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Virginia Dale; Astaire Partner in 'Holiday Inn'

October 21, 1994

Virginia Dale, probably best remembered as Fred Astaire's dancing partner in the classic Hollywood musical "Holiday Inn," has died of the complications of emphysema.

She was 77 and died Oct. 3 in Burbank.

Born Virginia Paxton, the actress and dancer was discovered while performing as one of the dancing Paxton Sisters on the New York stage by Darryl F. Zanuck.

Zanuck signed her to a 20th Century Fox contract and she began making films in 1938. She moved to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and appeared in a small role in "Idiot's Delight" (1939) starring Clark Gable.

She also was seen in "Start Cheering," "Buck Benny Rides Again," "Kiss the Boys Goodbye" and "All Women Have Secrets."

But her role opposite Astaire and Bing Crosby, the two entertainers who performed at the nightclub-hotel "Holiday Inn" (1942), proved her most prominent movie part.

She also worked in television in the 1950s on such series as "Playhouse 90," "Mystery Theater," "Wyatt Earp" and others.

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