Sunday, October 9, 2011

Grace McDonald - Survivor

Grace McDonald

  • Born in Boston or New York (depending on the source) June 15, 1918
  • Born Grace McDonell
  • Began straining in ballet and voice at age 8
  • At age 11, she became ill and lost much use of her legs.  She was in bed an entire year, but began training again only to suffer a relapse after 1 month.  She spent another year in bed without the use of her legs.  Her brother, Ray, would practice his tap and ballet by her sickbed which encouraged Grace to use her toes and muscles in bed to her brother's steps.  Gradually she was able to dance again and never looked back [Source: New Physical Culture, November 1944]
  • Made her debut in vaudeville at age 14
  • Reached Broadway as a team with her brother Ray as a star dance in "Babes in Arms"
  • Signed with Universal in 1940 and made many B pictures, many vehicles for the Andrews sisters.
  • Retired from films in 1945 to become a mother.  She had 3 children with her marine husband, Ralph Green and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Passed away from double pneumonia on October 30, 1999 in Scottsdale, Arizona

Check out Grace dancing at 2:20

Check out her brother Ray dancing with then wife Peggy Ryan

1 comment:

CARRIE said...

What an amazing story. Very inspiring how much one can overcome with determination.


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