Talk:Joan McCracken

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Blaming infidelity for homosexuality[edit]

She met Jack Dunphy, then a dancer with the Littlefield company, in 1937. They married in 1939 and separated after Dunphy's service during World War II, during which McCracken had an affair with French composer Rudi Revil. Dunphy was devastated by the infidelity and blamed it for his change in sexual orientation. He adopted a gay lifestyle, became romantically involved with Truman Capote, and he and McCracken were divorced in 1951. Dunphy remained Capote's partner until his death in 1984.

I'm skeptical of the statement that Dunphy simply chose to be gay after the affair. This sounds like sneaky POV pushing. For the most part, the consensus is that people are born gay, they don't choose it. I think the sources need to be looked at a bit closer here or at the very least, properly attributed to the authors. Viriditas (talk) 22:13, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Yes it's a questionable statement to say the least. I quoted from the McCracken biography, which I have, but you I believe you can access the relevant portions on Google Books and also Amazon. Coretheapple (talk) 22:25, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointers. I will compose a followup later tonight. Viriditas (talk) 00:08, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
See p. 139 at [1]. It's a pretty tangential point, but I included it because Dunphy later received considerable publicity for his relationship with Capote, to the point of being portrayed in movies about him. Coretheapple (talk) 00:36, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing me to the source. This is somewhat of a controversial anecdote relayed third person by Dunphy through Dunphy's biographer, Gerald Clarke, and then reported by author Lisa Jo Sagolla. Further, this is a biography about McCracken not Dunphy, so it is not just tangential to the primary topic, it's bordering on salacious anecdote. I would be much more interested to see what other authors on this topic have to say about the same subject rather than relying on just one. I don't know much about Dunphy, but it sounds like McCracken was a beard for him. With the benefit of hindsight, it is incredibly childish and immature for Dunphy to blame McCracken for his sexual preference, innate or otherwise. I'm not sure how it helps the reader understand this topic. People blame all sorts of things in their lives, but we are under no duty to report it. Viriditas (talk) 02:20, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
True, it's tangential and I'd not object to its removal. Coretheapple (talk) 02:22, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I think there is a way to keep it, but to mitigate the implicit POV. Again, if you have access to what other sources have reported on the subject, that could help. Viriditas (talk) 02:24, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
I'll see what I can find in some of the Capote biographies. Coretheapple (talk) 02:29, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
This Capote biography, "Party of the Century," puts the onus on Dunphy and makes no mention of Dunphy's contention that McCracken "drove him" to be gay.[2]. Ditto this Jerome Robbins bio[3] and this Capote bio[4]. This book [5] calls it a "rebound gay phase that lasted the rest of his life." On the whole it doesn't change my view that this is a throwaway line, and not something I feel strongly about one way or the other. Coretheapple (talk) 02:39, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Now there is confirmation, in Gerald Clarke's Capote biography. But that's unsurprising as Clarke was Sagolla's source. Doesn't really change anything.[6]. Like I said, tangential. Meh. Coretheapple (talk) 02:47, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Joan McCracken/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Viriditas (talk · contribs) 02:58, 19 February 2014 (UTC)


  • I'm curious, why is it that we only sometimes use the cause of death in the infobox? I'm not talking about cases where we don't know the cause of death, I'm talking about general usage. In my experience, it does not seem to be a commonly used field, but I could be wrong. And, in cases of heart attack like this, should it say myocardial infarction or be linked to that page? I'm just putting these questions out there for anyone who can answer them. Actually, I'll ask WP:MED to comment. Viriditas (talk) 03:12, 5 March 2014 (UTC)


  • The lead is somewhat sparse. A random obituary says "She became a Broadway star in Bloomer Girl, Dance Me a Song and Billion Dollar Baby.[7] Clearly, the article reflects this, so shouldn't the lead reflect thes notable roles? Remember, we want our readers to be able to get the main points from just reading the lead, which ideally can stand alone. In any case, the lead is very short and can do with a bit of expansion. Viriditas (talk) 04:29, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
  • ...who became famous for her role as Sylvie ("The Girl Who Falls Down")
    • I think it would help to explain this to the reader. For example, in a brief review for Library Journal, Miller (2003) writes that McCracken "became an overnight sensation on Broadway when she performed her carefully choreographed comic fall during the "Many a New Day" dance in Oklahoma!" Viriditas (talk) 01:54, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
  • the original 1943 production of Oklahoma!.
