Vivacious, long-stemmed blonde musical star Vera-Ellen was dancing professionally before she was a teenager. After service as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette and a Manhattan nightclub dancer, she graduated to the Broadway stage. She made her film debut in the 1945 Danny Kaye vehicle Wonder Man, then went on to team with such male stars as Gene Kelly (in 1949's On the Town), Fred Astaire (in 1952's Belle of New York), and Bing Crosby (1954's White Christmas). In a moment of weakness, Vera-Ellen agreed to co-star in the Marx Brothers' valedictory film Love Happy (1949), where she was "rewarded" with some of her worst-ever costumes and camera angles. After her final screen appearance in the British Let's Be Happy (1957), Vera-Ellen retired from movies, making a handful of TV appearances before marrying wealthy businessman Victor Rothschild in 1954. Following her divorce in 1966 and the subsequent death of her infant daughter, Vera-Ellen went into seclusion in her Los Angeles home, dropping completely from the public's consciousness until her death from cancer in 1981.