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Been Rich All My Life (2006)

Five sassy, tap dancing women aged 84 - 96. Meet the "Silver Belles".


(as Heather Lyn MacDonald)

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Credited cast:
Marion Coles ...
Elaine Ellis ...
Cleo Hayes ...
Fay Ray ...
Berte Lou Wood ...


They are the "Silver Belles," five women aged 84 to 96. They first met in the 1930's as chorus dancers at the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theater where they worked 15 hour days, rehearsing a new show every week. In their heyday they performed with legendary band leaders like Cab Calloway, Jimmie Lunceford and Duke Ellington. When the big band era ended, and with it the need for show dancers, they all went into other work. In 1985 they put their tap shoes back on, and are still performing regularly. But in one week, Cleo tumbles down the subway stairs and breaks her knee and arm, Marion gets a pacemaker, and Bertye is taken to the hospital. Is this the end of the Silver Belles? Written by Signy

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Release Date:

4 January 2006 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,252 (USA) (21 July 2006)


$33,745 (USA) (29 September 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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User Reviews

splendid, splendid and splendid
23 April 2007 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

A wonderful film, a work of love and devotion from the director and her production team. Thank you for giving us this glimpse of remarkable women. Talented, strong, determined, and wise, we have this film, this information, these sharings for ever. What a gift! Not only are these ladies truly remarkable, they are truly talented. They have seen and experienced so much in their lives and continue with that same effervescent thrill to entertain!!

And along side that we have footage, film clips, still photos from the Harlem Renaissance, from the world of segregation, the world of living 'on the road.'

It is a beautiful work of art. In some ways I wish the film was longer, so that we could have more old photos and footage and more time with these Silver Belles!!!

Thank you for this wonderful documentary.

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