Marge Champion, Golden Age TV dancer and 'Snow White' model, dies at 101


Marge Champion, a legendary actress, dancer, and Broadway stage performer, has passed away.

She was 101.

Her son, film and TV director, Gregg Champion, confirmed her death to Fox News. A cause was not specified.

“My Mother, Marge Champion passed away peacefully on Wednesday afternoon at our home in Los Angeles where she had been living with us for the last 6 months," he said in a statement.

“At 101, she was an inspiration to us all as she had persevered through several career incarnations, as a young ballet and ballroom dancer,” Champion added.

Living through Hollywood’s Golden Age, Champion’s father, Ernest Belcher, was a dance teacher who taught well-known celebrities such as Fred Astaire and Shirley Temple.

Belcher was friends with Walt Disney, and Champion became the real-life inspiration for Disney’s Snow White.

She also worked as Disney’s model for Blue Fairy in 1940’s “Pinocchio,” Hyacinth Hippo in 1940’s “Fantasia” and Mr. Stock in 1941’s “Dumbo.”

Champion was a dancer who achieved nationwide television fame in the 1950s with her husband and dance partner Gower Champion. They transitioned to film a year later.

Gregg said his mother loved her craft and even performed for six months in a Broadway revival of Steven Sondheim’s “Follies” doing 8 performances a week with dance partner Donald Saddler at the age of 82.

“She continued dancing as she aged into her 100th year and always had a positive outlook often stating that ‘one should celebrate every decade for what it gives you and not for what it takes away,’” Gregg wrote of his mother.

Her motto was to always “keep dancing.”

Champion, who lived in New York and Stockbridge, Mass., is survived by her son, her daughter-in-law Christine Champion, and three grandchildren.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram