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
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
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
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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