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Dancers

June TaylorJune Taylor Dancers, The - Lovely bunch of 16 female dancers choreographed by June Taylor on the comedy variety program THE JACKIE GLEASON SHOW/CBS/1952-1970.

The June Taylor Dancers performed high-stepping chorus-line routines reminiscent of the Busby Berkeley film spectaculars of the 1930s and 1940s.

To enable the cameras to see all sixteen dancers on a small TV screen, Jackie Gleason developed the idea of overhead shots for the June Taylor Dancers whose wonderful kaleidoscopic arm and leg movements became their trademark.

As one source put it, "Lying on the floor in a circle, shoulder to shoulder, they would make kaleidoscopic patterns by moving their hand-held fans, lamé-covered arms, and sequined legs."

A few year earlier, the June Taylor Dancers (six of them) performed on the original CBS program THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW called THE TOAST OF THE TOWN. At the time, they were billed as "The Toastettes." In 1954, June Taylor received an Emmy Award for television excellence.

On episode No. 330 of the game show WHAT'S MY LINE (9/23/1956) June and some twenty of her her dancers made a guest appearance as a Mystery Guest Group. In 1959, The June Taylor Dancers made appearances at General Motors "Motorama" auto show in New York and Boston.

Before retiring, June Taylor became the choreographer for the Miami Dolphin cheerleaders (Starbrites) from 1978-1990. The Starbrites wore one-piece bathing suits and go-go boot. Under Taylor's guidance, they performed spectacular Broadway-style half-time shows.

As of 2001, June Taylor was featured in segments of the television biography series TVOGRAPHY on the A&E network that told stories of America's favorite TV shows.

Born in Chicago, choreographer June Taylor who lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, died of natural causes in a Miami hospital on Monday May 17, 2004. She was 86. Her husband of 42 years, prominent theatrical attorney Sol Lerner, died in 1986.

TRIVIA NOTE: June Taylor's sister, Marilyn Taylor married comedian Jackie Gleason in 1975. She was a dancer in her sister's group. On May 9, 2000, June Taylor was interviewed by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation’s Archive of American Television Her interview can be viewed at the Archive’s offices in North Hollywood.


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