Joan McCracken est une Actrice Américaine née le 31 décembre 1917
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Nom de naissance Joan Hume McCrackenNationalité Etats-UnisNaissance 31 décembre 1917Mort 1 novembre 1961
(à 43 ans)
Joan Hume McCracken (December 31, 1917 – November 1, 1961) was an American dancer, actress, and comedian who became famous for her role as Sylvie ("The Girl Who Falls Down") in the original 1943 production of Oklahoma! She also was noted for her performances in the Broadway shows Bloomer Girl (1944), Billion Dollar Baby (1945) and Dance Me a Song (1950), and the films Hollywood Canteen (1945) and Good News (1947).
Though not widely remembered today, McCracken was a trend-setter in musical comedy dance. In her Oklahoma! role, McCracken became an instant sensation for a carefully choreographed pratfall during the "Many a New Day" dance number. She was considered an innovator in combining dance with comedy, and branched into dramatic roles on Broadway and early television, but her career was ultimately cut short, ending several years before her death at age 43, as she suffered complications from diabetes.
McCracken was generous in promoting the careers of other dancers, including Shirley MacLaine, and was a strong influence on her second husband, Bob Fosse, encouraging him to become a choreographer. She was noted for unconventional behavior and was one of the real-life person counterparts of Holly Golightly in Truman Capote's novella Breakfast at Tiffany's.
McCracken was noted for her eccentric behavior. She was uninhibited, and at times seemed to enjoy behaving outrageously. In one meeting with MGM vocal coach Kay Thompson, she removed her blouse and bra to become "more comfortable."
She met Jack Dunphy, then a dancer with the Littlefield company, in 1937. They married in 1939 and separated after Dunphy's service during World War II, during which McCracken had an affair with French composer Rudi Revil. Dunphy adopted a gay lifestyle, became romantically involved with Truman Capote, and McCracken an he were divorced in 1951. Dunphy remained Capote's partner until his death in 1984.
McCracken met dancer and choreographer Bob Fosse while both were appearing in Dance Me a Song, in which she had a starring role and he was a specialty dancer. She was married to him from December 1952 to 1959. She worked actively to advance his career and encouraged his work as a choreographer. Her intervention with producer George Abbott led to his first major job as a choreographer, in The Pajama Game. They divorced as her health worsened, and as Fosse, who was serially unfaithful during their marriage, left McCracken for Gwen Verdon.
Later in life, she was in a relationship with actor Marc Adams, and spent many of her final years at a beach house in what was then an isolated section of The Pines on Fire Island, New York.
McCracken died in her sleep, from a heart attack brought on by her diabetes, on November 1, 1961. She was cremated at her request. Her ashes, which were given to her mother, were subsequently lost.
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