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Monday 22 July 2019
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SIR EDWIN FLUFFER RECALLS CYD CHARISSE

SIR EDWIN FLUFFER RECALLS CYD CHARISSE

HOLLYWOOD- Sir Edwin Fluffer once again delves into his personal memoirs – soon to be published as ‘Not THAT Kind of Fluffer!!!’ – to recall Cyd Charisse.

It’s only now that all the major players in this sorry tale have passed on that I feel able to reveal one of Hollywood’s most closely guarded secrets. Cyd Charisse was in fact a woman.

 I was visiting Stanley Donen on the set of Singin’ In The Rain when I first saw her: that smile! Those legs! ‘Who’s she, Stan?’ I whispered, ‘she’s beautiful!’
‘Pardon?’ said Stan, whose hearing was not what it could be.
‘WHO’S SHE?’ I shouted, ‘SHE’S BEAUTIFUL!’ 
Everyone looked ‘round, so we ran off like a pair of naughty schoolboys and hid in Don O’Connor’s dressing room. How many pairs of tap shoes does one man need? I must’ve counted at least three!
‘Come on Stan,’ I said, ‘don’t play games, who is she?’
‘She?’ said Stan, ‘I think you mean he!’
You could’ve knocked me down with Van Johnson! ‘Some fella called Cyd,’ Stan explained, ‘Gene says he’s the best dancer he’s seen in years!’
I thought they were crazy! How could the studios sell a picture where the big finale musical number features two men dancing together?
‘Easy,’ said Stan, ‘we just won’t tell ‘em!’
And do you know what? They got away with it! For more than fifty years now audiences around the world have loved that picture and thrilled at the sight of Gene and Cyd moving across the floor like Romeo and Juliet. For whole generations of movie-goers that scene’s been more than a dance number; it’s been a prayer for tolerance. But like so many Hollywood dreams, the reality begged to differ.
Cyd was never a man, and as far as I know never wanted to be one. She made this quite clear when I followed her into the toilets and I’m afraid to say that quite an ugly scene followed. The police were called and I was lucky not to be charged. Nothing ventured nothing gained as Joseph Cotton used to say!
But that’s another story…
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