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Lucille Bremer Poster

Biography

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Overview (2)

Born in Amsterdam, New York, USA
Died in La Jolla, California, USA  (heart attack)

Mini Bio (2)

Arthur Freed discovered Lucille when she was working in a nightclub doing a specialty dance act, and decided to cast her as Rose Smith in Meet Me in St. Louis, and began building up her career which never really took off despite being put in 3 big musical productions at MGM. When she married, she decided to retire.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: olebuttermilksky5@yahoo.com

A brief but beautiful little wave in the MGM musical pool during the mid-40s was lovely, classy, red-headed Lucille Bremer. Her natural dancing talent, aristocratic manner and stately carriage dazzled film-goers briefly, like a shooting star, and then was gone. She was groomed by the studio for big things after Eleanor Powell retired and Lucille seemed more than ready to ascend the MGM pedestal. One major musical misfire, not to mention typical studio politics and modest acting ability, left her career floundering after only three years. The name of Lucille Bremer, as a result, became a distant recollection.

She was born in Amsterdam, New York on February 21, 1917 (many reference books incorrectly list the year as 1923), but the family moved to Philadelphia while she was still quite young. She began taking ballet lessons at age 7 and before she was even a teenager, the promising dancer was accepted into the Philadelphia Opera Company. At age 16 she became a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall in New York and toured with the girls throughout Europe. She took her first Broadway curtain call as a "Pony Girl" chorine (along with two other up-and-coming hopefuls Vera-Ellen and June Allyson) in the Broadway musical "Panama Hattie" in 1940. She also served as an understudy. Shortly after she earned a featured part in the musical "Dancing in the Streets" but the show closed during out-of-town tryouts. The following year she nabbed the ingénue role in the Gertrude Lawrence musical "Lady in the Dark".

It was MGM producer Arthur Freed who happened to discover the high-kicking Lucille dancing at a Versailles Restaurant's floor show. He had her screen-tested and no less than Louis B. Mayer himself was taken by her, predicting a star-making career for her. Lucille, with no training at all, had an innate dramatic flair. After she and Cyd Charisse danced in the Stan Kenton musical short This Love of Mine (1944), Lucille was given the featured role of Rose, the eldest Smith daughter, who yearns to become part of the snobby elite in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944). While the movie obviously focused on younger sister Judy Garland, the camera still showed an appreciation for Lucille and MGM wasted no time in finding a proper star vehicle for her dancing talents.

This came in the form of the exotic and lavish Technicolor musical fantasy Yolanda and the Thief (1945), directed by Vincente Minnelli, in which she co-starred with Fred Astaire. Astaire plays a conman with designs on the lovely Lucille, a naive, convent-bred heiress who takes him for a "guardian angel" of sorts. While this was an "A" vehicle for Lucille, and the highly interpretive dance styles of Bremer and Astaire, particularly in "Will You Dance With Me?" and the "Coffee Time" finale, meshed beautifully together, the storyline had problems. Far too heady, adult and Freudian in nature to please weary, war-time audiences seeking escapism, the movie was deemed an expensive box-office failure. Astaire was already a star and was able to rise above the ashes; Lucille, whose chilly beauty and demeanor was at times a negative, was not as lucky. She was never given another starring role in a musical film.

Her MGM highlight actually came later with Astaire by her side once again in two dancing segments of Ziegfeld Follies (1945). The duo danced to the lovely ballet number "This Heart of Mine" and the scene-stealing "Limehouse Blues" sequence. She would also be among the illustrious roster of MGM musical talents in Till the Clouds Roll By (1946), the fictionalized biography of songwriter and "Show Boat" composer Jerome Kern. Her singing was dubbed as she appeared alongside Van Johnson in the "I Won't Dance" segment, and the "One More Dance" and "The Land Where the Good Songs Go" numbers.

MGM and Freed quickly grew disenchanted with Lucille. Her final MGM picture was a "B"-level dramatic programmer -- part of the "Dr. Kildare" series entitled Dark Delusion (1947). Here again she plays a wealthy woman -- this time with life-threatening health issues. Her final three pictures, all released in 1948, were on loan to "Poverty Row" studio Eagle-Lion. The budget-bare swashbuckler Adventures of Casanova (1948) emphasized her beauty, if nothing else, opposite the equally handsome Arturo de Córdova; the well-cast drama Ruthless (1948), which starred Zachary Scott, had her playing an aloof second fiddle to the antics of Southern tycoon "husband" Sydney Greenstreet; and Behind Locked Doors (1948), opposite Richard Carlson and Douglas Fowley, was a rather hodgepodge tale that involved a judge on the lam, a reporter who tracks him down and an insane asylum. All came and went without much notice.

Lucille, seeing her career slipping away, wisely focused on her private life. While filming Adventures of Casanova (1948) on location, she met millionaire Abalardo Louis Rodriguez, the son of a former interim president of Mexico. The couple married in July of 1948 and she officially retired. Although there were infrequent talks of a "comeback," nothing materialized and Lucille remained adamant about not returning to show business in any way, shape or form. After living as a wealthy person in La Paz and Mexico City. The couple, who had two sons, Nicholas and Torre, and two daughters, Christina and Karen, divorced in 1963 and Lucille eventually moved to La Jolla, California, where she later owned and operated a children's dress shop. She traveled extensively in her twilight years and died at a La Jolla hospital following a heart attack at age 79 in 1996.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Abelardo Louis Rodriguez (July 1948 - 1963) ( divorced) ( 4 children)

Trivia (11)

Astaire's dance partner in two films.
Husband was the son of former Mexican president.
When she was screen-tested at MGM, she was given a scene from the Bette Davis vehicle "Dark Victory" to perform It was said Lucille bore a striking resemblance to her.
Made the Life magazine cover story on March 25, 1946.
Her last name was pronounced "Bray-mer", not "Brem-mer".
She was a staunch Republican who gave much of her time and money towards various conservative political causes. She attended several Republican National Conventions, galas, and fund-raisers. She was active in the campaigns of Wendell Willkie, Thomas E. Dewey, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.
Upon her death, she was cremated and her ashes scattered off of Baja California.
Gave birth to her 3rd child at age 35, a son Nicolas Rodriguez on November 15, 1952. Child's father is her ex-husband, Luis Rodriguez.
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 32, a daughter Cristina Rodriguez on September 3, 1949. Child's father is her ex-husband, Luis Rodriguez.
Gave birth to her 4th child at age 38, a son Torre Richard Rodriguez on December 14, 1955. Child's father is her ex-husband, Luis Rodriguez.
Gave birth to her 2nd child at age 33, a daughter Karen Rodriguez on December 26, 1950. Child's father is her ex-husband, Luis Rodriguez.

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