Come and meet those dancing feet! The lyrics from “42nd Street” still evoke fantastic memories of Busby Berkeley and actress, dancer, and singer Ruby Keeler, who is best-known for starring with Dick Powell in musicals produced at Warner Bros., notably 42nd Street (1933), Golddiggers of 1933 (1933), Footlight Parade (1933), Flirtation Walk (1934), and Go Into Your Dance (1935).
Ruby’s life and career was no tap dance. Underage at fourteen, she first danced where the underworld meet the elite in New York speakeasies during the Prohibition Era. Plucked from obscurity and thrust onto Broadway in musicals, she captured the attention of Florenz Ziegfeld, and she soon appeared in his Whoopee! with Eddie Cantor and Show Girl (1929) with Jimmy Durante.
Topsy turvy Hollywood converted to talking pictures that were first popularized by Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer (1927). Jolson met Ruby, and their eleven-year turbulent marriage swept the two of them into widely publicized movie successes, yet their acclaim stood on shaky ground.
In this first-ever book by actor and singer Ed Harbur, discover Ruby’s childhood, her early career, her idyllic second marriage, and her phenomenal return to Broadway after twenty-seven years to star in No, No, Nanette. Tragedy followed the triumph, when Ruby suffered a life-threatening stroke, yet she emerged to enjoy a long and successful recovery and served as a champion advocate for stroke victims.
The four-part book spans sections devoted to Biography, Film Appearances, Stage Appearances, and TV and Short Subject Appearances. Illustrated with hundreds of never before seen photographs, including stage and screen productions and candid shots of Ruby at work and in private life. Index. Bibliography.