The Entertainment Magazine: Film
Actress Ann Miller–
a bitter, sweet life
The Life & Death of Actress Ann Miller
By Steve Starr
The Entertainment Magazine
This is true story of the tragic life and death of Lucille "Johnnie" Ann Collier– known as the famous actress Ann Miller. Ms. Collier was born on April 12, 1923 and died January 22, 2004.
Early photo of Lucille Ann Collier
under the stage name of Ann Miller.
The unknown little girl
This story starts
with the rich steel heir who threw his eight-month-pregnant wife, down
the stairs in their home, breaking her back and injuring her unborn
after, the effervescent dancing star, Ann Miller, gave birth in a steel
harness to her only child, Mary. The baby died within a few hours. Her
husband's influential family then zipped the girl's lifeless body away
to a hidden burial spot she was not to be found for another 55 years.
This tragic story remained buried along with her child for the rest of
Ann Miller's life.
Star "Ann Miller" is born as Johnnie
Ann Collier was born April 12, 1923 on her grandparents ranch in
Chireno, Texas. Expecting a boy, however, Mr. Collier named his daughter
was a well-known criminal lawyer who had defended famous gangsters
Bonnie and Clyde and Baby Face Nelson. Viscious Pretty Boy Floyd used
Crayolas to draw six-year-old Johnnie a picture of a peacock as she sat
on his lap in the state prison on a visit there with her dad.
enrolled her three-year-old little girl in dancing lessons to help
strengthen her legs, which had become weakened from a case of rickets.
At age seven the tot made her first public appearance as a dancing Pink
Rosebud in a Police and Fireman's Ball.
When Johnnie was ten
she met Bill "Bojangles" Robinson at a local theatre and he gave her a
quick tap-dancing lesson. She liked that style of dance very much, and
decided to concentrate on it with further lessons.
One night, after visiting her grandmother, Johnnie came home and found her daddy in bed with a strange woman.
hearing-impaired Clara arrived, Johnnie yelled loudly, "Mother, pack
your bags!" Johnnie’s parents divorced, and Clara Collier whisked
her daughter off to Hollywood, determined to get into show business.
There, the pair hocked everything they could, including the car, in
order to survive.
Johnnie enrolled in
Fanchon and Marco's dancing school. The five-foot-seven,
eleven-year-old brunette, pretending to be of legal age, was soon hired
to dance for $25 a week at the Sunset Club, a small lounge where
gambling went on upstairs.
Using the stage
name of Ann Miller, Lucille Ann Collier practiced her machine-gun
tapping for the thrilled patrons. She also danced at the seedy Black Cat
Club, where she scooped up the coins customers threw into her
skirt to help pay the bills.
Times were very
difficult for the duo. There was no alimony for Clara, and her handicap
kept her from working. One Christmas, a neighbor baked Clara and Ann a
chocolate cake, and it became their entire holiday dinner.
Read more about Ann Miller.
Books from Amazon.
Miller's High Life
by Ann Miller was released in 1972. It is her first autobiography, and
tells the story of her life, personal and professional up till then.
With many photographs, you can see and read much of the facts, and
philosophy that made up Ann Miller's life. Ann Miller fans will like it
Tapping into the Force
is the 1990 book by Ann Miller that updates her life story, and also
includes her psychic experiences. It really makes you think about what
she says. Keep an open mind and you can really enjoy this book by a
fantastic star! Many great photographs also are shown. This relates
Ann's tales about doing Sugar Babies with Mickey Rooney when she became
the most famous. Ann Miller fans will like this book about her life the