We didn’t include Charlotte Greenwood in our blog about Star Gestures or Shtick. But we could have.

Greenwood, however had quite a career in musicals and comedies and, although she often worked in her high stepping, it is not in all of her movies.

Born in Philadelphia in 1890, she worked vaudeville circuits before emerging in silent movies and then in mainstream Hollywood talkies such was 1955’s big screen version of the musical Oklahoma, where she played (honestly enough) a double-jointed vaudevillian (see below).

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Her kicks were truly astonishing. By one account her skills continued through middle age. She was capable of complete leg splits as well as the ability to kick higher than the top of her head, sideways.

She certainly was a long legged creature.  Some accounts put her height at a round six feet, others five-feet-eight-inches. In any case, we believe no one in show biz kicked quite as impressively than Greenwood, who died in 1978 at the age of 88 (probably kicking all the way).

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The fact that Greenwood was actually a fairly attractive woman by Hollywood standards, the image of a proper lady, led to various supporting parts. Who suspected that this relatively staid woman could kick so uproariously?

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