| MITZI GAYNOR... was born in Chicago. When she was three the family moved to Detroit. Her father was a concert musician and her mother was a dancer. As a young child her mother decided she should take dancing lessons. Mitzi was enrolled in Madame Etienne's School of the Ballet. Madame Etienne, one of the famed Charisse family, took to Mitzi immediately. Mitzi blossomed in class. The dance studio became her playground. Encouraged dance wise, mother with Mitzi in tow took off for Hollywood. Madame Etienne soon followed her favorite student.
At the age of twelve Mitzi began appearing in productions of the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. Her education, while not traditional, was invaluable. Her teachers were some of the greats in musical theater. Her flare for comedy must have been inspired by the incomparable comedians she watched so closely from the wings.
This chubby-cheeked, long-legged performer caught the eye of a talent scout and she was soon starring in her first film, MY BLUE HEAVEN. From there on she was much in demand and was cast in one film after another, link. She was paired with such giants for partners as Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Dan Dailey. In non-musical films she found herself in the company of Frank Sinatra (THE JOKER IS WILD). Kirk douglas (FOR LOVE OR MONEY), and David Niven (HAPPY ANNIVERSARY). Highlights of her musical credits must include, ANYTHING GOES, THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS, LES GIRLS and topping them all SOUTH PACIFIC.
Mitzi's night club act broke all records. Her appearances in Las Vegas are still remembered as setting the pattern for all 'Lady Star with Dancers' that followed.
(video of this AWARDS LUNCHEON available)