10 Best Triple-Threats From Hollywood’s Golden Age, Ranked

Hollywood’s Golden Age gave audiences among the best stars in cinema historical past, akin to Clark Gable, Judy Garland, and Bette Davis, and numerous classic films, together with Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, that stay all-time favorites amongst die-hard film followers. Every star made their private affect on Hollywood and the silver display screen, however some, like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, are uncommon gems that fall into the spectacular class often known as a triple risk.




Reliable triple threats, performers who might sing, dance, and act, are uncommon at the moment in Hollywood and had been at their excessive level throughout the Golden Age with huge names akin to Invoice “Bojangles” Robinson, Lena Horne, and Rita Hayworth. Whereas there are many stars who’re price mentioning, there are some who had been the final word definition of a basic triple risk. From the universally recognized youngster star, Shirley Temple, to the legendary star and choreographer, Gene Kelly, these are the most effective triple threats from Hollywood’s Golden Age, ranked.


10 Shirley Temple

“Shiny Eyes” (1934), “Curly High” (1935), and “Dimples” (1936)


Youngster star, Shirley Temple, was one in every of Hollywood’s greatest box-office attracts throughout the Thirties and have become recognized for her golden curly locks and small however mighty presence on the silver display screen. Born in Santa Monica, California, Temple’s mom had inspired her to be taught to sing, dance, and act, and he or she began performing on the spectacular age of three years previous. After signing an prolonged contract with Fox Studios, she earned her breakthrough function within the 1934 movie, Stand Up and Cheer! gaining immense notoriety by the mid-Thirties.

She continued to star in standard musical movies, together with Dimples, The Little Princess, and Curly High, and was additionally paired alongside a few of Hollywood’s greatest stars, together with Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott, and Invoice “Bojangles” Robinson, who was her favourite co-star. Temple and Robinson made waves with their musical quantity within the 1935 movie, The Little Colonel, which marked the primary interracial dance couple to carry out collectively. Whereas Temple earned a majority of her movie success as a baby actress, she went on to seem in a number of notable movies as an grownup, akin to John Ford‘s Fort Apache and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, with Cary Grant. Temple’s prominence on the large display screen and the legacy she left on American cinema as a cultural icon deems her to be one of many best triple threats of Hollywood’s Golden Age.


9 Lena Horne

“Stormy Climate” (1943), “Cabin within the Sky” (1943), and “The Wiz” (1978)

Lena Horne was a trailblazing triple risk who appeared in varied basic movies, tv exhibits, and theater productions for over seven many years. Horne was born in Brooklyn, New York, and, on the age of sixteen, she joined the refrain at New York Metropolis’s well-known Cotton Membership, changing into a well-liked nightclub performer earlier than making her strategy to the Broadway stage. In 1935, Horne made her first display screen look as a dancer in Cab Calloway‘s Jitterbug Celebration and finally signed a contract with MGM Studios a number of years later.


Horne made her function movie debut within the 1942 movie Panama Hattie and continued to seem in a number of of MGM’s outstanding musical movies, together with Stormy Climate, Until the Clouds Roll By, and Vincente Minnelli‘s Ziegfield Follies. Regardless of her success, Horne finally grew to become disenchanted with Hollywood and determined to deal with her profession as a singer, recording and performing stay with notable names akin to Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Sammy Davis Jr. In 1969, she returned to the silver display screen in The Loss of life of a Gunfighter with Richard Widmark and in addition starred within the 1978 iconic musical movie, The Wiz. Despite the fact that Horne shifted away from Hollywood, she nonetheless left a long-lasting impression that paved the way in which for others and is taken into account to be probably the greatest feminine triple threats of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

8 Rita Hayworth

“Gilda” (1946), “Pal Joey” (1957), and “You Had been By no means Lovelier” (1942)


Rita Hayworth is an important icon of Hollywood’s Golden Age and maybe best known for her role in the classic film noir, Gilda. Hayworth was born Margarita Cansino in Brooklyn, New York into an leisure household, and on the age of twelve, she carried out alongside her father of their duo act, Dancing Cansinos. After being noticed by the top of Fox, Hayworth signed a contract, showing in unique roles and billed as Rita Cansino. When her contract wasn’t renewed with Fox, Hayworth signed with Columbia Footage, the place she underwent intensive beauty procedures and dyed her hair a fiery pink, which grew to become a signature in her total look.

