Carol Haney Edit Profile
Student dance in Cal.
She then shifted to primarily Broadway choreography, being nominated for three more Tonys for her work. Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, she began to dance at age five and opened a dancing school at age fifteen. In 1949, Haney was hired by Gene Kelly to be his assistant choreographer on several M-G-M musical films, and she aided Kelly in some of his best work, including On the Town (1949), Summer Stock (1950), An American in Paris (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952), as well as Kelly's dream project, Invitation to the Dance (1956).
Haney danced with Bob Fosse in the 1953 film version of Kiss Me, Kate, and when he landed his first Broadway choreographing assignment, The Pajama Game (1954), he recommended that Haney be cast in a small dancing part. She then impressed director George Abbott so much that Abbott combined her role with a larger part, resulting in the character of Gladys Hotchkiss. The role of Gladys was lucky for Haney's understudy, Shirley MacLaine.
A month into the run of The Pajama Game, Haney injured her leg, and MacLaine took over the role. She was spotted by Hollywood producer Hal Wallis, who had come to the show to see Haney, and MacLaine got a film contract that launched her career, while Haney never became a Hollywood star. After this, Haney appeared in a few shows, including the touring production Ziegfeld Follies of 1956, but developed paralyzing stage fright.
She was seen on television, and she recreated her performance as Gladys in the film version of The Pajama Game (1957). She focused her career on choreography for Broadway shows: Flower Drum Song (1958, directed by Gene Kelly), Bravo Giovanni (1962), She Loves Me (1963) and Funny Girl (1964). The American Dance Machine (1978) featured her choreography from television.
She was nominated for three more Tony Awards, for choreography, for Flower Drum Song, Bravo Giovanni and, posthumously, for Funny Girl. In May 1958, she and Dick Van Dyke appeared together as guest stars on Polly Bergen's NBC's short-lived variety show, The Polly Bergen Show. Haney was married to Eugene Dorian Johnson (1945–1953) and then Broadway actor and TV host Larry Blyden (1955–62), whom she choreographed in Flower Drum Song.
She and Blyden had two children, Joshua (1957–2000) and Ellen (b 1960). Haney died in Saddle River, New Jersey in 1964, at age 39, six weeks after the opening of Funny Girl, which she choreographed. The cause of death was pneumonia, complicated by diabetes and alcoholism.
Blyden and Haney resided in the historic Achenbach House in Saddle River, New Jersey, which they believed to be haunted by the spirit of its builder. The house was later sold to tour operator Mario Perillo and was destroyed by fire in 2004.
Member American Guild Variety Artists, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation Television and Radio Artists.
Married Larry Blyden, April.