    • No period is needed if a sentence ends with a title that contains an exclamation mark. However, I've noticed that few people follow this proscription on Wikipedia, especially on the exclamation mark page. I'm not sure what to make of this. Viriditas (talk) 01:32, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
  • But her career was ultimately cut short due to complications from diabetes.
    • I think it would help the reader to mention in this sentence that she died at the young age of 43, or right before her 44th birthday. Also, you mention later in the article that "McCracken kept her diabetes a secret throughout her life to prevent damage to her career". I would expect that to also appear in the lead in some way. Viriditas (talk) 00:50, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Her influence on Fosse as a mentor probably deserves to be mentioned in the lead, as does her influence on Shirley MacLaine. In a Publisher's Weekly article, Jill Bahcall, associate press director for Northeastern University Press, commented on Sagolla's book, writing that McCracken "is such an interesting story in part from her association with her second husband, Bob Fosse. There are so many good back stories, such as her tremendous influence on Shirley MacLaine's career." Bringardner (2004) also writes, "Throughout her life, McCracken enjoyed guiding and shaping the careers of many young dancers and actors, sometimes at the expense of her own...Ten years her junior, Fosse learned a great deal from McCracken about art, culture, and high society; her mentoring broadened 'her husband's intellectual horizons'". Viriditas (talk) 02:04, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
  • OK, I've made some changes and also expanded the lead as suggested. Coretheapple (talk) 16:57, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
    • Any reason you aren't using the title date format in the lead? Also, shouldn't they be listed in the order of appearance? For example:
      • She also was noted for her performances in the Broadway shows Bloomer Girl (1944), Billion Dollar Baby (1945) and Dance Me a Song (1950), and the films Hollywood Canteen (1944) and Good News (1947)." Viriditas (talk) 02:32, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
        • Yes, the years have to be put in, and ditto chron order. Coretheapple (talk) 14:34, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Early life[edit]

  • Joan Hume McCracken was born in Philadelphia
    • I'm not sure if it's necessary, but you may want to add Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for our international readers. Viriditas (talk) 00:06, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
      • You forgot the comma. It should read: "McCracken was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on December 31, 1917..." Viriditas (talk) 02:59, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
  • who was the dean of Philadelphia golf writers and an authority on boxing
  • By age 11, she was awarded a scholarship for acrobatic work at a Philadelphia gymnasium, and later studied dance with Catherine Littlefield.
    • The source at the end of the paragraph points to Sagolla pp. 24-26, but I could not find this information there. Do you have it sourced to a different page or am I missing it? Viriditas (talk) 08:39, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
  • She dropped out of West Philadelphia High School in the tenth grade to study dance in New York with George Balanchine in the first year of the School of American Ballet (SAB) in 1934.
