Ann Pennington

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b. 23 December 1893, Wilmington, Delaware, USA, d. 4 November 1971, New York City, New York, USA. Active on Broadway in the first quarter of the twentieth century, Pennington appeared in the Ziegfeld…
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Artist Biography by

b. 23 December 1893, Wilmington, Delaware, USA, d. 4 November 1971, New York City, New York, USA. Active on Broadway in the first quarter of the twentieth century, Pennington appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies, 1913-16, 1918 and 1924, and George White’s Scandals, 1919-21, 1926 and 1928. Cottoning onto one of the era’s dance crazes, Pennington became famous for her interpretation of the Black Bottom. She was even more famous as the owner of a pair of much photographed and publicized dimpled knees. She was also in Miss 1917 (1917), Jack And Jill (1923), The New Yorkers (1930) and Everybody’s Welcome (1931).

Among Pennington’s silent films were Susie Snowflake and The Rainbow Princess (both 1916), Sunshine Nan (1918), and The Mad Dancer (1925), in all of which she took the title role. In the latter she appeared as near naked as makes no matter, giving fuel to censors yet to come. Pennington continued to appear in films after talkies came and in Gold Diggers Of Broadway (1929) she, Winnie Lightner and Nancy Welford play the titular trio, whose lives between dances are dedicated to marrying for money. Thereafter, Pennington usually had small roles as in Tanned Legs and Happy Days (both 1929). In the last named she appeared as herself and was also filmed as herself for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) but her scenes were cut. Through the early 40s she appeared in the films Texas Terrors (1940), Unholy Partners (1941) and China Girl (1942), but always in bit parts. During this same decade her stage career similarly ran out of steam although she did appear on Broadway in a 1943 revival of The Student Prince.