(aka Miriam Franklin, later Miriam Nelson-Meyers)
Miriam began dance studies in her native Chicago, and when her family moved to New York, she studied tap with Ernest Carlos (Gonzales) at the age of 14. While still just a youngster, she performed at the famous "Billy Rose's Casa Manana" before hitting the boards of Broadway and performing in plays by Kaufman & Hart, Buddy Ebson, Phil Silvers, Jerome Kern, Eve Arden, Vincente Minnelli, Jack Haley, Danny Kaye, Nanette Fabray, Vivian Vance, Ethyl Merman, Betty Hutton and her good friend and fellow frequent chorus girls June Allyson and Vera Ellen.
After her marriage to fellow hoofer and former skater Gene Nelson, the couple made the move to Hollywood and found themselves with contracts at the studios. Miriam found herself getting a contract at Paramount, during a chance lunch in the commissary!
After a promising start as a Broadway/ Hollywood - Dancer / Singer, Miriam decided to devote her creative energies to directing and choreography. She first choreographed a successful string of films for Warner Brothers, Columbia and Paramount Studios - then expanded her activities to directing and choreographing for television, special theatrical events and nigh club acts.
For Television, Miriam's staged and choreographed Judy Garland's first TV special, The Red Skeleton Show, The Colgate Comedy Hour, Opening Day At Disneyland, The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote, Designing Women, and two Academy Award telecasts...to name a few.
Night club artists Carol Channing, Ann Miller, Barbara Eden, Howard Keel, Steve and Edie, Donald O'Connor, Jane Russell, Gordon and Sheila MacRae, and the world famous Playmates - all had staging and choreography created by Miriam Nelson.
Some film titles choreographed you may recognize: Breakfast At Tiffany's, The Jolson Story, Picnic, and The Apartment.
Miriam has also conceived and staged shows for Radio City Music Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, arena shows for Jim Henson, two Superbowl half-time shows, the opening of the New Madison Square Garden with Bob Hope and the very first Disney On Parade.
In 1953, Miriam became one of the founding members of the non-profit organization SHARE. Composed of women who are passionately dedicated and committed to raising funds for developmentally disabled, abused and neglected children, as well as medical research for all forms of developmental disabilities. To this day, SHARE continuously strives to "SHARE happily and reap endlessly!" (For more information on SHARE, visit www.share4children.org
Today, Miriam is still active in the dance world, juggling the roles of choreographer, tap instructor, lecturer, director and producer - as well as mother, grandmother and great-grandmother - and now author. For the stories behind the gigs mentioned above - and those we didn't have room to mention...check out Miriam's new book, "My Life Dancing With The Stars" at .
For a full list of Miriam's accomplishments, click here.