Nita Bieber

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Nita Bieber
Born (1926-07-18) July 18, 1926 (age 87)
Occupation Film, stage actress, dancer
Website
http://www.nitabieber.com

Nita Bieber (born July 18, 1926)[1] is an American film and stage actress.

Early life[edit]

Her father was an accomplished piano player, and her mother Callie was a professional dancer. Her younger brother Rodney and her three younger sisters all became accomplished dancers too. Linda did ballet, Wanda played the harp, and Wilda Taylor continues even now as an actor and comedienne. Nita started performing in public at age 5, when she did a decorous fan dance in a long, pink dress. After her graduation from Hollywood High School, she traveled as a dancer with a USO troupe and then joined the Jack Cole Dancers for a nine-month tour of the U.S., during which she became very proficient in both dancing and cooking. In 1950, when she was 24, Nita was diagnosed with polio; her doctors all said she would never walk again. But with the help of her mother, she recovered from the disease and within a year was back on stage, dancing and acting.

Professional career[edit]

In 1946, Nita appeared in a couple of films for Columbia Pictures, most notably Rhythm and Weep with the Three Stooges. In 1947, she appeared in three more films for Columbia and also appeared in a couple of Monogram flicks, most notably as Mame in the Bowery Boys movie News Hounds. She was featured in a full-page photo on the cover of the November 28, 1949, issue of Life magazine. The article inside talked about her 7-year contract with MGM and Nita's big dance number in the new movie musical Nancy Goes to Rio; but her dance was not included in the final release (it does, however, appear in the home video DVD version). Nita appeared in movies for MGM and Universal until 1955. She appeared as the character Sarah Higgins in Summer Stock, a new movie musical then in production starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly.

Kismet (1955 film) was her last movie for MGM under her 7-year contract. Off the movie set, Nita was the creator of her own dance group, The Nita Bieber Dancers, which gave short performances produced in 1951-1952 for local television stations needing "filler" programming, including those for Jerry Gray and the Band of Today (1950), Don Cornell Sings (1952), and The Colgate Comedy Hour (1954) with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Their repertoire included "Swing Low, Sweet Clarinet," "Dance of the Peacock," and "Mondongo." They also headlined in Las Vegas (El Rancho Vegas, 1951, with Benny Goodman) and in 1952 were showcased at the Frontier Hotel. Other acts at the Frontier at that time were the Marx Brothers, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Josephine Baker, and April Stevens.

Nita Bieber worked with stars such as Tony Curtis (The Prince Who Was a Thief), Hedy Lamar (A Lady Without Passport), Judy Garland (Summer Stock), Billy Benedict (News Hounds), and Larry Fine (Rhythm and weep). Her final movie before retiring was Kismet (1955) with Howard Keel and Vic Damone. Nita appeared in movies for MGM, Universal Studios, and Columbia Studios until 1955.

Personal life[edit]

Nita Bieber married Dr. Jack Wall, a dentist and an active member of the University of Southern California whom she met on a steamer in 1949. They had two children, Miles "Rocky" Wall and Ivy Faulkner. She now lives in Avalon, California.

On February 17, 2007, there was a reunion of the women who appeared with the Three Stooges at the Hollywood Collectors Show in Burbank, California, that included Gloria Patrice, a close friend whom Nita had not seen since 1946. That day, Nita also did an interview for the Three Stooges compilation DVD produced by Sony Pictures.

Personal quotes[edit]

Nita (striking a cute pose): "I have to watch my figure." Leo Gorcey: "All of us are watching it!"

Films[edit]

Year Title Role
1946 Talk About A Lady Herself Dancer
1946 Rhythm and Weep Hilda
1947 The Lone Wolf in Mexico Cute Hotel Maid
1947 Little Miss Broadway Herself Dancer
1947 News Hounds Mame
1950 A Lady Without Passport Cuban Dancer
1950 Summer Stock Sarah Higgins
1950 Jerry Gray and the Band of Today The Nita Bieber Dancers
1951 The Prince Who Was a Thief Cahena
1952 Don Cornell Sings Herself Dancer
1955 Kismet Herself Dancer

Television[edit]

Year Title Role
1954 The Colgate Comedy Hour (episode #44) The Nita Bieber Dancers
1954 The Colgate Comedy Hour (episode #45) The Nita Bieber Dancers

Magazines[edit]

Year Magazine Cover/Article
May 1944 American Photography Magazine Nita Bieber
May 1949 Monee Magazine Nita Bieber
November 1949 Life Magazine Movie Nita Bieber in the Cover
March 1950 Studio Spotlight Nita Bieber
May 1950 Pageant Magazine Inside Article " What is Love"
June 1950 Pace Magazine Nita Bieber MGM Discovery
April 1957 Los Angeles Examiner The Sun Bright Herself[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "California, Birth Index, July 18, 1926". Retrieved March 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]