Cole, Jack [John Ewing Richter]
- Claude Conyers
[John Ewing Richter]
(b New Brunswick, NJ, April 27, 1911; d Los Angeles, Feb 17, 1974). American dancer and choreographer. He left home as a teenager to pursue dance training at the Denishawn studio in New York City. Taking his stage name from his stepfather, he appeared with several modern dance troupes before forming an exhibition dance act and beginning a commercial career dancing in nightclubs. During the late 1930s he danced with a partner and sometimes a small group of backup dancers in supper clubs, hotel ballrooms, and music theaters around the country. His performances, noted for their dramatic flair, brought him profitable jobs on Broadway and eventually led him, in 1941, to Hollywood. There, as dance director at Columbia Pictures, he created memorable ensemble numbers showcasing the talents of such stars as Mitzi Gaynor, Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Ann Miller, and Marilyn Monroe. His highly individual dance style emphasized the sensuality of his stars and usually caused trouble with the film censors. More than one of his dance numbers ended up on the cutting-room floor. He created dances for more than thirty films as well as numerous hit shows on Broadway, including ...