Choreographer Alex Romero dead at 94

Sept. 18, 2007 at 9:52 PM

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Dancer and choreographer Alex Romero has died of natural causes at the Motion Picture and Television Fund home in Los Angeles at age 94.

Best-known for directing Elvis Presley's dancing in the 1957 movie "Jailhouse Rock," Romero also was a featured dancer in "On the Town," a 1949 classic starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, the Los Angeles Times said Tuesday.

The San Antonio native performed in the 1951 film "An American in Paris," also starring Kelly, and worked as an assistant choreographer before he was named staff choreographer for MGM in the late 1940s. He held that position for nearly 20 years.

"Alex was the last link to the Golden Age of movie musicals," said Larry Billman, author of "Film Choreographers and Dance Directors." "Fortunately, before Alex left, he moved movie choreography into the next generation."

Romero also worked on the movies "The Fastest Gun Alive," "Tom Thumb" and "Love at First Bite" and, for Presley, he choreographed "Double Trouble," "Clambake" and "Speedway."

Romero married Frances Driscoll in 1936. She died in 1997.

He is survived by his daughters Melinda Akard of Oviedo, Fla., and Judy George of Woodland Hills; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

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