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Danny Dare, 91; Blacklisted Choreographer, Dancer

November 30, 1996|EDWARD J. BOYER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Danny Dare, a dancer and blacklisted Hollywood choreographer who later turned friendly witness for the House Un-American Activities Committee, has died. He was 91.

Dare died Nov. 20 at the Tarzana Rehabilitation Center, where he was being treated for pneumonia, relatives said Friday.

He came to Hollywood to stage dances for "The Great Ziegfeld," released in 1936, and was best known for his work on 1940s Paramount musicals such as "Holiday Inn," starring Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby; "Up in Arms," Danny Kaye's first hit; "Star-Spangled Rhythm," and "The Road to Utopia."

He was blacklisted in 1953 for his participation in the 1939 stage production "Meet the People," which ran in Hollywood and New York.

The Hollywood production was a major break for performers such as Dorothy Dandridge and Jack Albertson, Dare told an interviewer last year.

Testifying before the Un-American Activities Committee in Los Angeles in 1953, Dare said he had done a "stupid thing" two years earlier when he denied having been a member of the Communist Party.

For three months in 1939, he belonged to the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League because he was incensed by Hitler's anti-Semitism, he testified.

He said that "Meet the People" supported the Communist Party line, and he gave the committee the names of several people who attended meetings associated with the production.

Dare's association with the Anti-Nazi League and another group "tainted" him, he said last year. The groups were named Communist fronts, he said, and he was blacklisted for five years.

In 1963, with fellow producer Sammy Lewis, Dare tried his hand at musical theater in the round. They built and operated Melodyland in Anaheim, Carousel in West Covina and the Circle Star in San Carlos in the Bay area.

Dare is survived by a son, John, of Palm Springs; two daughters, Wendy of Los Angeles and Penny Evans of Spokane, Wash., and four grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Eden Memorial Park in Mission Hills.

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