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Carol Haney
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    (December 24, 1924-May 10, 1964)
    Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts
    Appeared on Broadway in ‘The Pajama Game’ (1954-56)
    Appeared in the films ‘Kiss Me Kate’ (1953) and ‘The Pajama Game’ (1957)
    Assistant choreographer to Gene Kelly on the films ‘On the Town’ (1949), ‘An American in Paris’ (1951), ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (1952), and ‘Invitation to the Dance’ (1956)
    Choreographed the Broadway musicals ‘Flower Drum Song’ (1958), ‘Bravo Giovanni’ (1962), and ‘Funny Girl’ (1964)
    Although Kelly wanted her as the gun moll in the ‘Broadway Melody’ sequence of ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ MGM felt she lacked sufficient sex appeal and cast Cyd Charisse instead.
    She injured her ankle a month into the run of ‘The Pajama Game,’ which led to producer Hal B. Wallis offering a Hollywood contract to her understudy, Shirley MacLaine, instead of her.
    After that incident, she developed severe stage fright.
    She opened a dancing school while she was still in her teens.
    Choreographer Bob Fosse recommended her for a small part in ‘The Pajama Game,’ but she impressed producer George Abbott so much that he expanded her part into a speaking role and featured her in two specialty dance numbers.
    She won a Tony for Featured Actress in a Musical for ‘The Pajama Game’ and was nominated for three Tonys for choreography.
    She commented about her ‘overnight success’ with ‘The Pajama Game,’ ‘You work your head off for years and then people say how lucky you were.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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