MIRIAM NELSON (née Franklin, later Meyers)
b. Chicago, Illinois, September 21, 1922
Miriam began dance studies in her native Chicago and when her family moved to New York, she studied tap with Ernest Carlos at the age of 14. In a borrowed pair of toe shoes, she auditioned for Billy Rose's Casa Mañana, but instead made her professional debut with an act playing Troy and Schnectady. She eventually played the Casa Mañana and next, the Mayfair Club in Boston.
After making her Broadway debut in 1938 in Sing Out the News, she went on to appear in Yokel Boy and Very Warm For May ('39), Higher and Higher and Panama Hattie ('40) and Let's Face It ('41), working with choreographers Robert Alton, Billy Daniel and Charles Walters and often selected to be line-captain.
When her husband, Gene Nelson, joined the Signal Corps, Miriam went to Hollywood, where she signed an acting-dancing contract with Paramount and was featured in Double Indemnity and Here Come the Waves ('44), Duffy's Tavern and Incendiary Blonde ('45) and Naughty Nanette (a '46 short) and in Cover Girl ('44) and The Jolson Story ('46) for Columbia.
First assisting Paramount dance director Danny Dare, she began choreographing and when Gene was signed by Warner Bros. to star in a series of musical films, she co-created many of his solo routines and coached Doris Day and his other female costars. Divorced from Nelson, she continued as one of Hollywood's busiest TV and film choreographers (along with her tap expertise, she specialized in staging party sequences), as well as being one of the pioneers of spectacular Arena show staging with Disney on Parade in 1969.
As one of the founders of SHARE, she has staged and produced their annual fund-raising Boomtown shows for decades and, as a member of the Professional Dancer's Society (PDS) Board of Directors, she also co-produces and stages their annual tributes to dancers and choreographers.
Widowed after her second husband's, producer Jack Meyers, death, she returned to the stage in longtime-friend Marge Champion's production of Ballroom at the Long Beach CLO in 1992.
Juggling the roles of choreographer, tap instructor and lecturer, director and producer (as well as mother and grandmother), she is in the process of writing her autobiography.
Additional information including a list of stage, movies, commercials and TV appearances is on Miriam Nelson's bio page.