I've always admired Vera Ellen, who was born on this day in 1921. I watch her every year in White Christmas and marvel anew at the extreme thinness of the woman, and yet the supreme strength contained in her little body as she taps and twirls and leaps across the dance floor with the wonderful Danny Kaye.
A little research reveals, however, that Vera Ellen is a rather mysterious figure in Hollywood lore, and that when her career ended rather prematurely in the 1960's (after her second divorce and the loss of a baby to SIDS) she holed up in her house, rather like Greta Garbo, and died much too young in 1981.
Because Vera Ellen "disappeared" from the public view, she is perhaps not as famous as women who kept a high profile, although she will always be one of my glamour favorites. My brother, after about 45 years of watching her dance in black and white movies, is still as in love with her now as he was as a boy.