Born Elizabeth Ann Williams on March 21, 1931 at the Wesley Hospital in Kansas City,
Missouri, this 5'2" blonde dancing actress would gain immortality and generations of fans
because of her appearance as one of the "Goon Girls" in the 1955 film version of

Quickly recognizing her daughter's innate dance ability, at the age of 3 1/2, Elizabeth Ann's
(called "Lizzie" by most everyone) mother enrolled her in the Kelly-Mack Dance Studio in
Kansas City, studying a variety of basic dance forms with teacher William Mack.
Immediately, the petite, white-blond-haired girl was chosen to appear in the annual
Christmas Show at the Tower Theater in Kansas City in 1934 and her performing career

She soon began studying more advanced ballet techniques with Mildred Lyons, an
excellent teacher who took Lizzie "under her wing."  Recognizing the young girl's natural
talents and knowing that paying the tuition was difficult for the family, Lyons allowed her
to continue classes without charge ("Don't say anything to your mother. I have 'fixed' the
books, I will always back you up," Lyons told her.) Lizzie was soon asked to teach classes

As a highly skilled teenaged dancer, she spent two summer seasons (1947-48) as "Prima
Ballerina" with the Denver Post Opera - billed as "Elizabeth Williams."  Upon graduation
from high school, she enrolled at St. Mary's in Xavier, Kansas, as an "Art" major.  While
attending St. Mary's, she drove 45 miles back to Kansas City every weekend to teach
classes at Mildred's dance studio.       

Encouraged by Mildred to go to New York for more advanced ballet training, and with the
help of one of the nuns at St. Mary's, Sister Mary Francis ("Who knew people everywhere
and got me a job at the East River Savings Bank in Rockefeller Plaza") Lizzie was
financially able to move to New York. There, she soon met and married Barry Truex, one
of the sons of the successful actor, Ernest Truex.  In Manhattan, she studied ballet with
Orest Sergievsky, a Russian who had danced with the original Ballet Russe, Michel Fokine,
Ballet Theater and the Metropolitan Opera. The Kiev-born classical ballet master began
strengthening and refining the young dancer's classic technique.  Lizanne recalled that his
studios were a hub of excitement and stimulation as Sergievsky attracted the leading
dancers of the period for classes and rehearsal space, including Renee "Zizi" Jeanmaire,
the female star of Roland Petit's Ballet des Paris that had just arrived to the United States.
"Zizi" Jeanmaire's short "Pixie" haircut intrigued Elizabeth so much that she trimmed her
long hair in a similar style.        

Because of his faith in her dance talents, great potential and stage presence, Sergievsky
placed her in a dance "Showcase," where Agnes deMille saw her and invited her to join the
newly created Agnes deMille Dance Theatre. This historic dance company was composed of
some of deMille's most famous dancers (Gemze de Lappe, James Mitchell, Virginia Bosler,
Danny Daniels, Loren Hightower, Lydia Franklin, James Jamieson and Casimir Kokich)
and the repertoire included "Suites" based on deMille's dances from the Broadway shows
Brigadoon and Paint Your Wagon.  Agnes immediately saw the comic spark in Lizzie's
eyes and cast her in several comedic roles in the program.  "[de Mille] intended to "go over
the old tracks in good style" with a company of nineteen dancers, some of whom sang, and
an orchestra of thirteen musicians, augmented with pickup string players in the big cities.  
In four months they would cover 36,000 miles, playing mostly one-nights-coast-to-coast,
south to Texas and north to Vancouver, traveling by bus to 126 cities." (
Carol Easton, No
Intermissions, 1996
).   The company rehearsed for a month in Martha Graham's studio and
before she left for the grueling tour, she and Barry discussed her need for a stage name and
came up with "Lizanne" (combining her nickname "Lizzie" with her middle name "Ann")
and adding her married name.   "Lizanne Truex" was born!       

Wanting to appear more "theatrical" among this cast of Broadway stars, Lizanne dyed her
naturally blond hair a dark brunette.  Realizing that the "exotic" brunette look was not a
good one for her tiny, delicate face, she eventually took her hair back to it's natural
blonde, but kept the 'Pixie" cut.   The Dance Theatre group opened on October 12, 1953 in
Baltimore and gave its final performance in June 1954.  When the tour ended, Lizanne
traveled to Chicago to meet Barry who was doing a play there and soon received a
telegram from Agnes deMille herself, asking Lizanne to come to Arizona to appear in the
"Kansas City" number with Gene Nelson for the film version of Oklahoma!  At first
thinking that was all she would be involved in, director Fred Zinneman and choreographer
deMille liked LizanneÂ’s and Jane Fischer's work so much that they decided to add them -
and their characters "The Goon Girls"- to the entire film.  DeMille contacted Lizanne and
she was soon on her way to Hollywood for nearly
6-months of filming.       

