I saw her in Sugar Babies in L.A.
She was a hoot as always
She came backstage at a show I was in. (a year or two before she died) She was fabulous and stylish right up until the end.
Did you hear Ann Miller was in an accident? Yeah, she fell down and broke her hair!
I saw Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney in the original version of "Sugar Babies" on Broadway. It was big, brassy and a bit corny. Rooney hammed it up, but good ol' Annie Miller was a hoot. She was very good--and she sure could dance.
At the time, I remember being in NYC and had to pick one show to see. I narrowed it down between "Sugar Babies" and Richard Gere in "Bent."
I don't know, I've always had regrets about not seeing Gere in "Bent," but I have since seen other productions of that show throughout the years. "Sugar Babies" was my one chance to see "movie star" Ann Miller on the stage. By the way, Miller used to list "movie star" as her occupation on her tax return.
Let's not and pretend we did.
"I'm a medicore dancer and I'm here to say...
There's an old rumor that she screwed L.B. Mayer.
Saw Sugar Babies three times and also saw her in Follies at the Papermill Playhouse. She sang "I'm Still Here". Phenomenal.
She's great in Kiss Me Kate and in Hit the Deck.
She lived in a big, old time mansion in Beverly Hills for years, on Alta Dr. When I was a kid I thought it was cool. Had big black & white awnings, over the windows, a big 1968 white Cadillac, in the driveway. Jump ahead 30 years, and she was still living there, but I'd drive by and the house looked so sad , and the same Cadillac was still in the drive. Like her hair, I think everything just froze in time, at some point. But loved her !
I Love Ann Miller as much as any of you but.....are you all newbies??
We just did a long thread on Annie less than 2 months ago.
Nevertheless, if you missed it...carry on!
I used to hide in her hair !
Now I'm hungry for soup.
She was a mess, really. Bitter and mean.
When I was in grad school, one of the other students had been her dresser in stock or dinner theatre in Texas. She had Ann was a real cunt (she didn't use that word as she was a True Christian herself)--that when my colleague decided not to continue to tour with Ann (Ann liked her and offered her a more permanent job) because her father was dying and she wanted to take care of him, she said Ann threw a fit and said, "Well, he'll be dead soon, so what's the point?" The person telling the story was one of those odd fundie women--a bit of a priss who liked to get roaring drunk and drive around Boystown like a gawker, so I was never sure how much truth there was to the story, but it was a fun story.
Lets talk about her make-up application techniques in her latter days.
She took an unusual route to the Broadway production of MAME. The rights to the show had been released even as it continued to limp along in NY with Jane Morgan in the title role. Miller starred in a production in Florida and word trickled back to Broadway that she was better than any Mame since Lansbury.
Members of the Broadway team flew down to watch and signed her up at once. Choreographer Onna White came back and turned the jitterbug dancing in "That's How Young I Feel" into a huge tap number for Miller and the chorus. The reviews were raves. Critics expressed surprise at how well Miller sang. A few added that the show was better than they had remembered it being.
Ann Miller kept MAME running on Broadway for months longer than it would have without her. A very "sixties" musical, it closed fittingly on January 3, 1970. Paris Themmen, who played Young Patrick opposite her, went on to play Mike TeeVee in the Gene Wilder WILLY WONKA.
R19. Love those behind-the-scenes, gossipy show business stories. They don't exist any longer.
i have a hardcover copy of "valley of the dolls" with a plate inside reading "from the library of ann miller" (ann miller handwritten in script). got it from a guy who bought the entire library from her estate, and it is my gayest possession.
R10, those mansions back then were not even close to the size that the young rich are building today. I have old post cards in my collection from the 20s, 30s, 40s , and 50s of movie star homes. I am so shocked how small so many of the homes in old Hollywood were not that luxurious ,but more of a cottage style look or small early California Spanish revival style homes. But there were some homes that were larger but not nothing outrageously gargantuous. I remember when I was a little kid in the 80s my dad drove us to LA for a summer trip. Many of the older homes in Beverly Hills were still standing ,and I thought they were adorable with a lot of personality to them and charm.I think people were not so obnoxiously materialistic back in the golden era of Hollywood as they are now. Their closets alone, have to be the size of apartment buildings now a days. It is really sad because once they are torn down, they are gone forever.
I shared this story before on DL,but I will share it again. I used to work with this lady whose friend was once a Las Vegas dancer. Sugar babies ran in Las Vegas with Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney. This lady's friend was one of the dancers in the show and she said Mickey Rooney was thee nastiest person she ever met. She said when Mickey drank , which was a lot, all hell broke lose. She didn't say anything about Ann Miller which is strange.I should have asked about her but I forgot.
Ann actually knows what this song is about... bravo Ann - at your age, it's great performance.
There is an audio boot recording on the circuit of just Ann Miller's songs from Mame on Broadway.
She saved Mame from closure on Broadway, the show was on twofers until she took over.
There's also a great boot of a 1977 Merv Griffin Show out there, with Merman, Ann Miller, Dolores Gray and Karen Morrow, a salute to Broadway belters.
On the show, Miller had the balls to sing Anything Goes and I Get a Kick Out of You right in front of Merman, and she rocked.
Someone may have mentioned this about her in an earlier thread but there's an old story about how, when running late to a Broadway performance and unable to find a cab, she jumped into the backseat of a man's car as he waited for a red light and said "Hurry, I need to get to Broadway and 42nd". Then, noticing the man's terrified and confused look in the rear view mirror, said "Don't worry, it's alright. I'm ANN MILLER!"
It's strange how starry the Broadway replacements were for Hello, Dolly, but not Mame.
Was there ever an all black cast for Mame on Broadway? Pearl Bailey and company really gave Dolly a boost.
Lena Horne as Mame!
In the Gerold Frank biography, "Judy", he wrote of how Garland begged to star in Mame on Broadway after Lansbury . . . even learned the score . . . but she was too unreliable by then.
Ginger Rogers did it in London. It's surprising they didn't nab her for Broadway.
R32. The reason no one grabbed Ginger to do Mame on Broadway after her London run (notice I avoided the word triumph) was that she wasn't particularly good. She wasn't awful but she was far from sensational. She was probably just too old to do justice to the part. At her curtain call, she chatted to the audience in a kind of pitiful plea for recognition, although the Brits love that sort of thing and ate it up.
[quote] have a hardcover copy of "valley of the dolls" with a plate inside reading "from the library of ann miller" (ann miller handwritten in script). got it from a guy who bought the entire library from her estate, and it is my gayest possession.
I'm impressed and jealous.
Did you you play opposite Juliet Prowse when she subbed for Rogers, Ms Courtenay? That must have been a little odd?
I saw her in Sugar. Late 80's. What can I say. I was so focused on her face. She really looked like Bozo
Also re: Ginger - I would say that, compared to Dolly, Mame has a lot more music that has to really be full-throatedly belted out. And the fairly small singing voice that Ginger displayed in her movies wouldn't lead me to believe she would have the power to really fill a theatre with a number like "If He Walked Into My Life Today". Although I've never seen her singing late in life, so it's certainly possible I could be wrong and she learned to sing like that (because certainly Lansbury, the few times she was allowed to sing at MGM, also had a fairly small voice that didn't really indicate the way she would later sing in the theatre).
The night I saw Follies at the Paper Mill, she really couldn't sing her song very well. It was, well, old sounding and tentative, even though she did know all her words (unlike the problems Elaine Paige had in the recent revival). However, on the cast recording from New Jersey she is pretty good and really nails the song, which, let's face it, is kind of autobiographical for her. Even though she could come across as a sort of fool, she was, at her best, a sensational entertainer.
And yet... the national tour of Mame was led by Celeste Holm, who had a small voice.
Dolores Gray must have been really pissed with Herman, she never did any of his shows after the Mame disappointment.
I heard Mitzi Gaynor later in life, R38, and was amazed at how she could belt out songs. I think she was in her 50s at the time. It was so different from the wispy voice she had in "South Pacific." Her tones were rich, full, and warm when she finally learned to sing out.
Miller was a much better singer as well by the 1970s than she had been in the 40s/50s
Halfway through an Oscar Hammerstein benefit in L.A., Ann turned to her escort and asked if anybody had seen Oscar. “Ann,” replied her astonished date, “Oscar Hammerstein died in 1960!” “Well, how would I know?” shot back Our Girl Annie. “I’ve been on the road!”
R43. OMG, thanks for posting that story about Ann Miller. It's a friggin hoot.
Another great quote from Our Girl Annie about her first husband:
“Listen, honey, he gave me the biggest ranch in California, next to San Simeon, and we raised prize Herefords for show cattle. Six weeks later, I realized the whole thing was a total disaster when he pushed me down a flight of stairs while I was pregnant and broke my back and I had a miscarriage. Louis B. Mayer said, ‘If you’d married me, none of this would have happened.’ So I dated Howard Hughes instead.”
Another great quote from that article " Honey, every time a good lookin millionaire came by, with Cadillacs, or chinchillas, I married him ". Yes, a true hoot !
Q: Annie are you working on Passover?
A: Oh honey, you konw I don't do game shows.