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Juliet Prowse

Juliet Prowse

  • Born on
    • September 25th, 1936
  • Died on
    • September 14th, 1996
Juliet Anne Prowse was a dancer, whose four-decade career included stage, television and film. She was raised in South Africa, where her family emigrated after World War II. Known for her attractive legs, she was described after her death as having "... arguably the best legs since Betty Grable." In her early twenties, she was dancing at a club in Paris when she was spotted by a talent agent and eventually signed to play the role of Claudine in the Walter Lang film Can-Can. It was during the filming of Can-Can in 1959 that she captured the international spotlight. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev visited the set of the film and after Prowse performed a rather saucy can-can for the Russian leader, he proclaimed her dance immoral. The publicity brought Prowse considerable attention in the United States. Prowse met Frank Sinatra on the set of Can-Can. Time magazine did not rate the movie highly, but declared Prowse the best thing in it: "In fact, the only thing really worth seeing is Juliet Prowse, a young South African hoofer who puts some twinkle in the stub-toed choreography. And the only thing really worth hearing is the crack that Frank flips back at Juliet when she whips a redoubtable hip in his direction. "Don't point", he gasps. "It's rude." She would go on to appear with Sinatra and other notable guests such as Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Lawford, Hermione Gingold, the Hi-Lo's, Red Norvo, Nelson Riddle and his orchestra on the 1959 Frank Sinatra Show. She at times would sing in the chorus with other guests or Sinatra would sing to her. Sinatra invited Prowse to join him in Las Vegas, even though she was living with the actor Nico Minardos at the time. Sinatra and Prowse announced their engagement in 1962. Soon afterwards they broke up, reportedly because Prowse wanted to concentrate on her career. Prowse later admitted, "I was as much flattered as I was in love. He (Sinatra) was a complex person, and after a few drinks he could be very difficult." Prowse co-starred alongside Elvis Presley in G.I. Blues. During shooting of the film, they had a short and intense fling. "Elvis and I had an affair. ... We had a sexual attraction like two healthy young people, but he was already a victim of his fans. We always met in his room and never went out." Prowse also made a brief cameo appearance in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer documentary film, Elvis: That's the Way. She starred with Denny Scott Miller on her own NBC sitcom in the 1965-1966 season: Mona McCluskey, which was produced by George Burns. The series was based on the idea that the couple, Mike and Mona McCluskey, would live on his military salary, rather than her lucrative earnings as an actress. In the late 1980s, she was mauled by an 80-pound leopard – twice. Once, while filming a scene for Circus of the Stars in 1987 and later that same year rehearsing a promotional stunt on The Tonight Show, when the same leopard attacked her. The later attack was more serious, requiring upwards of twenty stitches to reattach her ear.

Filmography

Acting (5 Credits)

HideShow
1985That's Dancing!
1965Who Killed Teddy Bear as Norah Dain
1961The Second Time Around as Rena Mitchell
1960G.I. Blues as Lili
1960Can-Can as Claudine

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