    • I had to read that twice to get it. " the first year of the School of American Ballet" is a bit strange. On the second read I imagined you were trying to say that she studied dance when the SAB first opened. I wonder if there is a way for you to improve the clarity here. Viriditas (talk) 10:53, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
      • Could you preface George Balanchine with "choreographer" so that the reader doesn't have to click on the link to find out who he is? Viriditas (talk) 03:03, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
  • All fixed. Coretheapple (talk) 19:35, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
    • I forgot to ask, how did she get her middle name? Was she named after David Hume? If so, that would be very interesting to add. Viriditas (talk) 02:47, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
      • OK, I'll fix these. Her mother's maiden name was "Humes," which might explain it, but Sagolla is silent on why he middle name was Hume. You'd think it would be "Humes" if she was named after he mother. Coretheapple (talk) 14:33, 5 March 2014 (UTC)


Early career
  • In 1935, McCracken returned to Philadelphia to join a ballet company being formed by Littlefield, originally called the Littlefield Ballet and, from 1936 onwards, also known as the Philadelphia Ballet
    • You may want to consider rewriting this awkward sentence or splitting it up for readability. Remember, you want to keep the interest of the reader by engaging them with clear and flowing prose. Viriditas (talk) 00:41, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
      • I still can't get past this first sentence. How about something like: "In 1935, McCracken returned to Philadelphia to join Littlefield's new ballet company, the Littlefield Ballet (later known as the Philadelphia Ballet)." Viriditas (talk) 10:00, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
  • This put a strain on her health, because she had just been diagnosed with Type I diabetes, also known as "juvenile diabetes," which was difficult to control utilizing the medical technology at the time.
    • You may want to experiment with rewriting this. Here's one example: "McCracken was recently diagnosed with Type I diabetes (then known as "juvenile diabetes"), which was difficult to maintain with the medical technology at the time, and the European tour strained her already weakened state." Viriditas (talk) 00:41, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
    • I'm still having problems with this paragraph:
      • When the ballet company made its official debut in November 1935, McCracken was a principal soloist.
        • Should it be a principal soloist here, or the principal soloist?
      • The disease made her prone to fainting spells, sometimes during performances, as well as medical complications later in her life.
        • I think you meant to say: "The disease made her prone to fainiting spells, sometimes during performances, and led to medical complications later in her life." "As well as medical complications" doesn't make sense in this sentence. Viriditas (talk) 10:12, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
  • McCracken kept her diabetes a secret throughout her life to prevent damage to her career. Her diabetes made her prone to fainting spells, sometimes during performances, as well as medical complications
    • For what it is worth, this would also be appropriate for the personal life section. Of course, it is fine where it is now, as that is your preference. Viriditas (talk) 00:49, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  • In 1940, McCracken and her new husband Jack Dunphy, also a dancer, moved to New York City....
    • This paragraph is sourced to Sagolla 50-57, but you may want to verify that, as I had a hard time finding this material there. Viriditas (talk) 04:46, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
All fixed, though I'm keeping the diabetes thing in that early career section for now, as it seems right. I it's necessary to know this as it affected her entire career. Coretheapple (talk) 19:45, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Oklahoma! and Hollywood
  • In 1942 McCracken and Dunphy both successfully auditioned for roles in the dance ensemble of the new Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Away We Go," being choreographed by Agnes de Mille, who had just staged Aaron Copeland's Rodeo for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo
    • Try splitting this up. "In 1942, McCracken and Dunphy both successfully auditioned for roles in the dance ensemble of the new Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Away We Go." Agnes de Mille, who had just staged Aaron Copeland's Rodeo for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, was choreographing the production." Or something like that. Viriditas (talk) 10:18, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
  • In 1942 McCracken and Dunphy both auditioned for Agnes de Mille...
    • More sourcing problems. The citation at the end of the paragraph says it can be found on 69-73, but according to the ISBN you provided, this is first cited on 66-69. This is one of the problems with using page ranges, as they need to be exact. Please review and verify. Viriditas (talk) 01:51, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
  • McCracken was cast in an anonymous dance role as Sylvie in the Many a New Day dance number, but became famous for taking a comic pratfall in the middle of the number. She became known as "The Girl Who Fell Down."
