Eve Golden’s YouTube Theater: Annie-Pie

Ann Miller

A publicity photo of Ann Miller, listed on EBay for $28.88.

My friend Donna hates Ann Miller—hates her—so I apologize to Donna in advance for this piece. But I love Annie. She was bright and glittery and silly and unlike the accomplished and talented dancers Cyd Charisse and Eleanor Powell, Ann seemed to be having fun when she tapped—Cyd and Eleanor seemed more like straight-A students dutifully showing off for final exams.

I interviewed Ann Miller once, and she was just as daffy and off-the-wall as in her films, but she was sharp as a tack, too, when it came to analyzing her career and her sometimes rocky life.


Here is a 14-year-old Ann Miller hoofing with Ginger Rogers in Stage Door (1937—and if you have not yet seen that film, do. Now). Doesn’t she remind you a bit of a very young Liza Minnelli?

Now, we all know Ann’s amazing 1970 Great American Soups commercial, written by Stan Freberg and costarring the swell (and cute) character actor Dave Willock. But for industrial-strength late-career Annie, I give you what may very well be the campest four minutes ever broadcast on TV. From a 1982 Love Boat (costarring Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Van Johnson, Cab Calloway and Della Reese—are you still conscious?), Annie-Pie gives us possibly the drag-queeniest-ever rendition of Cole Porter’s “It’s Alright With Me”—and I mean that in the best possible sense:

Ann was the same age when she filmed that Love Boat as I am now. If I whipped off my skirt and danced on a table at a restaurant, chorus boys would not sing my praises, they would call Elder Services.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Dance, Eve Golden, Film, Hollywood and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Eve Golden’s YouTube Theater: Annie-Pie

  1. Laura C. says:

    I’m with you, I just love Ann! She and Doris Day are my favourites to watch when I need a cheer. How lucky you were to get the opportunity to interview her!


  2. betty1114 says:

    Eve, thanks for this, it was great and I thought she was a very talented dancer.


  3. Eve says:

    Ann Miller and Betty Grable always made their work look like such fun–they worked their tails off, rehearsed endlessly and did countless retakes, so it usually WASN’T fun at all. But they made it LOOK like fun, and that’s what’s difficult.


  4. John Campbell says:

    I remember the move (You Can’t Take it with You) . She was dancing in the house throughout the whole picture. Of course everyone in the movie was forever busy.


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