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Kathie Walling, Editor of Tap Dancing Resources
Kathie Walling, Editor
Tap Dancing Resources
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Remembering Tap Dancer Jeni LeGon (1916-2012)

Tribute and fan site honoring actress and tap dancer Jeni LeGon.
Tap Dancer Jeni Jeni LeGon With Tap Dancer Bill Robinson

Tap Dancer Jeni LeGon with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson

About Jeni LeGon
FULL NAME: Jeni Bell Ligon
DATE OF BIRTH: August 14, 1916
PLACE OF BIRTH: Chicago, Illinois, United States
DATE OF DEATH: December 7, 2012 (age 96)
PLACE OF DEATH: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
FATHER: Hector Ligon
MOTHER: Harriet Bell Ligon
OLDER SISTER: Mary Belle Ligon
HALF SISTER: Willa Mae Lane (dancing partner)
HUSBAND: Married Phil Moore in 1943, they later divorced
COMPANION LATER IN LIFE: Frank Clavin, Vancouver drummer

Videos of Jeni Jeni LeGon Dancing

Timeline of the Life of Jeni LeGon
1916: Born in Chicago, Illinois
1928: Graduated from Sexton Elementary School
1930: Auditioned for Count Basie's chorus line at age 13.
1931: Became member of "Whitman Sisters" dance troupe.
1933: Formed "LeGon and Lane" tap duo with half sister Willa Mae Lane
1935: Discovered by Earl Dancer, former manager of Ethel Waters
1935: Danced with Bill Robinson in "Hooray for Love"
1943: Married Phil Moore, composer and arranger
1969: Moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
1999: Doumentary Film "Jeni LeGon: Living in a Great Big Way"
2002: American Tap Dance Foundation Hall of Fame
2012: Died in Canada at age 96

Jeni Jeni LeGon Portrait Photograph More Photos of Jeni Jeni LeGon
- Jeni LeGon 1937 "Flash Magazine" Cover
- Jeni LeGon in 2009 (credit Joe Mabel / Century Ballroom)

Honors Received by Jeni Jeni LeGon

2002 Dr. of Performing Arts
Jeni LeGon was presented with an honorary " Doctor of Performing Arts in American Dance " degree from Oklahoma City University in 2002.

1999 Documentary Film

In 1999 the National Film Board of Canada released a 48 minuite documentary film about her life entitled "Jeni Le Gon: Living in a Great Big Way". The film was directed by Grant Greshuk and produced by Selwyn Jacob.
National Film Board of Canada's 2007 Catalog
(The Jeni LeGon DVD is ID EB-9199-086. For more information contact the NFBC store's customer service department at customerserviceusa at

Also Honored By:
- Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame
- National Congress of Black Women

Film Appearances of Jeni Jeni LeGon

More About Jeni LeGon
- Appeared in Fat's Waller's musical "Early to Bed"
- Studied African Dance with Katherine Dunham
- Appeared in Amos and Andy TV Series in the 1950's
- Founded a Los Angeles school of dance in the 1950's with a Russian ballet teacher
- Toured with dance troupe "Jazz Caribe" in the 1960's
- Settled in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- Worked with Troupe One" i the 1970's
- Traveled to london with the "Pelican Players" in the 1980's

1930's Filmography of Jeni LeGon
1935: "Hooray for Love" (first film, danced with Bill Robinson)
1936: "Dishonour Bright" (played a cabaret dancer)
1936: "Broadway Melody of 1936" (her scenes were cut from the film)
1937: "Ali Baba Goes to Town" (starred Eddie Cantor)
1937: "The Adventerous Blond" (uncredited role as a maid)
1938: "Fools for Scandal" (played herself)
1939: "Double Deal" (played Nita)

1940's Filmography of Jeni LeGon
1940: "I Can't Give You Anything But Love Baby" (played Annie)
1940: "While Thousands Cheer" (played Myra)
1940: "Glamour for Sale" (uncr3edited role as a maid)
1941: "Sundown" (played Miriami)
1941: "Birth of the Blues" (uncredited role as black girl in jail)
1941: "Bahama Passage" (uncredited role as Mary's maid)
1942: "This Was Paris" (uncredited role as cabaret dancer)
1942: "Take My Life" (played Helen Stanley)
1941 or 1942: "Arabian Nights" (played a dresser)
1943: "My Son, The Hero" (Lambie)
1943: "I Walked With a Zombie" (danced as herself)
1943: "Stormy Weather" (uncredited dancer)
1047: "Hi De Ho" (played Minnie)
1948: "Easter Parade" (uncredited maid, felt snubbed by Fred Astaire)
1949: "I Shot Jessie James" (played Veronica)

1950's Filmography of Jeni LeGon
1952: "Somebody Loves Me" (uncredited role as a maid in "Rosie's Room")
1953: "Bright Road" (uncredited role as teacher Martha Swife)

Most Recent Jeni LeGon Film Roles
1987: "Home Is Where the Hart Is (played Wanda Fuchn)
2001: "Bones" (played Window Granny)


ATDF "Jeni LeGon" Article

History Makers "Jeni LeGon" Article

Wikipedia "Jeni LeGon" Article

Vancouver Sun Jeni LeGon Obituary

Washington Post Jeni LeGon Obituary

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About Tap Dancing in Canada

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