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Tommy Rall

 
Personal information
Birth nameThomas Edward Rall
Birth dateDecember 27, 1929(age 86)
Place of birthKansas City, Missouri
Years active1942-1988

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Thomas Edward "Tommy" Rall (b. December 27, 1929, Kansas City, Missouri) is an American ballet dancer, tap dancer and acrobatic dancer who was a prominent featured player in 1950s musical comedies. He later became a successful operatic tenor in the 1960s, making appearances with the Opera Company of Boston, the New York City Opera, and the American National Opera Company.

Rall was raised in Seattle. As a child he had a crossed eye which made it hard for him to read books, so his mother enrolled him in dancing classes. In his early years he performed a dance and acrobatic vaudeville act in Seattle theaters, and attempted small acting roles.

His family moved to Los Angeles in the 1940s, and Rall began to appear in small movie roles. His first film appearance was a short MGM film called Vendetta. He began taking tap dancing lessons and became a member of the jitterbugging Jivin’ Jacks and Jills at Universal Studios.

Rall joined Donald O'Connor, Peggy Ryan and Shirley Mills in several light wartime Andrews Sisters vehicles including Give Out Sisters, Get Hep to Love, Mister Big, and others. He also appeared in the films The North Star and Song of Russia.

Rall took ballet lessons and danced in classical and Broadway stages (Milk and Honey, Call Me Madam and Cry for Us All). He is best-known for his acrobatic dancing in several classic musical films of the 1950s, including Kiss Me Kate, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Invitation to the Dance, Merry Andrew and My Sister Eileen.

Rall's film career waned as movie musicals went into decline. He had a role in the movie Funny Girl, as "The Prince" in a spoof of the ballet Swan Lake. On Broadway he danced to considerable acclaim as "Johnny" in Marc Blitzstein and Joseph Stein's 1959 musical, Juno (based on Sean O'Casey's play Juno and the Paycock).


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