Sergava, Katharine (1910–2005)

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Sergava, Katharine (1910–2005)

Russian ballet dancer and musical performer. Name variations: also seen as Katherine or Kathryn Sergava; Katya Sergeiva. Born July 30, 1910, in Tiflis (now Tblisi), Georgia; died Nov 26, 2005, in New York, NY; studied drama and ballet in Paris and London.

Began career in London theater and in such films as Bedside (1934), Cock of the Air (1934), and Eighteen Minutes (1935); moved to US where she danced with Mordkin Ballet (1938–39), Ballet Theater (1940–41) and Original Ballet Russe (1941); achieved acclaim as the "dream" Laurey in Agnes de Mille's long balletic fantasy sequence in Oklahoma (1943), a role she reportedly danced over 1,000 times; also danced in Jerome Robbins' Look Ma, I'm Dancing (1948); joined Actor's Studio and appeared in straight plays, including Misalliance (1953) and The Typewriter (1955); was falsely reported as having died in Palm Springs (CA), Dec 4, 2003, by the London Telegraph and New York Times, when in actuality she'd been living in Manhattan, hospitalized that November, and placed in a nursing home.

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