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Cyd Charisse was born to be a dancer. She spent her early childhood
taking Ballet lessons and joined the Ballet Russe at 13. In 1939
she married Nico Charisse, her ex-dance teacher. In 1943, she
appeared in her first film 'Something to Shout About (1943)',
billed as Lily Norwood. The same year, she played a Russian dancer
in 'Mission to Moscow (1943)', directed by Michael Curtiz. In 1945,
she was hired to dance with Fred Astaire in 'Ziegfeld Follies
(1946)', and that uncredited appearance got her a seven year
contract with MGM. She appeared in a number of musicals over the
next few years, but it was 'Singin' in the Rain (1952)' with Gene
Kelly that made her a big star. That was quickly followed by her
great performance in 'The Band Wagon (1953)'. As the 1960's came,
musicals faded from the screen, as did her career. She made
appearances on television and performed in a nightclub revue with
her second husband, singer Tony Martin.
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