November 21, 1956 |
|Occupation||Actress, singer, dancer|
|Spouse(s)||Richard Marx (1989–2014; divorced)|
Cynthia Rhodes (born November 21, 1956) is an American retired actress, singer and dancer. Her film roles include Tina Tech in Flashdance (1983), Jackie in Staying Alive (1983) and Penny in Dirty Dancing (1987).
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Rhodes began her brief show business career working at Opryland USA as a singer and dancer while attending Glencliff High School in Nashville during the 1970s. Born and raised in a Baptist family, Rhodes tried to maintain a clean-cut image in her acting roles and in the media, turning down scripts that required nudity and refusing offers to pose for pictorials in Playboy magazine. Sylvester Stallone, the director of Staying Alive, reinforced these facts by stating that Rhodes "would sooner quit the business before doing anything to embarrass her parents."
Rhodes played a small role in the fantasy musical Xanadu (1980). Following a minor part as Tina Tech in the musical film Flashdance, Rhodes played the role of Jackie, an ensemble dancer, bar band singer, and character Tony Manero's (John Travolta) love interest in Sylvester Stallone's film Staying Alive, the poorly reviewed, but commercially successful, sequel to the hit film Saturday Night Fever.
Rhodes garnered her first non-dance related role in Michael Crichton's science fiction thriller Runaway with Tom Selleck, Kirstie Alley and Gene Simmons. Her most notable role was as dance instructor Penny Johnson in the hit 1987 motion picture Dirty Dancing with Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. Rhodes' final motion picture role was the character of Vickie Phillips opposite actor Jameson Parker in the sleeper action/adventure movie Curse of the Crystal Eye.
Rhodes also appeared as a dancer in music videos, such as "Rosanna" by the band Toto, "The Woman in You" by the Bee Gees, and "Don't Mean Nothing" by Richard Marx. She was a dancer for the glam rock band The Tubes when they toured in the early 1980s. Rhodes later joined the 80's pop group Animotion, replacing the group's singer Astrid Plane for the recording of its third and final album of original material. Though the group's single "Room to Move" rose to #9 on the Billboard charts, the album failed to match the group's earlier success, peaking at only #110 on the pop charts; shortly thereafter, the group disbanded. In 2002, Rhodes co-wrote the smooth jazz track "Perfect Day" with then-husband Richard Marx for December, trumpeter Chris Botti's holiday album.
Rhodes was married to singer/songwriter Richard Marx. They met in 1983, while Marx was working on the motion picture soundtrack for Staying Alive. Rhodes, seven years his senior, thought Marx was much too young for her to date at the time. Marx and Rhodes did not start their relationship until two years later, when they were reacquainted at a party. After a four-year courtship, the couple married on January 8, 1989. After marrying Marx, Rhodes retired from film acting, dancing, and singing to have her first son. Rhodes had three boys and gave up her performing career to raise them. In an Us Weekly article dated April 4, 2014, Marx's representative confirmed the dissolution of their 25-year marriage.
- Xanadu (1980) – Ensemble dancer
- Flashdance (1983) – Tina Tech
- Staying Alive (1983) – Jackie
- Runaway (1984) – Officer Karen Thompson
- Dirty Dancing (1987) – Penny Johnson
- Curse of the Crystal Eye (1991) – Vickie Phillips
- "Room To Move" – Animotion (1989)
- "Calling It Love" – Animotion (1989)
- "I'm Never Gonna Give You Up" with Frank Stallone – Staying Alive Soundtrack (1983)
- "Finding Out The Hard Way" – Staying Alive Soundtrack (1983)
- "Rosanna" - Toto (1984)
- "Cynthia Rhodes Actor Biography". Yahoo.com. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- "Two for Travolta". People Magazine/AOL Time Warner. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "Cynthia Rhodes Bio". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "25 Worst Sequels Ever Made". EW.com. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
- "December 2002". SmoothJazzNow.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- "Life After L.A". People Magazine/AOL Time Warner. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- "Richard Marx trades stardom for producing, parenthood". CNN/AOL/Time Warner. 2002-09-24. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
- "Richard Marx and Cynthia Rhodes Divorcing After 25 Years of Marriage". Wenner Media. 2014-04-04. Retrieved 2014-04-04.