    • You would have more impact if you broke it up. For example, like this: "McCracken was cast in an anonymous dance role as Sylvie in the Many a New Day dance number. She became famous, however, as "The Girl Who Fell Down", when she took a comic pratfall in the middle of the number." Of course, you don't have to do it that way (and some editors would recommend against using the word "however") but notice how it highlights the fact that she went from anonymous nobody to a famous somebody more than the previous version. Viriditas (talk) 05:08, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
    • Note: "Many a New Day" requires quotes, not italics. I realize that the lead section of the original article is also improperly formatted and needs to be fixed. In fact, many of the song articles from this musical are also formatted in error (with italics instead of quotes). I have notified the project. Viriditas (talk) 09:54, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  • In 1942 McCracken and Dunphy both auditioned for Agnes de Mille
    • You might want to preface Agnes de Mille by describing her as a choreographer so as to prompt the reader. Viriditas (talk) 09:45, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  • As a result of her performance in Oklahoma!, McCracken was given a movie contract by Warner Brothers. She was in a specialty dance routine in Hollywood Canteen (1944). McCracken was dismayed by the lack of professionalism that she observed at Warner Brothers, and the lack of guidance that she received from the choreographer, LeRoy Prinz. In Hollywood Canteen she performed in a dance number called "Ballet in Jive," which received favorable critical attention. However, McCracken disliked the patronizing tone of the film, which treated servicemen as naive bumpkins, because her husband was serving in the Army and her younger brother, Buddy McCracken, was a lieutenant in the U.S. Marines.
    • This is confusing to the reader (me) because you mention the dance routine in the beginning, then switch to her criticism of WB, then go back to the dance routine you originally mentioned, and then switch again to her criticism, this time of the film. It would be much easier to group related items together to preserve a singular narrative. Something like the following might show you what I mean (but this is just an example):
      • "Her performance in Oklahoma! led to a contract offer by Warner Brothers, followed by her role in WB's Hollywood Canteen (1944) where she appeared in a specialty dance routine called "Ballet in Jive". The dance number received favorable critical attention, but McCracken, whose husband and brother were both serving in the military, disliked the patronizing tone of the film which treated servicemen as naive bumpkins. She was also dismayed by the unprofessionalism she witnessed at Warner Brothers, and the lack of guidance she received from choreographer LeRoy Prinz." Do you see how I grouped the items together? Viriditas (talk) 02:19, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
        • Her performance in Oklahoma! led to a contract with Warner Brothers.
          • Because of the previous paragraph, it would help the reader to lead with "McCracken", as in "McCracken's performance in Oklahoma! led to a contract with Warner Brothers." This is because the previous paragraph now ends with Celeste Holm, so we don't know who "her performance" refers to here. Viriditas (talk) 10:25, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
  • McCracken broke her Warner Brothers contract and went back to Broadway to star in the musical Bloomer Girl, set in the early Twentieth Century, getting rave reviews for her performance, which combined comedy acting with dance. While not the highest-bill star in that show, her performance, especially of the song "Waiting for Tommora," enhanced her reputation as a comic performer.
    • Since you are already using the work-date format in the previous paragraph, why not write Bloomer Girl (1944) as well? Viriditas (talk) 08:49, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
    • Twentieth or 20th century? You might as well delete both as Bloomer Girl is not set in the 20th century, but during the American Civil War. Ahem. :) It's also, according to the source you used, the "first Broadway musical about feminism". Viriditas (talk) 06:22, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
    • Highest-bill or top billing? See the article on Billing_(filmmaking) for recommended usage. Viriditas (talk) 06:31, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
    • Source issues. Citation says pp. 108–110, but a lot of this isn't there, but likely in the preceding pages. Viriditas (talk) 06:22, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I fixed those multiple errors. Sorry. Senility? Coretheapple (talk) 21:05, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Broadway and television
  • Just a note, this section is a bit long in the tooth, so if after this review you can figure out a way to add section headings, please do so. Viriditas (talk) 10:25, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • The show itself received only lukewarm reviews, however, and her career was not helped by her starring role in that play.
