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Carol Haney

Carol Haney (December 24, 1924 - May 10, 1964) was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts and opened a dancing school when she was fifteen years old. After high school, Haney left her home town for Hollywood and landed bit parts in movies until she was spotted by legendary choreographer- dancer Jack Cole, becoming his dance partner and assistant from 1946-8. In 1949, Haney was hired by Gene Kelly to be his assistant choreographer, and aided Kelly in some of his best work, including On The Town[?], Summer Stock[?], An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain, and Kelly's dream project, Invitation to the Dance[?]. When Haney danced with Bob Fosse in Kiss Me Kate, she impressed Fosse so much that he compared her to Marilyn Monroe. When Fosse landed his first Broadway choreographing assignment, for The Pajama Game[?], he recommended that Haney be cast in a small dancing part. When Haney joined the cast, she impressed director George Abbott so much that Abbott took her role and combined it with a major speaking part, resulting in the character of Gladys Hotchkiss. The role shot Haney to instant fame in 1954, and won her a Tony Award, and two Donaldson awards.

Carol Haney is indirectly responsible for actress Shirley MacLaine's rise to fame. A month into the run of The Pajama Game[?], Haney tore a ligament in her foot. Haney happened to injure herself on the night MacLaine was to audition for Gwen Verdon's understudy role in Can Can[?]. When MacLaine arrived at the theatre, she was told to go on for the star, and created a sensation.

Haney's continued to work after The Pajama Game[?], appearing frequently on television, choreographing on several Broadway shows (notably Flower Drum Song[?] and Funny Girl), and recreating her performance as Gladys in the film version of The Pajama Game[?].

Carol Haney died when she was in the cast of Funny Girl. Her death, caused by pneumonia, was complicated by diabetes and alcoholism.

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