ELEANOR POWELL BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Eleanor Powell was born on November 21st, 1912 in Springfield, Massachusetts with the middle name Torrey. By the age of two her parents marriage ended in divorce and her mother told her that her father had passed away. She began taking dance lessons from a early age.
Her career in entertainment began as a performer in Atlantic City clubs and by the age of sixteen she was performing in New York at the Ritz Grill and Casino de Paris. After gaining some more experience she began working as a stage tap dancer on Broadway after she realized there was more of a demand for tap dancers then ballet dancer.
By 1935 she made the move west to Hollywood and worked with MGM on a number of musicals where she earned the nickname, Queen of Ra-Ta-Taps. Soon she was appearing on such films as, "George White's 1935 Scandals" (1935), "Broadway Melody of 1936" (1935), "Born to Dance" (1935), "Rosalie" (1937), "Broadway Melody of 1938" (1937), "Honolulu" (1939) and "Broadway Melody of 1940" (1940).
One of her most well known performances was when she danced with Fred Astaire in, "Begin the Beguine" which is now known as one of the most famous tap dancing sequences in film history.
Other film roles she added to her resume were on, "Lady Be Good" (1941), "Ship Ahoy" (1942), "I Dood It" (1943), "Thousands Cheer" (1943), "Sensations of 1945" (1944) and her final role was in 1953 in, "The Faith of Our Children" where she hosted this television program designed at targeting a younger audience.
For the most part she chose to retire from the industry and focus on raising her only son, Peter Ford who also grew up to pursue a career as an actor. She did return to the industry on occasion, making guest appearances on such television programs as, "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Hollywood Palace".
In 2002 she was inducted into the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame. She also chose to become an ordained minister of the Unity Church.
Eleanor Powell married only once throughout her life time to Glenn Ford in 1943 and they had one child together before the marriage ended in divorce in 1959. She did not re-marry again nor have any more children and on February 11th, 1982 she passed away in Beverly Hills, California after suffering from cancer at the age of sixty nine. Her remains are interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in the Cathedral Mausoleum in Hollywood, California.
1953 The Faith of Our Children
1944 Sensations of 1945
1943 I Dood It
1942 Ship Ahoy
1941 Lady Be Good
1940 Broadway Melody of 1940
1937 Broadway Melody of 1938
1936 Born to Dance
1935 Broadway Melody of 1936
1935 George White's 1935 Scandals
1934 No Contest!