Talk:Vera-Ellen

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German[edit]

Anyone have a good source for this? Michael 02:59, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

See Soren's book, pages 14,15. Article updated accordingly Dermot 12:00, 3 July 2006 (UTC)Dermot

Thanks. Michael 04:53, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Anorexia leading to premature aging[edit]

This is a rumor. The IMDb bio is not a reliable source, as it can be written by anyone with an account, just like Wikipedia. Why do people assume that when one is naturally skinny that they have anorexia? She had juvenile arthritis. There are many who are naturally skinny, at least back then and well into the 80s. I was always thin, and so was most of my family. As a teenager I was made fun of because of my weight, I was called "Stringbean Jean" lol. I hated being skinny. (Not now though) So stop the rumors. No ethical MD would or could diagnose her "now" as having an eating disorder "then" without an examination and medical history. - Jeeny (talk) 03:46, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

She wasn't "naturally skinny." Her weight fluctuated quite a bit even during the same film. It was present as early as "On the Town." In some scenes she appears completely normal while in other scenes she appears to be only half as "big" as her co-stars Ann Miller and Betty Garrett, both of whom were physically fit. Take a look at the "Miss Turnstiles" number or the title number sequence. She is very, very thin there. She doesn't appear to be much bigger than a pencil. I don't just attribute it to her being tightly corseted in her costumes, either.--sn 25 December 2013 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.56.19.217 (talk) 19:43, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Explain the premature aging then. At 32, she had to have ALL of her costumes made with high collars because of the turkey neck she had already developed during the filming of 'White Christmas'. You're right - IMBd and Wikipedia both fall into the 'anyone can edit' category - which is precisely why both of them should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.69.81.2 (talkcontribs) 18:09, 14 January 2008

The "turkey neck" is likely an urban legend. However, she looked MUCH older in the FACE. She aged a LOT in just a few years, and she was in her early thirties by the time she made "White Christmas." sn 25 December 2013 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.56.19.217 (talk) 19:46, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

There is no citation for the "White Christmas" issue.

208.127.236.194 (talk) 19:55, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Chapter nine of David Soren's book on Vera-Ellen, titled "Anorexia Nervosa" pp.191-195 addresses this issue. Here are some relevant extracts: "It seems probable that she developed anorexia nervosa but there is no evidence for bulimia...Since sufferers of anorexia nervosa frequently wither away slowly, tabloid newspapers and magazines had a field day with Vera-Ellen and Karen Carpenter. The Enquirer did an unpardonable thing in comparing pictures of a gravely ill Vera-Ellen near the end of her life with glamour pictures of her taken during her Belle of New York period. They did this purely for the shock value of showing how far Vera-Ellen had declined physically from the height of her career when she had been a great beauty. This brazen publicity stunt was all the more reprehensible because Vera-Ellen, through no fault of her own, was likely suffering from an extremely serious and sometimes fatal illness that affects a broad section of the population. She also became ill at a time before anorexia nervosa was widely recognized and treatment was commonly available. She had no reason to think that there was anything wrong and never underwent treatment for anorexia nervosa. In Vera-Ellen's day such an affliction would...have been dismissed as over-sensitivity or artistic temperament, a general lack in the person of an ability to keep weight on or a reaction to excessive rehearsing. And, since Vera-Ellen's mother Alma was petite and slender, and her maternal grandmother and grandfather extremely small, her thinness was thought to be hereditary. As late as 1974, doctors were still puzzling over a phenomenon usually referred to as 'self-starvation', for the term anorexia nervosa hadn't yet joined the vernacular...The fact that Vera-Ellen exhibited most of the characteristics typical for anorexia nervosa is attested through her own statements or descriptions of her by others. Yet she was also an atypical sufferer in that she did not come from a wealthy or upper middle class family but one with less than average income after the Depression hit. It is difficult to know when the illness started in her case, but it is possible that it began as early as her days at Norwood Elementary School when she was so short that she had difficulties fitting in and being treated as a equal...Her desire to exceed everyone else in everything also fits the profile. Fellow students considered her to be the best student in the history of the school. Her obsession in her middle teens with manipulating her body in order to make herself taller and her daily diet rituals during her pre-teen and teen years may have been major contributing factors to the illness. Her belief that she could make herself acceptable by slimming down and stretching out and that she was actually growing one-half inch each year (she claimed this even when she was 32) are all typical reactions. So is her obsessive neatness (like her mother) about not only food but various aspects of her daily life, especially clothing." Professor Soren goes on to illustrate the various obsessions Vera-Ellen developed and reinforced as she got older. D7240 (talk) 12:49, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

As long as we're referencing IMDB...Anorexia does seem likely per the above, but the story about the White Christmas costumes is refuted right there on IMDB as well. Someone points out that there are photos of her from 1954 in a low-cut gown, no turkey neck. So at least that part of the story should be deleted.Gilmer (talk) 13:55, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

I should mention that anorexia is caused by the "set point" in the hypothalamus in the brain being thrown off its normal setting by various external factors (such as stress, crash dieting, parents fighting, nervousness, illnesses, smoking, etc.). Anorexia is a biological condition that the patient cannot control because their brain keeps telling them that they're too heavy. 69.238.198.195 (talk) 22:36, 4 June 2011 (UTC)


The anorexia story isn't just sourced at Wikipedia or IMDB. It's been written about for many, many years. Back when she was a Hollywood star, however, it wasn't discussed or written about because it was poorly understood. Why do people think she couldn't have had anorexia? It was and remains extremely common among dancers. The proof something was wrong is in those films where her weight seems to fluctuate wildly from a mostly normal body size to an extreme petiteness. Considering how the camera adds weight, her body had to be alarmingly scrawny at her smallest. Anorexia is not anything to be ashamed of. People simply need to get treatment for it. sn 25 December 2013

Dubbed Singing Voice[edit]

According to the Wikipedia page on the film "White Christmas". Vera-Ellen's singing was done by Trudy Stevens (who was named Trudy Stabile at the time, per IMDb), except for the song "Sisters", which was done by Rosemary Clooney. That someone besides Clooney did the singing for the other songs seems more plausible than having Clooney do all of them, based on listening to the movie. However, I don't see any references on this subject. Anybody have a good reference? EinkomischerKauz (talk) 06:47, 23 January 2018 (UTC)