Former Fosse Dancer Shirley MacLaine Receives Kennedy Center Honors
December 11, 2013

MacLaine in “Sweet Charity”

This past Sunday, December 8, Shirley MacLaine received the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors. MacLaine, who was honored with Billy Joel, Carlos Santana, jazz musician Herbie Hancock and opera singer Martina Arroyo, has had a 60-year career as an actress. But she’s also a well-known interpreter of Bob Fosse’s work: She starred in both the film version of Sweet Charity and the Broadway run of The Pajama Game. Her debut in the latter happened when another Fosse dancer, Carol Haney, broke her ankle; MacLaine was Haney’s understudy, so she went on for her—and the rest, as they say, is history. At the Kennedy Center awards ceremony, MacLaine’s good friend and fellow actress Kathy Bates spoke on her behalf.

MacLaine said that coming to Washington, DC, to receive the award was something of a homecoming for her—after all, she grew up there and studied at The Washington School of Ballet.

Be sure to tune into CBS on Sunday, December 29, to see the full broadcast!

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