    • On the first read I failed to notice this. If you read it, starting with the preceding sentence, it would flow much better with something along these lines: "Her starring role in the play failed to further her career as the show received only lukewarm reviews." Viriditas (talk) 09:57, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Sagolla, pp. 138–152
    • A 14 page range for trying to verify a citation is a bit excessive and out of place. Page ranges like that can be used for repeating content, such as a particular chapter that is cited multiple times about one subtopic, such as a specific award or a narrow time in the life of the subject. But in this instance, all you are trying to do is say she was hired by MGM to appear in a 1947 musical and she received good reviews. It's a bit odd to use a 14 page range to do that, but not unheard of, however, it makes it difficult to verify the material. Viriditas (talk) 06:42, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Author Jeanine Basinger observed in The Star Machine, a study of MGM, that unlike Debbie Reynolds...
    • You might want to play around with this paragraph. Something like: "In her study of the Hollywood star system, film historian Jeanine Basinger compared Debbie Reynolds with McCracken, noting that unlike Reynolds, who was groomed for stardom by MGM and was a show business novice, McCracken was "faux-fresh", a Broadway veteran who lacked "close-up appeal" and delivered her lines in the hard-edged, Broadway style, "reaching for that little old lady in the balcony." Or something like that. Viriditas (talk) 06:55, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
  • She long yearned to become a serious actress, and in 1947 she began studying acting with Bobby Lewis, Group Theatre alumnus and soon-to-be Actors Studio co-founder (along with fellow alumni Elia Kazan and Cheryl Crawford).
    • This is a clunky read. Do you mean Group Theatre alumnus and soon-to-be Actors Studio co-founder Bobby Lewis? Is it necessary to add Kazan and Crawford here? Viriditas (talk) 02:05, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • . In December 1947 she appeared in the New York production of Bertolt Brecht's play Galileo, starring Charles Laughton in the title role and directed by Joseph Losey, playing Galileo's daughter Virginia.
    • This can be cleaned up for clarity. "In December 1947, she appeared as Galileo's daughter Virginia in the New York production of Bertolt Brecht's play Galileo."
    • What's more important than Laughton in the title role or its director, is that, according to the source, this was McCracken's "first nondancing role in a straight drama...establishing herself as a legitimate actress". That's a really important point that should be mentioned. Try to focus on what is important and discard what is trivial. Viriditas (talk) 02:35, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • You've got Agnes de Mille linked twice in the career section. See WP:OVERLINK. Viriditas (talk) 09:39, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Unlike her previous roles, which involved dancing, this time there was none, and by acting in a straight dramatic role she was establishing herself as a legitimate actress
    • This is a bit clunky. Try something more straightforward, like for example: "Unlike her previous roles, Galileo was a straight dramatic role with no dancing. The play helped establish her reputation as a legitimate actress." That may not be what you want to say, but you get the point. Viriditas (talk) 10:19, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • The play was directed by Lee Strasberg and starred John Garfield as a film star who is being blackmailed by a studio boss for killing a child during a car accident some years earlier. The studio covered up the incident at the time and is using that as leverage on the Garfield character. McCracken played a call girl, Dixie Evans, who was involved in the incident and is threatening to talk about it.
    • The in-universe plot description is a bit off. You don't need "being" (who is blackmailed) and "is using" can be replaced with "uses". In fact the second and third sentence would read better as: "At the time of the accident, the studio covered up the incident and uses it as leverage on the Garfield character. McCracken plays a call girl, Dixie Evans, who was involved in the incident and threatens to talk about it." Viriditas (talk) 10:52, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • At that time, McCracken gave an interview disparaging television, which might have hurt her career.
    • What exactly did she disparage? The technology, the programming, the people who watch it? You might want to clarify it like so: "At that time, McCracken gave an interview where she made disparaging remarks about television, which might have hurt her career." Viriditas (talk) 11:11, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Peter Pan was her favorite acting role.
