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April 4, 2021

Beautiful Photos of American Actress Claire Luce in the 1920s and ’30s

Born 1903 in Syracuse, New York, American actress, dancer and singer Claire Luce starred in many Broadway plays from 1923 until 1952, including costarring with Fred Astaire in the original musical Gay Divorce (1932).

In his autobiography, Astaire credits Luce as the inspiration for his revolutionary ‘Night and Day’ dance routine: “Claire was a beautiful dancer and it was her style that suggested to me the whole pattern of the ‘Night and Day’ dance. This was something entirely different from anything Adele and I had done together. That was what I wanted, an entirely new dancing approach.”

Luce also starred in the Broadway version of Of Mice and Men (1937), written by John Steinbeck and directed by George S. Kaufman. She often appeared on the English stage, played a number of Shakespearean roles during that time and in 1945 scored a big success leading the company at the annual Stratford-on-Avon Memorial Theatre’s summer Shakespeare Festival, particularly as Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra.

Her last appearance in London at that time was as Becky Sharp in an adaptation of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair at the Comedy Theatre in 1946. She died in 1989 at the age of 85.

Take a look at these vintage photos to see the beauty of a young Claire Luce in the 1920s and 1930s.


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