Ellen

Ellen

[el-uhn]
Johnson-Sirleaf, Ellen: see Sirleaf, Ellen Johnson.
Glasgow, Ellen, 1873-1945, American novelist, b. Richmond, Va. In revolt against the romantic treatment of Southern life, Glasgow presented in fiction a social history of Virginia since 1850, stressing the changing social order and the emergence of a dominant middle class and rejecting the outworn code of Southern chivalry and masculine superiority. She spent her entire life in Richmond, Va. Her radicalism was apparent in her first novel, The Descendant (1897), and was sustained through her many subsequent books, including Virginia (1913), Life and Gabriella (1916), Barren Ground (1925), The Romantic Comedians (1926), Vein of Iron (1935), and In This Our Life (1941; Pulitzer Prize).

See her collected stories (ed. by R. K. Meeker, 1963); her critical prefaces, collected in A Certain Measure (1943); her autobiography, The Woman Within (1954); letters (ed. by B. Rouse, 1958); biography by M. Thiebaux (1982); studies by L. Auchincloss (1964), E. S. Godbold, Jr. (1972), and L. W. Wagner (1982).

Tree, Ellen: see Kean, Edmund.
Wilkinson, Ellen, 1891?-1947, English politician. Of a working-class family, she graduated from the Univ. of Manchester and became a union organizer. A Labour member of Parliament (1924-31, 1935-47), she was an impassioned fighter for socialist causes and became known as Red Ellen. In 1936 she led her constituents from the severely depressed town of Jarrow on a hunger march to London. She was parliamentary secretary to the ministry of home security during World War II and became minister of education in 1945.
Key, Ellen, 1849-1926, Swedish author, critic, and ideologue. Believing that women are primarily fitted for motherhood, she deplored feminist claims to equality on the labor market. Her ideas regarding state child support influenced social legislation in several countries. Among her best-known works published in English are Love and Marriage (1911, repr. with critical and biographical notes by Havelock Ellis, 1931), The Century of the Child (1909), The Woman Movement (1912), The Younger Generation (1914), and War, Peace, and the Future (1916).

See studies by U. Wittrock (1953), J. Senn (1975), and R. DeAngelis (1978).

Vera-Ellen (February 16, 1921 - August 30, 1981) was an American actress and stage and film dancer, principally celebrated for her filmed dance partnerships with Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor.

Biography

She was born Vera Ellen Westmeier Rohe in Norwood, Ohio to Martin Rohe and Alma Catherine Westmeier, both descended from German immigrants. She began dancing at the age of 9 and quickly became very proficient. At 16, she was a winner on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour, and entered upon a professional career.

In 1939, Vera-Ellen made her Broadway theatre debut in the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein musical Very Warm for May at the age of 18. She became one of the youngest Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall, although she was not tall. This led to roles on Broadway in Panama Hattie, By Jupiter, and A Connecticut Yankee, where she was spotted by Samuel Goldwyn, who cast her opposite Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo in the film Wonder Man (1945).

She appeared in several films, including White Christmas (1954), On the Town (1949), the "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" dance in Words and Music (1948) -- the last two with Gene Kelly. Vera-Ellen was also one of the stars in the last Marx Brothers film, Love Happy (1949). She took top billing alongside Fred Astaire in Three Little Words (1950) and The Belle of New York (1952), with Donald O'Connor in Call Me Madam (1953), and in Let's Be Happy (1957). During the 1950s, she was reputed to have the "smallest waist in Hollywood". and is believed to have suffered from anorexia nervosa. She retired from the screen in 1957.

Vera-Ellen was married twice. Her first husband was fellow dancer Robert Hightower, whom she was married to from 1941 to 1946. Her second husband, from 1954 to 1966, was millionaire Victor Rothschild. Both marriages ended in divorce. While married to Rothschild, she gave birth to a daughter, Victoria Ellen Rothschild, who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1963. Following this traumatic event Vera-Ellen further withdrew from public life.

She died of cancer at her home in California at the age of 60 in 1981.

Filmography

References

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