Nita Bieber | Promote Your Page Too

 

Nita was recently written up in her local paper "The Catalina Islander", 11/16/2007 issue and also made the cover

Nita on the cover of the Catalina Islander

Here is the text of the article:

 

Kathy August

Catalina Islander Newspaper

November 16, 2007 Volume 95 No 46 

 

     Nita Wall strikes a diminutive, elegant figure as she makes her way around Avalon. She is a lovely woman, proudly in her 80’s, whose appearance is impeccable, her movements graceful – as a former dancer should be.

     To movie buffs, she is Nita Bieber, the beautiful dancer whose credits include

The Al Jolson Story; Nancy Goes to Rio, the Three Stooges movie Rhythm and Weep and numerous MGM musicals such as Summer Stock with Judy Garland and Kismet with Howard Keel.

     “I still get fan mail,” Nita says, “And I get the most from Three Stooges fans. Of all the things I want to be remembered for,” she laughs, “It wouldn’t be The Three Stooges!”

     One of five children, Nita was born in Los Angeles in 1926, to a family of performers. Her father was a pianist and opera singer, her mother a dancer. Nita began dancing at age five. After graduating high school, she toured with the USO during WWII, performing in the wounded wards and hospital theaters

     Her movie career began in the 1940’s, first with Columbia Pictures, then Monogram Pictures and eventually, MGM and Universal. In 1949, at age 23, Nita was featured on the cover of Life magazine. The story inside covered her performance in Nancy Goes to Rio, but her part was later cut, supposedly so that she would not compete with the film’s star, Carmen Miranda. However, Nita’s performance can be seen in the DVD version of the film.

     At age 24, Nita was diagnosed with polio. Her doctors warned that she would likely never walk again. Nita credits her mother, a Christian Science practitioner, for her remarkable recovery that had her dancing again a year later. To this day, she continues her dance stretches and works out at her ballet barre.

     In the 1950’s Nita formed her own dance troupe, the Nita Bieber Dancers. They performed in new desert resort, Las Vegas, with headliners such as Benny Goodman, the Marx Brothers, Josephine Baker, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr.

     Despite a career that was on the verge of making her a household name, Nita retired from show business when she was 28.

     “I had married a wonderful man, Dr. Jack Wall, a dentist,” she says. “We had a lovely home in Palos Verdes and our two children, Rocky and Ivy. My career was never as important to me as my home and family.”

     Nita’s love affair with Catalina Island, the Island of Romance, began with a love affair of her own: “Jack and I met on the Catalina Steamer on the way to Catalina Island. He asked me to dance so that he could take his mind off of being seasick!”

     After spending many vacations here in their beloved Avalon, Nita and Jack decided to move here when he retired from his dental practice after 30 years. They were often sighted buzzing around town in their bright red Rolls Royce golf cart. Big USC fans, the Walls hosted many USC parties and brought the Trojan band over to perform in the Avalon 4th of July festivities.

     Dr. Jack Wall passed away two years ago and Nita now focuses her time on her children and two grandchildren. An accomplished painter, she also loves music, her garden and life in Avalon.

     “Once you’ve lived here,” she says, “It’s hard to relate over town.” What she loves best about Avalon is the natural beauty and the peaceful atmosphere. “You feel safe here,” she says. “It’s the people of Avalon, the community. I love them.”