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Nicholas Brothers, The

harold film pie fayard

NICHOLAS BROTHERS, THE. Fayard (1914–2006), Harold (1921–2000). Dancers. Even as children (age 13 and 7), they were one of the greatest dance teams ever. Their parents were musicians and ran the orchestra at the Standard Theater in Philadelphia. Once they saw what their little boys could do, the proud parents got them a job at the club. Word quickly spread and they were soon performing at the world-famous Cotton Club in New York City. Always sharply dressed and exuding class and style, they excited audiences around the world for more than 60 years with their unique style, brilliant choreography, and acrobatic excellence. Whether on the vaudeville stage, in nightclubs, theaters, or on film and television, they were more than impressive with their smooth mix of tap, jazz, and ballet. Their first film appearance was in the musical short, Pie, Pie Blackbird , 1932, with Eubie Blake and Nina Mae McKinney. Movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn invited them to Hollywood to appear in their first feature film, Kid Millions , 1943, with Eddie Cantor. They danced and sometimes sang in a total of six films for 20th Century Fox, but their most memorable dance number was perhaps in Stormy Weather , 1943, where they concluded with an awesome routine in which they leapfrogged over each other down a curved staircase. Their first Broadway show was the Ziegfeld Follies with Bob Hope, Eve Arden, and Josephine Baker. They starred in the London production of Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds of 1936 , and made many more international appearances. In their later years, both Harold and Fayard continued to perform individually on and off-Broadway, and in many theatrical productions, including St Louis Woman, Stompin’ at the Savoy , in San Francisco (Harold), and Sophisticated Ladies in Los Angeles (Harold). When it came to acting, Fayard played a bit part in The Liberation of L. B. Jones , 1970, and Harold was cast in small but comedic roles in, Uptown Saturday Night , 1974, and The Five Heartbeats , 1991. They have received numerous awards and accolades for their lifetime of quality entertainment, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1994. The documentary We Sing, We Dance: The Nicholas Brothers , contains interviews and film clips of their performances, and has aired on Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS).

Filmography: Pie, Pie Blackbird , 1932; Kid Millions , 1934; An All Colored Vaudeville Show , 1935; The Big Broadcast of 1936 , 1935; Down Argentine Way , 1940; Sun Valley Serenade , 1941; Orchestra Wives , 1942; Stormy Weather , 1943; The Pirate, 1948; Bonjour Kathrin , 1956; The Liberation of L. B. Jones , 1970 (Fayard); Uptown Saturday Night , 1974 (Harold); Tap , 1989 (Harold).

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