There were dancers. And then there was Cyd Charisse. She was, as Fred Astaire put it, "beautiful dynamite."

The leggy on-screen partner of Hollywood legends Astaire and Gene Kelly died early today at her Los Angeles home of a heart attack. Her rep said Charisse was 86.

To movie musical fans, Charisse will be remembered for joining Kelly in the famous "Broadway Melody" dream sequence from Singin' in the Rain, and for taking on hard-boiled detectives with Astaire in "The Girl Hunt" number from The Band Wagon.

Rat Pack aficionados will remember Charisse, 45 and frisky, for heating up the screen as a showgirl in Dean Martin's first Matt Helm movie, The Silencers.

And movie buffs will remember Charisse as a costar in Marilyn Monroe's last, uncompleted movie, Something's Got to Give, which fell apart following Monroe's death in 1962.

Born Tula Ellice Finklea in Amarillo, Texas, Charisse earned a Golden Globe nomination for Silk Stockings, the 1957 musical that reunited her with Astaire.

Survivors include singer-actor Tony Martin, her husband of 60 years.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.