Juliet Prowse

G.I. Blues, 1960

Born: September 25, 1936 in Bombay, India.
Died: September 14, 1996 of pancreatic cancer

Juliet's original claim to fame was being the girl that offended Krushchev! She was just another actress in Can-Can (1960), when the Soviet leader visited the set of the movie, and sat through one of the can-can numbers during a rehearsal. He publicly denounced the dance as "vulgar", and in many newspapers and articles, it was accompanied with a photo that featured Juliet. This publicity, along with a romance with one of the stars of the film, Frank Sinatra, led to other film roles immediately. The first one to come along was G. I. Blues.
As Lili, she was the cold-as-ice dancer that Elvis had to thaw out to win a bet! (again, Elvis with a thankless job!) Along the way she does some serious dancing, and Elvis does some not-so-serious singing! ("Didja Ever"?... c'mon, now!... Das ist ooze??)
Although born in Bombay, India, Juliet was raised in South Africa. While dancing with the Johannesburg ballet, she was discovered by choreographer Hermes Pan, who picked her out for Can-Can. After the intial burst of success, however, Juliet's film career wasn't too notable. There is one film called Who Killed Teddy Bear (1965, with Sal Mineo), that, from what I've read, sounds just wierd enough to be wonderful, but I haven't seen it. Juliet also made a TV series in the mid-60s called Mona McCluskey, about a struggling actress, but it was short-lived. In 1970, she appears briefly in the documentary, Elvis: That's the Way It Is. She's seen as one of the celebrities showing up to attend Elvis' show.

In the seventies and eighties, Juliet stuck mainly to TV appearances, especially her annual stint as host of the Championship Ballroom Dancing event. After battling pancreatic cancer for two years, Juliet died in her home in September of 1996. The next broadcast of the Championship was a fitting tribute to Juliet. The new host, Barbara Eden, said, "I've always admired dancers and my dear friend Juliet Prowse was truly one of the greatest and best dancers of all time."

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from G.I. Blues with Sigrid Maier and Leticia Roman

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