George Chakiris chats about career — in the Los Angeles Times 1

Dance · Film
“Gracious Dance” Los Angeles Times, Nov 11, 2013 An excerpt from Susan King’s article here: “It was groundbreaking choreographer-director Jerome Robbins who gave Chakiris his first big break when he cast him as Riff, the leader of the Jets, in the London stage production of “West Side Story.” Years later, Robert Wise, who co-directed the ...

George Chakiris honored @ UCLA Film & Television Archive 1

Dance · Film
UCLA Film & Television Archive salutes the extraordinary career of actor, singer and dancer in “An Evening with George Chakiris,” an exciting screening and discussion on Saturday, November 16, 2013. Trained in Los Angeles, Chakiris first distinguished himself as a dancer in Hollywood films, displaying an athleticism and grace that helped bring renown to West Coast ...

George Chakiris, choreographer’s assistant for Judy Garland’s 1956 Vegas revue 2

Dance · Music
An amazing zoom back in time with George Chakiris, who is not only Hollywood dance royalty but a gifted actor and Capitol Records recording artist. George, who celebrates his birthday today, worked with major talent over the course of his long career in stage, film, television and nightclub. He shared memories of assisting dance-director Robert ...

Chakiris, a cut above the rest 1

Dance · Film · Theater
The camera catches a gang of gypsies rehearsing, in 1958, at New York’s Winter Garden theater before shipping overseas to perform in West Side Story’s second cast in London. Front and center is “West Side”s choreographer Jerome Robbins, running the “Cool” number with its inimitable finger snaps. Foremost in this group, a cut above the ...

Oscar was a dancer 2

Dance · Film
This amusing photo of Oscar-winning dancer George Chakiris (Best Actor in a Supporting Role, “West Side Story,” 1962) and dance critic Debra Levine taken by Dana Ross last Saturday night at “Oscars Outdoors” sparked an email from Hollywood dance expert Larry Billman. Writes Larry, “The “original Oscar” was a dancer named Emilio Ferandez who modeled ...

At “Oscars Outdoors,” gentlemen still prefer blondes 1

Dance · Film
It was a super-special 60th anniversary screening, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’s “Oscars Outdoors” summer series, of 20th Century-Fox’s comic classic from 1953, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” the movie that blasted off the career of Marilyn Monroe. And the flick’s funnier than ever. Lead actresses Monroe and Jane Russell zing out hilarious ...

George Chakiris to introduce GENTLEMEN at Academy; Debra Levine to discuss Jack Cole

Dance · Film
Sixty years after appearing as a chorus dancer behind Marilyn Monroe in “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” George Chakiris will host the Academy’s “Oscars Outdoors” screening of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES Saturday night, August 3, 2013. In the photo at right we see George, a young man with fake grey highlights spraypainted in his hair. ...

That pink dress! Costuming Marilyn Monroe for “Diamonds”

Dance · Fashion · Film
At right, Travilla‘s design for Marilyn’s iconic pink dress in “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) whose 60th anniversary we are honoring with a screening at the Academy’s “Oscars Outdoors” series Saturday August 3. The classy pink dress, lined with felt, was a replacement design for an original, much less ...

Paris arrives at L.A.’s doorstep for COL*COA @ the DGA

Film
We love the annual French film festival, COL*COA [City of Lights * City of Angels]. It’s a deep plunge, every April, into the latest of French cinema and, increasingly, the schedule is studded with digitally restored classics. The two viewing rooms at the Director’s Guild are among the loveliest in town; both are sparkling clean, ...

Jack Cole, Hollywood director 2

Dance · Film
On the camera crane works Jack Cole (in white sweater, click photo for detail), directing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” exactly as he did for all four GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) dance numbers (Two Little Girls From Little Rock, Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love, When Love Goes Wrong, Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best ...