Tuesday, 11 August 2009

all the king's women #6 - juliet prowse

born in India in 1936 and raised in South Africa, Juliet Prowse was primarily a dancer whose 40 year career included stage, television and film. while dancing with the Johannesburg ballet, Juliet was discovered by a talent agent and hired for her first film: Can Can (1960) with Shirley MacLaine and Frank Sinatra. soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev visited the set of Can Can, and during rehearsals Khrushchev proclaimed Juliet's dancing "vulgar". this brought much publicity, and served to launch Juliet's career in the U.S.. Prowse then made several appearances on the Frank Sinatra Show, and in 1962, she and Frank announced their engagment, splitting up shortly afterword.
Juliet's next film was Elvis' fourth: G.I. Blues (1960). during shooting the two had a short and intense fling. in Juliet's words: "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."

Juliet went on to do numerous television appearances, films (most notably Who Killed Teddy Bear with Sal Mineo) and Las Vegas shows. in the late '80s, she was mauled by an 80-pound leopard – twice. once, while filming Circus of the Stars and later during a promotional stint, when the same leopard attacked her. the later attack was more serious, requiring upwards of 20 stitches to reattach her ear.

in 1994 Juliet was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. she would succumb to the disease in 1996, just two weeks shy of her sixtieth birthday. Juliet will be remembered as one of the greatest dancers of her time.


the art cupboard said...

she is a beauty

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I remember growing up wishing I could dance like her. I haven't thought of her or that memory until I read your post!

Red Bird said...

Wow, I never knew all that about her! And the fact that she was mauled! Twice!
I always thought she was lovely and vivacious...
Thanks for the beautiful piccies of her.