When asked about her distinctive haircut in the film, Lizanne said that because of the
innocent tomboyish behavior of her character, the studio hair stylist changed her "Pixie
Cut" to a "Bowl Cut" - "Like the little kids of the period were given."       

While waiting for the film to be released, Lizanne joined the European tour of the stage
version of Oklahoma! which starred Shirley Jones and her then-husband, Jack Cassidy.  In
this tour, Lizanne played the role of "The Girl Who Falls Down," performed in the film by
Virginia Bosler.       

Returning to the West Coast, she was cast in a small dramatic role on TV's "Crossroads"
and auditioned for a stage production of Can Can at the Civic Playhouse in West Los
Angeles, which was to open Christmas night, 1956.  At first advertised to be directed by
famed movie dance director Busby Berkeley, when I asked her if Berkeley did direct it, she
laughed and responded, "No. Rouben Mamoulian, who also did not do much directing
either, then replaced him. Instead, he just sat around and told wonderful stories about his
stage and film projects."  The show, starring French film star Denise Darcel, somehow
opened.  When the production team realized that the budding starlet Kipp Hamilton (who
had been hired for her "Marquee Value") was cast in the lead dancer role of "Claudine" -
but could not dance - the producer and choreographer, Earl Barton, gave clumsy starlet
Kipp her "walking papers," took Lizanne out of the dance ensemble and put her into the

When the show ended in Los Angeles, the production was sold to the Hacienda Hotel in
Las Vegas, where it opened on April 11, 1957.  Lizanne received glowing reviews of her
dancing, acting and singing talents including the April 20, 1957 edition of Fabulous Las
Vegas which raved: "Lizanne Truex sparkles as 'Claudine,' the flirtatious dancer.  Her
performance is stellar throughout the entire show as she sings and dances her way right
into your heart."  During the run of Can Can, Lizanne flew in and out of Los Angeles to
assist Barton for appearances by "The Earl Barton Dancers" on "The Frances Langford
Show," a local Los Angeles TV series.       

When Can Can closed on June 6, 1957, Barton was hired to choreograph Monte Proser's
Tropicana Revue at the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas and added Lizanne to the multi-
talented cast, which, during its one-year run, would include George Chakiris, Elaine Dunn,
Dante Di Paolo and Neile Adams. During this time, Lizanne and Earl were married and
when the Tropicana revue ended, both returned to Hollywood, as Barton had film
choreographic assignments.       

Lizanne danced on several installments of "Polka Parade," a local Los Angeles weekly TV
series that gave employment to dozens of out-of-work Hollywood dancers of the time.  She
continued to assist Earl and even danced a wild Charleston with Danny Kaye in the film
The Five Pennies (1959).  She recalled the working relationship she had with comedian
Kaye: "He liked to pick me up, carry me across the room and put me in his lap to tell me
stories about his career."  She later had an acting role in Kaye's The Man From the Diner's
Club ('63).  Although she said "The movie ran about four hours long, so my part was cut
out and dropped on the cutting room floor. But, every year, I get my only residual check
for that film. Bless Danny Kaye!"       

In 1960, she was chosen to be one of the prestigious "Hermes Pan Dancers" in Johnny
Mathis' first international tour.  The tour began in Asia and then played in Canada
(Toronto) and multiple U.S. cities, ending at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas in January
1961.  Returning to Los Angeles, she also had an acting role in another of Barton's films,
Twist Around the Clock ('61).  The marriage to Barton, however, was coming to an
In 1962 she married Robert "Bob" xxx, the man who would still be her life partner some
45 years later.  At the time, Bob was doing the Interior Design for model homes for the
Tony Pereira Design Firm.  She had known Bob for some time, often water skiing with him
and enjoying his sense of humor.  That same year, she appeared as "Anybodys" in a San
Diego production of West Side Story which starred the original Broadway leading man,
Larry Kert and Carla Alberghett, sister of Anna Maria Alberghetti.  Although the
production was slated to go on an extended tour, the show - and Lizanne's show business
career - came to an end.       

On May 26, 1964, she gave birth to a son, David, and unsatisfied with the rejection and
uncertainty of show business, she completely gave it up for a more fulfilling life as wife and
mother.  Bob began his own business and the family moved to California.  When asked
who her inspirations were, she quickly cited her brother who is a Jesuit Priest and her early
dance teacher, Mildred Lyons.  She recalled that Mildred was the person in her life who
gave Lizanne her focus and determination, at one time saying to her: "Do you want to
dance or go to the School Prom?"  Looking at her career, her dance did take her to
multiple Proms all over the world and into the hearts of those who saw - and will continue
to see her.

UPDATE 11-28-08:  Liz said that she left the business not because of the uncertainty but
because her son was born prematurely, and nearly didn't make it at that.  She decided to
devote ll her time to him from that point on.  That and complications due to his early birth
kept her from re-entering the profession.
LIZANNE TRUEX  A mini-biography
by Larry Billman
(From a telephone intervew with Lizanne, May, 2007)