HomeVideoGood News 1947 Pass That Peace Pipe Joan McCracken Ray McDonald

Good News 1947 Pass That Peace Pipe Joan McCracken Ray McDonald

Hello Everyone, Have a beautiful weekend.

Miss. McCracken is not a familiar name that comes up as a dancer in this modern era. Her ability to dance, sing and act gave her the opportunities for various roles from Ballet, Broadway/Theater to Hollywood. Miss. McCracken had engaging presence when she was on stage, including an exceptional talent for incorporating comedy and dance with perfect timing.

Sadly her career was cut short due to health issues (Type I diabetes). She kept her health issues private as she did not want it impacting on her great desire to dance and act. She struggled with health issues throughout her life and career which ultimately took a toll on her and sadly at the age of 43 she suffered a heart attack and passed away on November 1st 1961.

Joan McCracken and Ray McDonald in Good News, 1947 performing in “Pass That Peace Pipe.”

Choreographer: Robert Alton

What did you think about Joan McCracken’s highly energized performance?

Miss. McCracken studied dance under Catherine Littlefield, eventually moving from Philadelphia, PA, to New York City, to study dance under George Balanchine in the first year that the School of American Ballet opened in 1934.

In 1935 Miss. McCracken returned to Philadelphia to perform with Littlefield Ballet (now known as the Philadelphia Ballet) as a Principal Soloist. In 1937 she went on tour throughout Europe with American Ballet Company. In 1940 she danced with Radio City Music Hall’s ballet company. Miss. McCracken has also danced at Massachusetts Jacob’s Pillow (1941). She also went on to join in the same year, Eugene Loring’s ballet company, Dance Players, performing alongside Michael Kidd.

She has danced for many of the great choreographers – George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille and Eugene Loring. As an Actress she has worked alongside Lee Strasberg and George Abbott. Miss. McCracken was one of the original members of the Actors Studio.

Miss. McCracken has nine Broadway credits, such as, Oklahoma! 1943 – Bloomer Girl 1944 – Dance Me a Song 1951 (met her future husband Bob Fosse) – Angel in the Pawnshop 1951. Miss. McCracken 12 credits for Movie, TV and Documentaries.

One of Miss. McCracken’s standout roles and performances that opened many doors during her brief career can be attributed to her start in the Broadway production, Oklahoma! 1943.

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