    • You didn't mention any reviews here. I'm wondering if you might expand this in the future to talk about why she enjoyed it so much. Not necessary now, of course. Viriditas (talk) 11:49, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • The play was meant to show what it was like to be backstage during the run of a hit Broadway show, and she performed opposite Ray Walston in the "show within a show.
  • Her worsening health, and the lack of success of her most recent Broadway plays took a toll on her career, despite the favorable notices for her performance in The Big Knife and Peter Pan.
    • You've got the order of elements reversed, contrary to the expectation of the reader. I'm assuming this is because you were trying to paraphrase. I expected to read it backwards: "Despite favorable reviews of her performances in The Big Knife and Peter Pan, her worsening health and the failure of her most recent Broadway plays took a toll on her career." Viriditas (talk) 01:35, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
  • You've got some nonlinear overlap between the "decline" and "personal life" sections, particularly in terms of her health and marriage. For example, you first mention in the decline section that she was married to Fosse before you discuss their marriage in the subsequent personal life section. The same is true for her declining health. You may want to consider moving things around, such as merging the first paragraph of the decline section into the personal life section. There are several alternatives, of course, one of which involves doing nothing. Viriditas (talk) 01:52, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

OK, I've addressed all these issues. I dealt with the duplication in the "decline" section by simply removing the reference to Fosse in the "decline" section. Coretheapple (talk) 22:16, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Oh, I fixed the "bill" thing - hadn't noticed that before. Coretheapple (talk) 21:50, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Upon release from the hospital, McCracken was told by her doctors that she could no longer dance.
    • What was her reaction to the news? As the reader, I want to know that. Viriditas (talk) 11:56, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Personal life[edit]

  • McCracken was described by her biographer as a "bohemian" free spirit and uninhibited
    • "Free spirit" and "uninhibited" are generally synonymous so you've got a bit of redundancy going on there. It might help to be more specific. Viriditas (talk) 09:47, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • You've got Jack Dunphy linked three times, so the link in this section can be removed as the infobox and the first instance are excepted. Viriditas (talk) 09:43, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • She met Jack Dunphy, then a dancer with the Littlefield company, in 1937. They married in 1939 and separated after Dunphy's service during World War II, during which McCracken had an affair with French composer Rudi Revil. Dunphy was devastated by the infidelity and blamed it for his change in sexual orientation. He adopted a gay lifestyle, became romantically involved with Truman Capote, and he and McCracken were divorced in 1951. Dunphy remained Capote's partner until his death in 1984.
    • According to Bringardner (2004), Sagolla attributed the decline of McCracken's marriage to "Dunphy's long absence as a result of his military service", not to the affair. It is debatable whether Dunphy "became gay" due to McCracken's infidelity, and upon reviewing other sources, it may be questionable to even include it. Viriditas (talk) 01:21, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Later in life she was in a relationship with actor Marc Adams, and spent large amounts of time at her beach house in The Pines on Fire Island, New York.
    • It helps the reader to get down to brass tacks rather than beating around the bush: "She spent her later life with actor Marc Adams at her beach house in The Pines on Fire Island, New York." Is there any reason to say she "spent large amounts of time"? It sounds odd to my ear. Viriditas (talk) 09:51, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's important to note, and I clarified that, that at the time the Pines was very secluded and isolated off-season. I don't think the detail is necessary but, for example, she did not even have electricity. Coretheapple (talk) 22:43, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
  • She was cremated.
    • At her request? Or was there no money set aside for a grave? Any rationale? Viriditas (talk)
It was at her request. She was riding past a cemetery one day with Adams late in life and blurted out "I want to be cremated." I think that's a bit excessive detail to add. Coretheapple (talk) 22:46, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
  • She was married to him from December 1952 to 1959
    • Change it to "Fosse and McCracken were married from December 1952 to 1959." Viriditas (talk) 12:05, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Her intervention with producer George Abbott led to his first major job as a choreographer, in The Pajama Game.
