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Jeni Le Gon

Jeni Le Gon

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1916-08-14 · Gender: Female

17 Movies · 1 TV show

Biography

Jeni LeGon (born Jennie Ligon, August 14, 1916 – December 7, 2012), also credited as Jeni Le Gon, was an American dancer, dance instructor, and actress. She was one of the first African-American women to establish a solo career in tap dance.

Career

In 1931, LeGon began performing across the southern United States with the Whitman Sisters company. In 1933, she and her half-sister, Willa Mae Lane, formed the LeGon and Lane song-and-dance team.They were given the opportunity to go to Detroit and work with nightclub owner Leonard Reed. While there, they received an offer to travel to Hollywood and perform with composer Shelton Brooks. Upon arrival, they discovered there was, in fact, no job. LeGon heard about auditions being held by Ethel Waters' former manager, Earl Dancer. The audition was for a film that Fox Studios was producing. She won the part and subsequently appeared in dance numbers in several musicals. In 1935, she signed with RKO Pictures to be the dancing partner of Bill Robinson in the film Hooray for Love. She also performed in a 1935 London production of the revue At Home Abroad, taking over numbers that Waters and Eleanor Powell had in the Broadway version.While in Hollywood, LeGon had the opportunity to work with performers such as Waters and Al Jolson. She danced with Fred Astaire and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, becoming the first African-American woman to do so on film. MGM signed her to a long-term contract, making LeGon the first African-American woman to receive such an opportunity, but cancellation of the contract soon followed.On Broadway, LeGon portrayed Jenny in Black Rhythm (1936), and Lily Ann in Early to Bed (1943). She danced at a number of clubs and theaters including the Apollo, Cafe de Paris, Howard, Paramount and Lincoln Theaters. In the early 1950s, she appeared on the televised version of Amos 'n' Andy,LeGon owned and operated the Jeni LeGon Dance Studio in Los Angeles and managed the Drama & Dance Playhouse in Los Angeles. In 1969, she settled in Vancouver, British Columbia, where she taught tap and pointe. In 1999, the National Film Board of Canada released a documentary film about her life, Jeni Le Gon: Living in a Great Big Way, directed by Grant Greshuk and produced by Selwyn Jacob. She appeared in the film Bones (2001).

Personal Life

In 1943, LeGon married composer, conductor and pianist Phil Moore. They composed the song "The Sping", sung by Lena Horne in the film Panama Hattie.

Movies & TV shows

2007.

1 Movie

1952.

1 Movie

1951.

1 TV show

1949.

1 Movie

1947.

1 Movie

1943.

3 Movies

1942.

2 Movies

1941.

1 Movie

1940.

1 Movie

1939.

1 Movie

1938.

1 Movie

1937.

2 Movies

1936.

1 Movie

1935.

1 Movie
Last updated: 
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jeni_Le_Gon", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.