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Vera Ellen

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Full Name
Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe

Cause of death

1.63 m


Vera Rohe

Years active

Dancer, Actress

Vera-Ellen legendsrevealedcomentertainmentwpcontentuploa

Full Name
Vera Ellen Westmeier Rohe

February 16, 1921 (

Resting place
Glen Haven Memorial Park, Sylmar, Los Angeles

August 30, 1981, Los Angeles, California, United States

Victor Rothschild (m. 1954–1966), Robert Hightower (m. 1941–1946)

White Christmas, On the Town, Three Little Words, The Belle of New York, Call Me Madam

Similar People

Victoria Ellen Rothschild

Vera Ellen Tap Dancing on her Toes

Vera-Ellen (born Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe; February 16, 1921 – August 30, 1981) was an American dancer and actress, principally celebrated for her animated performances with partners Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Danny Kaye, and Donald O'Connor.


She is best known for her starring roles in On the Town with Kelly and the 1954 blockbuster White Christmas with Kaye.

Vera-Ellen Vera Ellen 1921 1981 Find A Grave Memorial

Vera ellen tribute

Early life

Vera-Ellen White Christmas VeraEllen 1954 Photo at AllPosterscom

Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe was born in Norwood, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, to Martin F. Rohe, a piano dealer, and Alma Catherine Westmeier, both descended from German immigrants. Her hyphenated name originated in her mother's dream in which she had a daughter named "Vera-Ellen."

Vera-Ellen httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsff

She began dancing at age 10 and quickly became proficient. One of her fellow dance students at Hessler Studio of Dancing was Doris Day. At age 13 she was a winner on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour and embarked upon a professional career.


In 1939, she made her Broadway debut in the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein musical Very Warm for May. She became one of the youngest Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, although she was only 5'4". This led to roles on Broadway in Panama Hattie, By Jupiter, and A Connecticut Yankee, where she was spotted by Samuel Goldwyn, who cast her opposite Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo in the 1945 film Wonder Man.


She danced with Gene Kelly in the Hollywood musicals Words and Music and On the Town, while also appearing in the last Marx Brothers film, Love Happy. She received top billing alongside Fred Astaire in the musicals Three Little Words and The Belle of New York. She had a co-starring role with Donald O'Connor in the Ethel Merman vehicle, Call Me Madam. Vera-Ellen's next to last film role was the 1954 blockbuster hit White Christmas, co-starring with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney. She starred in only one more film, the 1957 British production Let's Be Happy.


Vera-Ellen performed on a November 22, 1958, television episode of The Perry Como Show and a February 14, 1959, broadcast of The Dinah Shore Show.

Personal life

She was married twice. Her first husband was a fellow dancer, Robert Hightower, to whom she was married from February 1941 to November 1946.

Her second husband was millionaire Victor Rothschild of the Rothschild family. They were married from 1954 to their 1966 divorce. While married to Rothschild, she gave birth to a daughter, Victoria Ellen, who died at three months of age from SIDS in 1963. Following the death of her only child, she withdrew from public life.

She was lifelong supporter of the Republican Party, and was especially strong in her support for fellow actor Ronald Reagan.


Vera-Ellen died at The University of California Los Angeles Medical Center on August 30, 1981, of cancer. She was 60 years old. She is buried at Glen Haven Memorial Park in the Los Angeles suburb of Sylmar.


  • Wonder Man (1945)
  • The Kid from Brooklyn (1946)
  • Three Little Girls in Blue (1946)
  • Carnival in Costa Rica (1947)
  • Words and Music (1948)
  • Love Happy (1949)
  • On the Town (1949)
  • Three Little Words (1950)
  • Happy Go Lovely (1951)
  • The Belle of New York (1952)
  • Call Me Madam (1953)
  • Big Leaguer (1953)
  • White Christmas (1954)
  • Let's Be Happy (1957)
  • Stage work

  • Very Warm for May (1939)
  • Higher and Higher (1940)
  • Panama Hattie (1940)
  • By Jupiter (1942)
  • A Connecticut Yankee (1943)
  • References

    Vera-Ellen Wikipedia