Cole, Jack, 1911-1974

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John Ewing Richter was born Apr. 27, 1914 in New Brunswick, NJ; studied modern dance with Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, ballet with Luigi Albertieri, and ethnic forms with La Meri and Mei Lan-Fang; performed as a Denishawn dancer under his real name and under the stage name, Jack Cole, 1930-32; joined (Doris) Humphrey/(Charles) Weidman dance group, 1932, making his Broadway debut in The school for husbands, 1933; served as dance director for many major Hollywood studios, but is most associated with Columbia Studios where he ran the Dance Workshop, 1944-48; well known for solos for Rita Hayworth in her "Put the blame on Mame" strip in Gilda (1946) and for Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen prefer blondes (1953) and Some like it hot (1959); from 1939, Cole and his dance groups appeared regularly on television variety shows including Bob Hope specials throughout the 1950s, The Perry Como show (1948-50 and 1955-59 seasons), and Sid Caesar's Your show of shows (1950-54); numerous motion picture credits include The Jolson story (1945) and Three for the show (1955) and theater works Candide (London, 1959), Donnybrook (1961), and Man of La Mancha (1965); died Feb. 16, 1974 in Los Angeles, CA.

From the description of Papers, 1935-1975. (University of California, Los Angeles). WorldCat record id: 39764256

Biography

John Ewing Richter was born Apr. 27, 1914 in New Brunswick, NJ; studied modern dance with Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, ballet with Luigi Albertieri, and ethnic forms with La Meri and Mei Lan-Fang; performed as a Denishawn dancer under his real name and under the stage name, Jack Cole, 1930-32; joined (Doris) Humphrey/(Charles) Weidman Dance Group, 1932, making his Broadway debut in The School for Husbands, 1933; served as dance director for many major Hollywood Studios, but is most associated with Columbia Studios where he ran the Dance Workshop, 1944-48; well known for solos for Rita Hayworth in her "Put the Blame on Mame" strip in Gilda (1946) and for Marilyn Monroe in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" (1953) and "Some Like It Hot" (1959); from 1939, Cole and his dance groups appeared regularly on television variety shows including Bob Hope specials throughout the 1950s, "The Perry Como Show" (1948-50 and 1955-59 seasons), and Sid Caesar's "Your Show Of Shows" (1950-54); numerous motion picture credits include "The Jolson Story" (1945) and "Three For The Show" (1955) and theater works "Candide" (London, 1959), "Donnybrook" (1961), and "Man of La Mancha" (1965); died Feb. 16, 1974 in Los Angeles, CA.

From the guide to the Jack Cole Papers, 1935-1975, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Arts Special Collections)

Jack Cole began his career as a Denishawn dancer with Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, and continued with Ted Shawn's All-Male Dancers. In 1932 he and another ex-Denishawn dancer, Alice Dudley, began dancing in clubs, including the Rainbow Room, Ciro's, and the Flamingo. He also appeared on stage in venues such as Radio City Music Hall.

He developed a highly personal and eclectic style, based on the techniques learned in his early training, but grafting on elements from Indian, Oriental, Carribean, Latin American, Spanish, and African-American dance. He was known for his unpredictability and originality, for example setting authentic Hindu dance movements to a contemporary jazz score.

From 1937 until 1968 he also worked on Broadway and in Hollywood as both dancer and choreographer. His choreography for Villa Lobos' Magdelena won him the Donaldson Award, and he had success on Broadway with Kismet, Something for the Boys, Jamaica, Man of La Mancha, and Alive and Kicking among others. Films included Kismet, Three for the Show and Gentlemen Marry Brunettes . It is, however, for his choreography for Marilyn Monroe that he will be popularly remembered; he worked with her on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Bus Stop, Some Like It Hot, and Let's Make Love .

Jack Cole died in 1974.

From the guide to the Jack Cole Scrapbook Collection, 1910s-1970s, (V&A Department of Theatre and Performance)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Cole, Jack, 1911-1974. Miscellaneous manuscripts. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Cole, Jack, 1911-1974. Correspondence with Ruth St. Denis, 1945 and undated. 4 items. New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Cole, Jack, 1911-1974. Musical comedies. Jamaica. [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Jack Cole Scrapbook Collection, 1910s-1970s V & A Department of Theatre and Performance
creatorOf Cole, Jack, 1911-1974. Musical comedies. Kismet [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Fender, Lareen Toub. Lareen Toub Fender : dance teacher, mentor, coach : transcript, 2006 / Lareen Toub Fender ; interviewer, Leslie Rupley ; editor, Leslie Rupley with Jeff Friedman, Basya Petnick, and Elena Schmid. Museum of Performance & Design
referencedIn Jack Cole collection, [ca. 1943-ongoing]. Museum of Performance & Design
creatorOf Cole, Jack, 1911-1974. Musical comedies. Man of La Mancha [Programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
creatorOf Cole, Jack, 1911-1974. Papers, 1935-1975. University of California, Los Angeles
referencedIn Lucille Lortel papers, 1902-2000 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Jack Cole Papers, 1935-1975 University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Arts Special Collections
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Ameche, Don person
associatedWith Blyth, Ann., 1928- person
associatedWith Cole, H. C. person
associatedWith Cukor, George., 1899-1983 person
associatedWith Dudley, Alice person
associatedWith Fender, Lareen Toub. person
associatedWith Gaynor, Mitzi., 1931- person
associatedWith Grable, Betty., 1916-1973 person
associatedWith Hayward, Susan person
associatedWith Kaye, Danny person
associatedWith Keel, Howard., 1919-2004 person
associatedWith Kelly, Gene., 1912-1996 person
associatedWith King, Henry person
associatedWith Lang, Walter., 1898-1972 person
associatedWith Lemmon, Jack person
associatedWith Lortel, Lucille person
associatedWith Monroe, Marilyn., 1926-1962 person
associatedWith Owen, Jack person
associatedWith Peck, Gregory., 1916-2003 person
associatedWith Russell, Jane person
associatedWith Saddler, Donald person
associatedWith Sale, Richard., 1911-1993 person
associatedWith Shawn, Ted., 1891-1972 person
associatedWith St. Denis, Ruth., 1880-1968 person
associatedWith Tierney, Gene person
associatedWith Vincente, Minnelli person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Choreographers--United States
Choreographers--United States--Archival resources
Dancers
Choreographers--Archival resources
Dancers--Archival resources
Dancers--United States--Archival resources
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1911-04-27

Death 1974-02-17

Americans

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