Movie actress and internationally acclaimed ballet star Tamara Toumanova is said to have been born on a Russian train heading for Paris. At the time, her parents were fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution. Once safely relocated, Toumanova studied ballet in Paris and in 1924 became a professional ballerina. As a young woman, she performed with a number of highly regarded troupes beginning with a starring performance with the Paris Opera Ballet in 1929. Three years later Toumanova joined George Balanchine's Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. She would continue on to dance with equally prestigious troupes for the next four decades. But Toumanova did not allow herself to be cast only as a classical dancer; she also wanted to act and to sing a wide variety of music. She made her Broadway debut in the 1939 musical Stars in Your Eyes. Toumanova made her feature film debut in the pre-WWII epic tribute to the Soviet Union opposite another debuting actor, Gregory Peck, in Days of Glory (1943). Though the picture didn't fare well at the box office, both Peck and Toumanova received favorable reviews. The same year the picture came out the dancer married its producer, Casey Robinson. The marriage didn't last. Toumanova continued to dance for 40 more years while also working on-stage and appearing occasionally in feature films. She made her final screen appearance in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970).
by Sandra Brennan biography