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Biography

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Overview (4)

Born in San Antonio, Texas, USA
Died in Woodland Hills, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameAlexander Bernard Quiroga
Nickname Pup

Mini Bio (1)

Noted choreographer and dancer, Alex Romero was born Alexander Bernard Quiroga, son of Mexican general and wealthy politician, don Miguel Quiroga. His father and thirteen of his twenty-three brothers were killed during the siege of Monterrey, and his mother, three months pregnant with Alex at the time, escaped to the United States with the family's one daughter and gave birth to Alex in San Antonio, Texas. Three of Alex's other brothers, who had survived the Revolution, found their way to the United States and eventually formed a Spanish dance act, adopting the stage name Romero because they were told Quiroga would be too hard for American audiences to pronounce. When he was eleven, Alex's only sister died of tuberculosis. Alex's brothers concerned over the distraught state of their mother, had her and Alex join them on the vaudeville circuit. Alex did not originally perform with his brothers. He had no training in dance at all. "Pup," as he was called, simply watched his brothers from the wings every night. One day, one of his brothers, John, came into the theater and heard someone tap dancing on the stage. He snuck up and found that it was Alex. Asked where he had learned to tap dance, Alex replied that he had just made up his own steps after listening to the rhythms of the various black dancers he had seen in other vaudeville acts. Alex was asked to join the Romero's dance act and to teach his other brothers to tap. He was fifteen years old. The Romero brothers toured throughout the United States and also for five years in Europe. During this time Alex's future wife, Faun, traveled from the United States to be with him, and they married in 1936 while the group was on tour in Norway. The vaudeville act broke up 1939, when World War II started, and Alex decided to leave Europe because Faun was pregnant with his first child, Melinda. Upon returning to the United States, Alex auditioned for Jack Cole and became part of his contract dance team at Columbia, performing with Cole for two years. With the birth of Romero's second daughter Judy, he left Cole's troupe. He began dancing in the movies and performed in such films as The Thrill of Brazil, Time Out for Rhythm, Texas Carnival, Tars and Spars, and An American in Paris. In On the Town, he was featured as one of the three dancing sailors. Alex began assisting some of the great film choreographers, such as Michael Kidd on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Hermes Pan and Fred Astaire on Barkleys of Broadway, Busby Berkley on Small Town Girl, and Gene Kelly on American in Paris and On the Town. He also assisted on The Bandwagon, Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate, Les Girls, Showboat, The Belle of New York, and Take Me Out to the Ballgame. His first solo choreography came when he was assisting Robert Alton on Words and Music (1948). Alton asked Alex to collaborate on a number with Gene Kelly called "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue." In the same film, Alex was solo choreographer for two numbers that have since become classics - "Thou Swell," with June Allyson and the Blackburn Twins and "Lady is a Tramp" with Lena Horne. Known for his clever, humorous, inventive style, and brilliant use of props, Alex began working full-time as a choreographer. He created dances for Janet Leigh in The Red Danube (1949), Bob Fosse and Debbie Reynolds in The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953), Russ Tamblyn in Fastest Gun Alive (1956), Tom Thumb (1958), and The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962), Doris Day in Love Me or Leave Me (1955), and Susan Hayward in I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955). Other credits include The Prodigal (1955), The Gazebo (1959), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962), The George Raft Story (1962), The Stripper (1963), Love at First Bite (1979), Zorro, the Gay Blade (1981), among numerous others. In 1957, he choreographed "Jailhouse Rock" for Elvis Presley, conceiving the sets and costumes, and fighting with studio executives to include the rock and roll number in the film. He became close friends with Elvis and went on to choreograph three more films for him

  • Clambake (1967), Double Trouble (1967), and Speedway (1968). His
television credits include: The Perry Como Show, The Debbie Reynolds Specials, The Eddie Fisher Show, several editions of The Academy Awards, Hart to Hart, and Fantasy Island. He choreographed the Broadway musical Happy Hunting (1956) starring Ethel Merman, and staged night club acts for Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Van Johnson, Debbie Reynolds, Ann Miller, and Bobby Short. He was a founding member of the Professional Dancers Society and served on its board until his death. In 2001, Mr. Romero was honored with the prestigious lifetime Achievement Award by "Jazz Dance LA Foundation" A humble and gentle man, Alex Romero's inventive use of movement and camera angles foreshadowed and influenced the dance styles and film-making of today. He inspired many and supported and promoted the careers of young dancers and choreographers throughout his life. Romero died Saturday, September 8, 2007 of natural causes at the Motion Picture and Television Fund home in Woodland Hills, CA., shortly after celebrating his 94th birthday.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Mark Knowles

Spouse (1)

Frances Driscoll (1936 - 1997) ( her death) ( 2 children)

Trivia (1)

Children: daughters Melinda and Judy.

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