    • Led to Fosse's first major job, not Abbott's. You need to make that clear here because it is ambiguous the way it is worded. Also, get rid of that comma. Viriditas (talk) 12:04, 7 March 2014 (UTC)


  • During her lifetime, McCracken was mainly known for her pixieish stage and screen persona...
    • I could be completely wrong here, so feel free to ignore me, but is it really necessary to say "during her lifetime" here? Viriditas (talk) 02:00, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, that is how she was known during her lifetime (as opposed to now), but it can go. Coretheapple (talk) 22:56, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
What about "mainly"? That really isn't needed. Just come right to the point with it: "McCracken was known for her pixieish stage and screen persona". The rule of thumb is to eliminate most (if not all) adverbs, as they weaken your writing. Viriditas (talk) 12:29, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • While playing in Bloomer Girl in October 1944, she received the War Department telegram
    • The War Department telegram or a War Department telegram? Viriditas (talk) 12:29, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • McCracken told Capote of the incident, and he used it in the novella, which was set in the 1940s.
    • Why not just end the sentence at novella? Is it important for me to know that the novel was set in the 1940s right here? If it is important, then tell me in the when you first mention the book at the beginning of the paragraph, as it stops me from reading and interrupts the flow when you use it in the middle. I'm guessing it isn't important at all, because the reader gets the setting from the overall context of the Army service overseas, which had to take place in the 1940s, at this point. So to me, at least, it's redundant and interrupts the reader. Viriditas (talk) 12:29, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
  • In Bob Fosse's autobiographical film All That Jazz (1979), one of the characters is a death angel, Angelique, played by Jessica Lange, who has McCracken's personality traits and is dressed as McCracken was in her final stage appearance, The Infernal Machine.
    • Try splitting it up, as it's far too long and I feel like I need to take a breath when I read it. Don't asphyxiate the reader! Try something like: "In Bob Fosse's autobiographical film All That Jazz (1979), the character of Angelique, a death angel, is played by Jessica Lange. Angelique's personality traits resemble McCracken's and she appears dressed just like McCracken was in The Infernal Machine, her final stage appearance." Viriditas (talk) 12:29, 7 March 2014 (UTC)


  • No consistent format for title and date. Please find one. Viriditas (talk) 01:58, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
Fixed. Coretheapple (talk) 23:03, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Footnotes and references[edit]

Resolved: But concern with singular source use noted. Viriditas (talk) 06:37, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Approximately 29 out of 36 footnotes refer to one source (Sagolla, 2003)
  • Note: GA criteria doesn't require this, but note 16 and 22 have the NYT formatted differently. It's best to choose one format and stick with it.
  • Use the full title for Sagolla (2003) in the reference section: The Girl Who Fell Down: A Biography of Joan McCracken
OK. Not sure how to fix the NYT formatting, as it was done by the tool I used. Coretheapple (talk) 23:08, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Change the words "cite web" to "cite news" and "publisher" to "work" in this edit box and click save. Viriditas (talk) 06:34, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Nah, a blog. Coretheapple (talk) 23:09, 3 March 2014 (UTC)


GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose is "clear and concise", without copyvios, or spelling and grammar errors:
    Minor grammar issues; easy to fix
    Wikipedia:Close paraphrasing in some areas. Please rewrite and summarize as specified above.
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
    Recommend expanding lead with notable Broadway plays to provide a better stand-alone summary of the main points in the body
    Recommend expanding influences (Fosse, MacLaine) in the lead section per secondary sources stressing importance
    WP:OVERLINK: Agnes de Mille, Jack Dunphy
OK, I've done that. Coretheapple (talk) 23:14, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
  1. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. Has an appropriate reference section:
    B. Citation to reliable sources where necessary:
    This is a red flag warning not a deal breaker: The article is reliant on a single source. Per ONESOURCE: "A single source is considered less than ideal because a single source may be inaccurate or biased. Without other sources for corroboration, accuracy or neutrality may be suspect. By finding multiple independent sources, the reliability of the encyclopedia is improved."
