Vera-Ellen: was her famous tiny waist due to anorexia? She became a singer, dancer, and all-around celeb of the 40s and 50s and starred in a series of popular musicals, including the 1954 runaway hit and top moneymaker â€œWhite Christmasâ€, with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney. â€œWhite Christmasâ€, a perennial Christmas TV favorite, is set to run this Sunday night (December 12). Watch for Vera-Ellen and her fantastic dancing, her tiny, to-die-for waist, and her chemistry with co-star Danny Kaye. But unknown to most of her friends and co-workers, Vera-Ellen was seriously ill. According to imdb.com, she suffered from anorexia for most of her career, and it took a devastating toll on her body.
Vera-Ellen: Anorexia Nervosa?
In the 1950s, anorexia nervosa was not a household word. The term existed, but most people had no idea not-eating could be a disease. No one knew how to help or handle a person who simply would notâ€”could not eat enough to stay healthy. Vera-Ellen was known and recognized as a very thin woman, in an era when voluptuous was a sexy word. â€œBean poleâ€ and â€œbroomstickâ€ were terms used for skinny women. And since dancing is really hard work, she likely teetered on the edge of starvation, most of the time.
Publicity pictures, the movies, themselves, and photo ops with Vera-Ellen all have one thing in common: her throat is covered. Watch â€œWhite Christmasâ€ Sunday, and the fact will be obvious. Here is the mystery. Why ? Why did Vera-Ellen always cover her throat, even in the most revealing dance costume? No one knows for sure, but Hollywood speculation is that anorexia â€“ a disease which leads to premature aging â€“ had wrinkled her throat long before her time.
White Christmas, One More Time
Youâ€™ve seen it before, youâ€™ll see it again.Â The singing and dancing are superb. Seattlepi.com calls then spectacular. Irving Berlinâ€™s songs live on today. But the story-line is totally stupid. The audience is supposed to believe a WW II Generalâ€™s former men are so loyal they drop everything on Christmas Eve and drive to Vermont for a little cash-flow-problem-controlling vacation? Not likely, but who cares.
Meanwhile, watch Vera-Ellen dance. Some have called her the best of her era. And she was known for the smallest waist. Maybe now we know why.
Â© Cindy Kroiss 2010