DISCLAIMER: The "Oklahoma!" images embedded within this website are copyrighted by
the FOX network and are displayed solely for evaluation and entertainment purposes. I do
not claim rights to any of this material, nor do I receive any compensation for maintaining
this site other than that of venting my spleen over the lack of recognition of this very lovely
and exceptionally talented dancer/actress by those who review the movie "Oklahoma!".
|Sad to report that Liz lost her battle with cancer and left us on
December 27, 2013
Heaven is the better for it.
|Liz tries to redo her hair while Jane says "Nope"
in a vignette from the scene "Many A New Day"
If you don't lose your heart here, you are beyond salvation.
|(Index to scenes at bottom of page.)
Then again, there is a glimmer of hope. From another part of the world, and on a
different board, a Canadian lady (may she live long and prosper) who viewed the movie
as a child, wrote . . . All my life since then, I have wondered about that little blonde
dancer - she was so lively and so cute . . . I have never seen that little girl before or since,
but I always enjoy her so and would love to know what became of her." So, not only is
Liz's charm and talent timeless, it is international.
UPDATE 02-02-07: The kudos continue to come in, some by the Guest Book and others
See what I mean? These talented people ripped up the boards with their dancing,
immeasureably adding to the movie's entertainment value, yet this is the best the studio
can do. Who played what part, however minor? Over the years I saw reruns either in
theaters or on TV and the same question always cropped up - just WHO were these
girls? By that time I was a little smarter and read the credits, but got nowhere as they
were just names lumped under a catch-all credit of "The Dancers". Fifty years later, I
got the impression that Hollywood credited their dancers in the order of their presence in
the movie and incorrectly deduced that these two charmers were Jenny Workman and
Virginia Bosler. It wasn't until June of 2006 that some diligent people on the IMDb
message boards discovered the truth. My thanks to IMDB posters ruby-red22 and
justoldbill for their watershed discoveries. Further aggravating the situation, our girls
are mentioned near the last, after other dancers who had nowhere near the exposure they
did. So much for the "order of appearance" theory.
|OTHER APPEARANCES, Stage and Movies
| A QUICK NOTE OF THANKS . . .
. . . to all those who have contributed to this site these past years, whether in signing the
Guest Book or offering anecdotes. Never has the power of the Internet been so proved,
for without it many of us would still be wondering "Just who IS that little blonde pixie?"
The greatest impact is that because of this exposure, Larry Billman, author of many
books on dancing, discovered her identity and location. The extra bonus comes in that
I am in mail and phone contact with Lizanne, who is as charming and gracious at age 77
as she was talented and vivacious in her younger days. How many fans can get this
lucky? I am truly blessed and thankful. October 5, 2008.
The two-DVD 50th Anniversary release of this movie generated a "Who are the 2
dancers?" discussion as well as a few comments. I'm sure the same question will be asked
again and again as this set is more widely viewed, and more people discover, and wonder,
"who is that cute little blonde?". So, this website is a small attempt to grant these two
talents, especially Liz, a modicum of recognition and to also explain why I think she is so
special. Part of that Quixotic Quest is trying to get the webmasters at IMDb to upgrade
their screen credits from a generic "Dancer" (thanks for nothing) to something more
descriptive. UPDATE 02-07-07: Alas, IMDb replied that they go strictly by the screen
Check out the following pics and see if you agree. I apologize for the fuzziness of most of
them and am trying to get a better enhancement of the enlargements. Part of the
problem is the soft focus in many scenes on the DVD, even the clearer CinemaScope
version. I am also in the process of getting promotional stills that were released and will
add them to the Original Promotional Stills page as they come in. Your comments in my
Guest Book are appreciated and accepted in the spirit given. Any info, rumor or
supposition can be emailed to me at email@example.com and I will reply.
According to the IMDb review of "Oklahoma!", Lizanne never appeared in any other
movie, mores the pity, and IMHO, a loss to the trade. (UPDATE 02-06-07: Some
hawk-eyed viewer spotted her in the 1959 film "The Five Pennies", which prompts me to
review all films from that era that had any dancing in it at all. UPDATE 04-07-07:
Thanks to a lead from Larry Billman, she had an uncredited part in the 1961 movie
"Twist Around The Clock" (The little mutt has now blossomed into one classy lady.)
She did appear in Monte Proser's Tropicana Review (Las Vegas 1957, 58).
Being an uncoordinated klutz and having a lousy short-term memory, Mother Nature
compensated for those flaws by giving me a great respect and admiration for anyone who
chooses to be a professional dancer since those attributes are a prerequisite.
Back in the '80s I was fortunate to be able to attend the weekly tapings of the Solid Gold
show. I was always amazed at how these dancers would immediately pick up complicated
choreography, rehearse it time and time again until the director was satisfied, and then
show first-take enthusiasm when doing the final number. A very grueling process, which
means you have to really love dancing to stay the course. This is SO apparent with
Lizanne, most notably in the "Kansas City" routine when she dances "Ragtime" with
Gene Nelson and Jane Fischer. The pleasure she radiates is almost physical. In her letter
to me she wrote that her career was such a joy to her. When you watch this number, you
can tell she is doing more than giving lip service to a profession that was blessed with her
Over a period of time, I got to talk with a couple of the Solid Gold dancers, who spoke
of sheer exhaustion and of swollen or bloody feet after these sessions. The upside was
that at least they were given ample recognition as the credits rolled at the end of the
show. Unfortunately, Hollywood and the stage treat these talented people, in most cases,
as a throwaway commodity when it comes to crediting them. At best they get some
generic title that doesn't recognize their talents.
Never was this more apparent than in the 1955 movie "Oklahoma!" Besides the
who-takes Laurey-to-the-dance and who-gets-Ado-Annie plots, there is a third one that is
never mentioned in any reviews that I have read. It concerns two young girls who have a
crush on Will (Gene Nelson), appear in every dance routine and are subtly emphasized in
other scenes to the point that they approach co-star status. This lack of recognition
reminds me of the unnoticed "elephant in the living room" analogy. This website is my
humble attempt to right this oversight.
I first saw "Oklahoma!" in 1956 and even in my callow youth days noticed the prominent
part these dancers had and wondered who that little blonde was (who read the credits
back in those days, or for that matter, even for most people today?). I immediately fell
in love with that little pixie, who is cute to the point of being a confection -- and, more
importantly, is one Helluva talent. She out-kicked and IMHO outdanced all the others -
a standout talent in a group of talented people. Apparently I'm not alone as an Aussie
commenting on the picture at the Amazon website allowed that he also had a crush with
her, but mis-identified her as Virginia Bosler, thanks no doubt to the crappy credits. A
hearty "Goodonya!" to our friend from Down Under.
Jane appeared in the 1948 stage version of "Oklahoma!", a segment of TV's "The
Millionaire", the 1954 movie "Athena", and two Broadway plays, "Happy Hunting"
(1956) and "Flahooley"(1951) and then also went off the radar. In any event, I'd like to
think some lucky guys married those two and that they now have a gazillion grandkids.
The lack of biographical data and pictures on Liz is frustrating and is another reason I
set this site up - hopefully someone will come forward with something that will be
acceptable to the IMDb folks. My fantasy scenario is that some kids come running into
the room shouting "Hey Gramma, some guy has your pictures on the Internet!"
Tripping the Light Fantastic, I further fantasize that Lizanne drops me a line and brings
things up to date. (Hell, in for a penny, in for a pound in the fantasy department.)
UPDATE 06-09-07: See Reminisces, Lizanne's Mini-Biography and My Cup Runneth