- Berkeley, Busby
- (1895-1976)Born Busby Berkeley William Enos in Los Angles, California, the film choreographer and director attended military school and was first employed in entertainment by the army in France during World War I. After the war, he worked as an actor and stage manager. Berkeley’s first dance directing was in the musical A Connecticut Yankee (1927). After a series of successful Broadway musicals including Street Singer (1929), Berkeley went to Hollywood and staged the dances in Whoopee starring Eddie Cantor in 1930. In 1933, he had three big hits with Warner Brothers’ film musicals, 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, and Footlight Parade, that established his trademark style of lavish singing and dancing routines with large numbers of chorus girls performing eye-catching routines in geometric formations often shot to appear in kaleidoscopic images. After leaving Warner Brothers for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Berkeley provided choreography and direction for a number of movies starring Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, including Babes in Arms (1939), Strike Up the Band (1940), Babes on Broadway (1941), and Girl Crazy (1943). He also worked on The Gang’s All Here (1943), memorable for even more elaborate sets and costumes. After the war, Berkeley directed Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) and choreographed Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) and Easy to Love (1953). His last film was Jumbo in 1962.See also Cinema; Literature and theater.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.