11. Ruby Keeler
Favorite dance: "42nd Street" from 42nd Street
This isn't actually my favorite of Ruby Keeler's roles or even my favorite of her movies, but I love this little tap solo at the beginning of the song. When I think Ruby Keeler, I think of this number and her twisting around and throwing the audience a smile over her shoulder - too cute! She was one of the first major dancing stars on film (I think she was the first, but I hate to say that and be wrong). She brought a technique from the stage to the screen - watching her feet while she danced, which was popular in the theater but not too popular for movie-goers. I kind of like it though. I think it works with her persona. Unrelated to her dancing, Ruby Keeler was married to Al Jolson for a while, which I find both adorable and odd. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I haven't really seen Al Jolson's films before, but they just seem like a slightly odd couple. Maybe it's because she's just so darn cute, and it's hard to picture her with anyone other than Dick Powell. (By the way, I love the picture below. She's so darn cute! I think this may appear on my blog header in the future...)
Which brings me to another point: I read TCM's Leading Couples book from cover to cover and was very disappointed in the Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler section. Now, I'm sure it isn't TCM's fault; and it's just a wacky circumstance, but the couple talks exceedingly little of their work together, and the book talks exceedingly little of their relationship. I love knowing these things and it really confused me as to why there's so little information. Were they friends? Were they enemies? Did they have a purely business relationship? I'm intrigued by the lack of information.
By the way, I'm sorry I haven't yet put the poll up. I completely forgot about it last night!