Tommy Wonder (dancer)
Tommy Wonder (March 7, 1914 in Montana – December 11, 1993 in Riverdale, Bronx, New York City) was an American dancer, actor, choreographer, and artist manager. He was a principal dancer in the 1943 Ziegfeld Follies.
As a child, Wonder suffered from an unspecified physical disability which hindered his ability to walk; to help him, his mother used clothes and a broomstick to build a puppet on which he could support himself. Wonder named the puppet "Suzanne", and with its help he was able not only to learn to walk, but to dance at a professional level; an upgraded version of "Suzanne", designed by members of the Westmore family, with human hair, a Hubert Givenchy gown, and Wonder's mother's original broomstick, is in the Smithsonian Institution.
Wonder began as a child actor, performing in vaudeville; he subsequently appeared in the Our Gang films. As an adult, Wonder performed in numerous musical comedies; he also appeared in more serious films, including the 1938 Gangster's Boy. By 1946, his fame was such that his presence at social events was considered worth reporting.
- American Puppetry: collections, history and performance, p. 209, edited by Phyllis T. Dircks, 2004; volume 23 of the Performing Arts Resource Series of the Theatre Library Association; via Google Books
- Tommy Wonder, 78, Ex-Ziegfeld Dancer at the New York Times, December 18, 1993
- Tommy Wonder (dancer) at the Internet Broadway Database
- Gangster's Boy at the Internet Movie Database
- WIPO Domain Name Decisions: D2005-0293 at the WIPO; "The opening of the Casino was attended by many Hollywood stars of the day, such as Jimmy Durante, Tommy Wonder, Eddie Jackson and Rose Marie."
- NEW YORKERS, Etc at the New York Times, Enid Nemy, August 14, 1988