Movie legend Ann Miller has lost her battle with lung cancer at the age of 81.

The actress and dancer died at CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER in Los Angeles on Thursday (22JAN04).

Miller will be best remembered for her tap-dancing routines in classic musicals ON THE TOWN, Kiss Me Kate and EASTER PARADE.

She also once nailed a dance record of 500 taps a minute.

Born JOHNNIE (corr) LUCILLE COLLIER in Texas, she got the acting bug after playing a chorus girl in 1936 musical THE DEVIL ON HORSEBACK and went on to star alongside the 1930s big screen sirens Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers and LUCILLE BALL.

But her big break came as the result of a big break - when Cyd Charisse broke a leg before starting EASTER PARADE with Fred Astaire, Miller replaced her.

She stopped dancing later in her career but continued to make movies - her last big screen role came in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive in 2001, playing COCO.

23/01/2004 09:26