They called her "Tops in Taps" (she could do 500 a minute). MGM musical showgirl Ann Miller had long gams and no nose, but best of all was that humongous ta-dah grin. She transfixes me.
This photo was taken backstage at the Hollywood Bowl where Ann Miller performed for a millenium bash.
I was supremely drunk. Smashed. When she came onstage I rushed from my nosebleed seat down the many tiers of steps like Leslie Caron does to get to Gene Kelly in An American in Paris.
I got to the front screaming, and was escorted back up to my seat by security. A friend in the audience, having seen me rush to Ann with such gusto, managed to pull some strings and get me backstage to meet her. "Did you hear me screaming for you in the front?" I clutched her frail frame in a bear hug. "I'm your BIGGEST fan!!" I gushed, and all I can think now is that poor Ann must have thought her class act of a life was worthless if her biggest fan was some drunk screaming queen.
Luckily, Ann may get another chance to get a classier fan base. She believed in reincarnation, and said that in another life she was an Egyptian Queen. I read her biography, Miller's High Life and in the book there's a photo of a big gawdy necklace made of pure gold in a Cairo museum. The caption reads, "Photo of the necklace that Ann believes belonged to her in a former life." Bless her heart!
At the Hollywood Bowl, Ann Miller performed "I'm Still Here", and though she is no longer here, I often wonder where she is. And who's necklace she is wearing.