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Sassy Tassels: 1953

Sassy Tassels: 1953

New York, 1953. "Actress Joan McCracken [1917-1961] in costume for the musical Me & Juliet." Color transparency by Phillip Harrington for Look magazine. View full size.

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Sassy tassels. Now that I look it up, I also find sibilance, and half-rhyme or maybe even slant rhyme.

The Majestic Theater

And it truly lives up to its name. The view from there near the front doors hasn't changed much. The show played for just over a year, closing in April 1954. Ms. McCracken wasn't in the opening night cast but took over the role as principal dancer. Shirley MacLaine was in the dance ensemble.

Short Life

She’d be 35 here. (Her birthday was New Year’s Eve.) She had her first heart attack two years later, and died in 1961, again heart, with diabetes, at 43. But she was married to Bob Fosse for seven years, and she was known for her lively and vigorous personality. When she found out her brother had died in the Pacific, she trashed her dressing room in sorrow and rage, an episode later used by Truman Capote in "Breakfast at Tiffany’s."

Shall we dance

Joan was the second wife of legendary terpsichorean genius Bob Fosse.

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