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June Knight

Margaret Valliquiello
Marie Valli

Singer, Dancer, Actress

(1913 - 1987)

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Biographies:

 
AllMusic.com
nytimes.com
 

Other:

 
Films at imdb.com
Additional links at answers.com
Photo at britishpictures.com
On Broadway at ibdb.com
 
June Knight began dancing as a child to overcome tuberculosis and polio. Using the stage name Marie Valli, she began her professional career with some minor film roles, including Madam Satan (1930), and as a stand-in dancer for Loretta Young and Greta Garbo in the films On With the Show (1929) and Mata Hari (1932). As June Knight she appeared in Ladies Must Love (1933), Take a Chance (1933), Cross Country Cruise (1934), Gift of Gab (1934), and Wake Up and Dream (1934). Broadway Melody of 1936, released in 1935 and nominated for Best Picture Oscar, featured her singing and dancing to “I Got a Feelin’ You’re Foolin’” which won the Oscar for best dance direction. Knight went on to appear in Vacation From Love (1938), Break the News (1938), The House Across the Bay (1940), and The Lilac Domino (1940).

On Broadway she introduced “Just One of Those Things” in the Cole Porter musical, Jubilee (1935). She also introduced “A Picture of Me Without You,” a song that did not gain popularity but which illustrates Cole’s ability to insert homosexual references into a song which would go over the heads of straight audiences but had double meaning for the “in” group. In the same show, Knight sang “Begin the Beguine” which would not catch on until Artie Shaw recorded it in 1938.

- Sandra Burlingame

Reading and Viewing

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Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire

That's Entertainment 2 (1976)

DVD - (Includes footage of June Knight)


Kay Johnson, Reginald Denny, June Knight

Madam Satan (1930)

VHS


Robert Taylor, Eleanor Powell, Jack Benny, Una Merkel, Buddy Ebsen, June Knight

Broadway Melody of 1936 (1935)

VHS

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