June 17, 2008 / 10:29 PM / 10 years ago

Actress, dancer Cyd Charisse dead at 86

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actress and dancer Cyd Charisse, who gained fame in the movies as a partner with Hollywood dance greats Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, has died of heart failure in Los Angeles at age 86.

Her spokesman Gene Schwam said Charisse died early on Tuesday morning. He called her “a loving and gracious woman throughout her life.”

Charisse broke into the movies in 1943 opposite Don Ameche in “Something to Shout About,” and went on to dance with Astaire in 1946’s “Ziegfeld Follies.” But her big break came in 1952, appearing opposite Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Editing by Steve Gorman and Philip Barbara

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