She may not have as well known as some of her counterparts such as Ginger Rogers, but for those who knew and appreciated her work, Cyd Charisse clearly left a mark. Here are a few touching tributes I’ve read.

She Put the Move in Movies (WP)

[I]t was what Charisse could do with her legs that set her apart from other musical stars of her era, the mid-1940s through the ’50s, and what distinguished her from those who came before or after. She was a dancing goddess on a very lonely pedestal. Charisse, who died Tuesday at 86, had no peers and few imitators.

 Sylph or Siren, The Legs Have It (NYT):

Some stars shine, others flicker, lingering in your consciousness and dreams in flashes, favorite scenes and frozen moments. Cyd Charisse, the long-legged beauty who in the 1950s gave Fred Astaire some midcareer oomph and Gene Kelly his match in pure animal vitality, wasn’t a Hollywood immortal. She never transcended the movies in which she appeared — her breakout musical, “Singin’ in the Rain,” could certainly have been produced without her. But it surely would not have been as magnificent without the erotic jolt she gives Kelly.

From Ballet to Movies, Cyd Charisse Was a Cool Classic (Boston Globe):

[She] expressed persona through movement rather than dialogue, and in her case that persona was smoky, sinuous, and cool: a quintessential ’50s mix of sex and poise. She was the choreographic equivalent of a classic Sinatra LP.

Beautiful Dynamite (The Guardian)

For me, there is a crucial test of the Charisse obituaries: it is whether or not they mention a film called Party Girl. The New York Times names it and refers to it as “a drama”. The Los Angeles Times does not seem to know about it. But it is the best work Charisse ever did.

Cyd Charisse: Some of her greatest numbers (The Guardian): Video highlights from the legendary actor and dancer from Hollywood’s golden era.

Finally, Turner Classic Movies has changed its programming schedule to show three of her best movies on Friday, June 27. Schedule is here.

 

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