Cyd Charisse Dies

Cyd Charisse (March 8, 1922 – June 17, 2008) was an American actress and dancer.

After recovering from polio as a child, and studying ballet, Charisse entered films in the 1940s. Her roles usually focussed on her abilities as a dancer, and she was paired with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly; her films include Singin' in the Rain (1952), The Band Wagon (1953) and Silk Stockings (1957). She stopped dancing in films in the late 1950s, but continued acting in film and television, and in 1992 made her Broadway debut.

In her later years, she discussed the history of the Hollywood musical in documentaries, and participated in That's Entertainment! III in 1994. She was awarded the National Medal of the Arts and Humanities in 2006 and died two years later as a result of a heart attack.

In her eighties, Charisse made occasional public appearances and appeared frequently in documentaries spotlighting the golden age of Hollywood. She made her Broadway debut in 1992 in the musical version of Grand Hotel as the aging ballerina, Elizaveta Grushinskaya.

Publicist Gene Schwam said Charisse was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, on June 16, 2008 after suffering an apparent heart attack. She died the following day, aged 86. She was buried at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City on June 22, 2008.