Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy 95th Birthday to Marge Champion!

I must confess to always having something of a crush on Marge Champion. I have always had a weakness for dancers, and Marge Champion is one of the most beautiful of them all. What is more she is an extremely talented dancer who did things in her career that very few other dancers have ever done. Indeed, she was the model for Snow White's movements in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). She would go onto model the movements of characters in other Disney films, including the Blue Fairy in  Pinocchio (1940), the dancing hippos in Fantasia (1940), and Maid Marion in Robin Hood (1973).

In 1947 Marge married fellow dancer Gower Champion and the two of them formed a very successful dance team. They appeared on nearly every major variety show on television in the late Forties and the Fifties, and they even had their own show, The Marge and Gower Champion Show, during the summer of 1957. Marge and Gower Champion would appear in several films together, including such movies as Show Boat (1951), Lovely to Look At (1952), Everything I Have Is Yours (1952), Give a Girl a Break (1953), and Three for the Show (1955).

Marge and Gower Champion divorced in 1973, but Marge continued to have a busy career without him. She served as both choreographer and dialogue coach on the mini-series The Awakening Land and Ike: The War Years, as well as a dialogue coach on the mini-series Masada in the Eighties. She served a dialogue coach on the television movie The Diary of Anne Frank and the choreographer on the TV movie When the Circus Came to Town. Marge also continued to appear in front of the camera, not only appearing on several variety shows, but also the movies The Party (1968), The Swimmer (1968), and Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County (1970). She guest starred on the TV show Fame in the Eighties.

In tribute to Marge Champion on her 95th birthday, here are a few photos from her career.

Still Marjorie Belcher, here she is in costume for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Photo © Disney
Marjorie with some of the art for the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio
Marge and Gower Champion from the 7 March 1949 issue of Life
A publicity shot of Marge Champion and co-star Debbie Reynolds from Give a Girl a Break
Marge and Gower Champion with their son Gregg in 1957
Marge Champion circa 1952

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