Actress Vera-Ellen Westmeyer Rohe

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on December 16, 2007

Q My wife and I watch White Christmas nearly every year. Whatever happened to Vera-Ellen? Is she still with us?
—Vic Pelan, Lady Lake, Fla.

Born Vera-Ellen Westmeyer Rohe in Norwood, Ohio, the dancing prodigy became one of the youngest-ever Radio City Music Hall Rockettes while still a teenager. She was signed to a movie contract in her mid-20s and appeared in many productions in the "golden age" of movie musicals during the 1940s and '50s. Retiring in the late '50s, she died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 60. You may notice that, in many of her later roles, including White Christmas in 1954, she wore costumes that covered as much of her neck as possible; it was aged beyond her years due to the eating disorder only later known as anorexia.