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Biography

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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 24 December 1924New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
Date of Death 10 May 1964Saddle Brook, New Jersey, USA  (bronchial pneumonia)
Birth NameCarolyn Grace Haney

Mini Bio (2)

She was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts and went to New Bedford High School. Even before graduating in 1942, she had opened a dance studio where she taught dancing. Dancing was in her blood from an early age, and she performed often at high school festivities, the Mexican Hat Dance being one of her favorites. During the WWII years, she came to Hollywood and became the protégé of Gene Kelly, whom she admired a great deal. She had fine timing and was indefatigable. Unfortunately, she was a diabetic, and this may have been the cause of her demise. She married Larry Blyden in Hollywood (purportedly on the stage of a theatre), and had two children. After her death, her husband took the children to Texas, where they had relatives, and was soon, thereafter, killed in an auto accident.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: George G. Vitt, Jr. <gvitt@worldnet.att.net>

Actress/dancer most famous for making Shirley MacLaine famous, helping make two of Gene Kelly's most famous films, (Singin' in the Rain (1952) and An American in Paris (1951)), and also making a name for herself on Broadway in "The Pajama Game", which was, of course, the show that made Bob Fosse known to the dance world with his fabulous number, "Steam Heat".

One of entertainment's hardest done-by talents, Carol Haney was born in 1924 in New Bedford, Massachusetts and always knew she was going to end up a dancer - even fortune tellers told her so. Young Carol Haney owned her self-financed dance school even before she left high school, at which point she left the East for the West. In Hollywood, she impressed Jack Cole so much that he made her his dance partner and assistant. Later on, she was offered a job assisting the great Gene Kelly, so Haney quit her spot with Jack Cole, and joined up with the Freed unit. While assisting Gene Kelly from 1950, Haney also appeared in several of his films, in the chorus. In actual fact, the role of the gangster's moll in the "Broadway Melody" number in Singin' in the Rain (1952), eventually danced by Cyd Charisse, was originally intended for Haney. However, Haney adored Gene Kelly and worked on, rehearsing with Charisse every step of the way.

Haney got her chance at dancing stardom later on at MGM, when she was teamed up with a young fellow, named Bob Fosse, in a movie called Kiss Me Kate (1953). The dance Fosse concocted stopped the show, bringing him his first full choreographic assignment on Broadway in "The Pajama Game", and Fosse, subsequently, insisted that Haney be brought to Broadway to dance a minor role. However, George Abbott, the legendary Broadway producer was so impressed with Haney's comic ability that he fired a lead actress and combined her role with Haney's dancing role to create the role of "Gladys Hotchkiss". Haney was a complete smash in her first all-talking, all-singing, all-dancing major Broadway role (having not uttered a word previously in any of her film appearances), and won the critics' acclaim as well as a Tony for her efforts.

The torn ankle ligaments Haney suffered one month into the show is also popular showbiz folklore, as her absence from the show brought understudy Shirley MacLaine into the limelight, as well as the attention of Hollywood producer Hal B. Wallis, who expressly visited the show to see Haney perform. MacLaine was offered a contract by Wallis immediately after her performance. Haney recreated her award-winning role in the film version of The Pajama Game (1957). She was also diagnosed with diabetes during filming, collapsing several times during the rigorous dance routines. This illness, as well as a self-destructive work ethic and emotional problems, contributed to her downfall in 1964, aged at just 39. 700 theatre and dance personalities attended a memorial service in her memory. Like fellow dance great Gwen Verdon, fans of Haney have only one piece of film, The Pajama Game (1957), as a visual record of a great talent.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: marge <marge_is_master@hotmail.com>

Spouse (2)

Larry Blyden (17 April 1955 - 11 August 1962) (divorced) (2 children)
Eugene Dorian Johnson (1945 - 1953) (divorced)

Trivia (5)

Awarded a Tony in 1955 for Supporting Actress in the musical, 'The Pajama Game.'
Shirley MacLaine's rise to stardom is pure Hollywood cliché and inadvertently due to Carol. Shirley was a chorus girl in the 1954 Broadway production of "The Pajama Game" and understudying Carol as well. When Carol fractured her ankle, Shirley went on for her. One night producer Hal B. Wallis saw Shirley and signed her to a movie contract. The rest, as they say, is history.
She and husband Larry Blyden had two children: Joshua Blyden (who was named after Joshua Logan) was born in 1957, and 'Ellen Blyden was born in 1960.
Won Broadway's 1955 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Musical) for "The Pajama Game." She also received three Tony nominations as Best Choreographer: in 1959, for "Flower Drum Song;" in 1963, for "Bravo Giovanni;" and in 1964, posthumously, for "Funny Girl."
One of Bob Fosse's favorite dancers, she was his specialty partner in the "From This Moment On" dance sequence in Kiss Me Kate (1953) and absolutely stole the show with her "Steam Heat" number in Fosse's The Pajama Game (1957).

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