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Renée Marcelle Jeanmaire, known as Zizi Jeanmaire (born April 29, 1924), is a ballet dancer and wife of renowned dancer and choreographer Roland Petit. She became famous in the 1950s because of her title role in the ballet Carmen, produced in London in 1949.
Born in Paris, France, she met her future husband and long-time collaborator Roland Petit at the Paris Opera Ballet at the age of nine. In 1954 they married, and their successful shows put her on the road to stardom. By this time she was the prima ballerina at Les Ballets des Champs-Elysées. She became noted for her energy and passion.
This led to a brief stint in Hollywood (where she was credited as Jeanmaire), appearing in the musicals Hans Christian Andersen (1952) and Anything Goes (1956). After that, she concentrated on ballet, producing more than 60 shows with Petit.
American artist Joseph Cornell was obsessed with Jeanmaire, although they only spoke briefly when he visited her dressing room after a performance of Carmen, he treasured her autograph, he kept a folder of Jeanmaire clippings and pictures and he staged a personal tribute to her at his gallery: La Lanterne Magique du Ballet Romantique by Joseph Cornell. She was the subject of a documentary by Mischa Scorer in 1998 entitled Zizi, Je T`Aime.
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Zizi Jeanmaire (born 29 April 1924) is a French ballet dancer and widow of renowned dancer and choreographer Roland Petit. She became famous in the 1950s after playing the title role in the ballet Carmen, produced in London in 1949, and went on to appear in several Hollywood films.
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