    Ah, that's a bit tougher. There really isn't very much out there in any detail except the Sagolla book. The subject, while notable and important, has been neglected and this is the only biography out there. Coretheapple (talk) 23:14, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
    Page numbers out of sync in citations. See above problems in "Career" section
    Errors in the career section (Bloomer Girl not set in 20th century)
    C. No original research:
  2. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    Mostly OK, but some less important points have been skipped over. See highlights in the review above.
    B. Focused:
  3. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
    As above, single source is a red flag.
  4. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  5. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content:
    B. Images are provided if possible and are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions:
  6. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    On hold to give the nominator time to address the issues listed above. I'm fairly confident this article can pass if the major problems are addressed. Viriditas (talk) 02:12, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
OK, I've addressed the issues, and appreciate this very detailed review. The only one I haven't done is to get more sourcing than what I currently have. I did have some other sourcing, though I'll admit I do lean heavily on that book as it is the only bio of this person. I can try to insert more text from reviews, but I am not sure it would add materially to the article. Coretheapple (talk) 23:17, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
In such a situation, the procedure is to examine the bibliography used by the source you relied upon to see what is available in terms of secondary literature. The concern is that you are solely relying on Sagolla's use of this material, and her presentation of it. Of course, that kind of concern is generally left to FA-class reviews, but even at the GA level, relying on one source is a red flag for the presentation of a singular POV by one author. In that case, you may want to revisit some of the controversial issues I've raised before the review on the talk page and in the review to make sure that Sagolla's bias hasn't changed what the secondary sources she used originally reported. One way to do this is to use the as cited in format of citing the source that Sagolla is using to preserve the original intent. Something to think about, at least. In any case, I should have this review finished by tomorrow once I review the changes. Thanks for your patience. Viriditas (talk) 10:04, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Actually I did what you suggested with the only really controversial part of the article, which was Dunphy's saying that McCracken's fidelity was the reason he turned gay. That was directly attributed in the book to Gerald Clarke's Capote biography, and was accurately quoted by Sagolla. I wound up taking it out, since it was dubious. I think that was the only really controversial thing you highlighted, no? Coretheapple (talk) 15:03, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes. I've got a question about the lead for you. Viriditas (talk) 02:34, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Also, a quesiton about her middle name, a question about a missing comma and a request for a word addition. Viriditas (talk) 03:05, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
OK, all addressed. Coretheapple (talk) 14:44, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. There are a few more things for you to look at as I make my way through this revision. Viriditas (talk) 10:27, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Done. Coretheapple (talk) 13:49, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Question: have all the references been fixed, such that all content can be found in the cited pages? I'm unclear as to whether you reviewed this issue and fixed the problem, if it even exists. I had trouble verifying some of the material earlier as I said up above. In other words, are all of the page numbers correct and verifiable? Viriditas (talk) 04:00, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
Yup, I fixed 'em all. Coretheapple (talk) 04:18, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Almost there. See: this, this, this, this, this, this, and this. Believe it or not, that's it. After you review those recommended changes and decide whether to implement them, I can pass the article, as those changes address criterion 1a. Viriditas (talk) 12:34, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
Sure, I can agree to those. Thanks again. Very interesting exercise! Coretheapple (talk) 15:32, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
You have a small typo. You are missing the letter "t" in "disparaging what she described as the "over-commercialization"..." Viriditas (talk) 21:57, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
Now it's really done. Coretheapple (talk) 22:05, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
I've passed the article. Please find someone you trust to help you copyedit further and/or peer review to prepare for WP:FAC. You have established enough momentum to keep you going with this, so don't stop improving it. I can't wait to see it on the main page. Viriditas (talk) 00:18, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks again for all your hard work on the article. It's been a very interesting experience, as I said, and I learned a lot. Coretheapple (talk) 00:40, 8 March 2014 (UTC)