
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Eleanor Powell married stardom when she wed the also famous Glenn Ford. Together they had one son named, Peter.
Eleanor Powell, Peter Ford (as a child) and Glenn Ford.
I have known Peter Ford for over ten years now as I have designed and now manage his site “GlennFordBio.com.” I also update his personal site and he has sanctioned my efforts for his mother. Peter recently published a biography about his father called, “Glenn Ford: A Life” and while the book is about Glenn Ford, there is also much in it about his mother. I strongly recommend it.
Read our EXCLUSIVE five part interview with Eleanor Powell’s son, Peter Ford by clicking on the image below:
Eleanor Powell was our Favorite of the Month for March 2015. See all the posts we made about him during the month by clicking on the banner below: