RIP Cyd: sylph-like dancer was 86, famous for dancing, but underrated actress

The incomparable dancer and actress Cyd Charisse has passed away from a heart attack. Best known for her role as Singing in the Rain’s siren in a green dress, Charisse was key to the success of other great movie musicals, such as Brigadoon and The Band Wagon, where she danced with the hard-to-please Gene Kelly and gentleman hoofer Fred Astaire.

Let’s hope TCM runs some of her harder-to-find films, such as the film noir Tension, one of her rare dramatic turns. In her first star billing, Charisse got to play the girl next door, opposite Richard Basehart and bleached-blonde noir dame Audrey Totter. It’s a lesser known noir, but Charisse is very likable – if very different from the sleek vixens and goddesses most viewers were accustomed to in her dancing films.

The Washington Post has a more detailed biography.

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