Legendary tap dancer Fayard Nicholas, Jan. 24 Fayard Nicholas, the elder half of the show-stopping Nicholas Brothers tap-dancing duo that thrilled audiences during the 1930s and beyond with their elegance and daring athleticism, died in Toluca Lake, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2006. He was 91. Fayard, shown here at the left, and brother Harold were self-taught, yet tap-danced their way from vaudeville to Harlem's legendary Cotton Club to Broadway and on to Hollywood. The dapper duo is considered to be the greatest dance team ever to work in American movies. Russian ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov once called them "the most amazing dancers I have ever seen in my life ever." When filmgoers saw the Nicholas Brothers' dazzling acrobatic routine in the 1940 movie musical Down Argentine Way they were known to applaud and stomp their feet until the projectionist rewound the film and played the dance sequence again. And Fred Astaire said their "Jumpin' Jive" dance sequence in the 1943, all-black musical Stormy Weather" was the greatest dance number ever filmed.
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