Last month we were discussing Gregory Peck and his western films. But reader Samuel Cochran wrote in about Peck’s film debut in Days Of Glory with Russian ballerina, Tamara Toumanova.
Taumanova is, in fact, one of Joe’s favorites. He admits she wasn’t much of an actress, but then she was good enough and, of course, she was alway portraying a ballerina.
After her debut in Days of Glory she was off the screen for nine years. Then in 1953 she portrayed Russian prima ballerina Anna Pavlova in Tonight We Sing, and in 1954 she played Gaby Deslys in the biographical musical Deep in My Heart.
Her best film is probably Gene Kelly’s Invitation to the Dance in 1956, where no acting was involved. Then she was off the screen again for 10 years before appearing as the ballerina in Alfred Hitchcock’s Torn Curtain.
Joe thinks it’s great that folks such as Samuel remember her. Samuel also turned us on to a fabulous documentary — Ballet Russe. It’s worth checking out.
In the documentary many dancers from the company — then in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s — were interviewed. Although Toumanova was gone by the time the documentary was done in 2005, the other baby ballerinas Samuel mentioned in his letter, Tatiana Riabouchinska, and Irina Baronova, were interviewed for the documentary. See it.