Throughout her first few years with Columbia, Hayworth discovered minor success, however her profession took off after co-starring with Fred Astaire within the 1941 film, You will By no means Get Wealthy, which was a large hit. The movie’s main success led to Hayworth and Astaire starring collectively in a second movie, You Had been By no means Lovelier. Regardless of making a number of movies with Ginger Rogers, Astaire thought-about Hayworth to be his favourite dancing companion. Whereas audiences usually acknowledge Hayworth for her performing chops, she is taken into account to be one of the underrated triple threats from Hollywood’s Golden Age who deserves extra recognition for her immense array of expertise.


7 Julie Andrews

“Mary Poppins” (1964), “The Sound of Music” (1965), and “Victor/Victoria” (1982)

Julie Andrews is likely one of the final surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age and was one of the well-known main girls of the Sixties. Born in England in 1935, Andrews initially began performing together with her dad and mom as they toured across the nation entertaining troops throughout World Battle II. By the age of 19, Andrews started showing on Broadway and gained notoriety as Eliza Doolittle within the stage manufacturing of My Truthful Woman. Her efficiency caught the eye of Richard Rodgers, who solid Andrews within the CBS tv musical model of Cinderella, which he wrote particularly for her.


When information broke that Warner Bros. was going to make a movie adaptation of My Truthful Woman, Andrews hoped she would be capable of reprise her function, however studio head, Jack Warner, did not suppose she had sufficient identify recognition and the function went to Audrey Hepburn. Whereas the choice was a blow to Andrews, she ended up having the final chortle when she was solid in Walt Disney‘s basic musical movie, Mary Poppins, which earned her the Academy Award for Finest Actress. Andrews continued to showcase her expertise in different standard movies, together with The Sound of Music, Completely Trendy Millie, and Victor/Victoria. Together with her spectacular stage coaching and whirlwind success in Hollywood that led to her starring in among the most memorable movies, Andrews is palms down an epic triple risk from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

6 Invoice Robinson

“Stormy Climate” (1943), “The Little Colonel” (1935), and “The Littlest Insurgent” (1935)


Faucet dancer, actor, and singer, Invoice “Bojangles” Robinson, was one of the recognizable and highest-paid African American performers throughout the first half of Hollywood’s Golden Age and was greatest recognized for his iconic staircase routine and influential dance model. Robinson was born in Richmond, Virginia, and began out acting on the Vaudeville circuit and Broadway earlier than transitioning into films. In 1930, he made his movie debut within the musical movie, Dixiana and gained notoriety for his varied movies with Shirley Temple, most notably The Little Colonel.

Robinson had an immense affect on and off the silver display screen and was one of many first stars who refused to tackle stereotypical roles usually enforced by the studios, starring in standard Thirties movies together with Hooray for Love, One Mile from Heaven and Previous Kentucky, co-starring Will Rogers. He made his last movie look within the basic musical film, Stormy Climate, and was a serious assist and mentor to up-and-coming stars, together with Fred Astaire, Lena Horne, the Nicholas Brothers, and Ann Miller. Contemplating Robinson’s unbelievable contributions on and off the display screen plus his affect on different stars, he’s simply one of many best triple threats of Hollywood’s Golden Age.


5 Ginger Rogers

“Swing Time” (1936), “High Hat” (1935), and “The Homosexual Divorcee” (1934)

Ginger Rogers was one of the standard main girls of the Thirties and is greatest recognized for her musicals with frequent co-star, Fred Astaire, akin to Swing Time and Carefree. Born Virginia McMath in Missouri, Rogers’s leisure profession began when she was 14 years previous and received a Charleston dance competitors, which led to her touring for a number of months on the Orpheum Circuit. After gaining nationwide consideration in 1930 for her Broadway debut in Lady Loopy, Rogers traveled to Hollywood the place she signed a contract with Paramount Footage.


After just a few profitable supporting roles with Paramount, Rogers moved on to RKO Footage, and in 1933, she appeared for the primary time on display screen with Astaire within the pre-Code musical comedy, Flying All the way down to Rio. Rogers and Astaire grew to become an iconic dancing duo who made a complete of ten movies collectively, together with The Homosexual Divorcee, Shall We Dance, and Roberta. Whereas Rogers flourished in musical movies, she did tackle dramatic roles, most notably in Kitty Foyle, which received her the Academy Award for Finest Actress. All through her profession, Rogers remodeled seventy movies and the American Film Institute ranked her because the 14th best feminine star of basic American cinema, making her one in every of Hollywood’s best triple threats of all time.

4 Judy Garland

“The Wizard of Oz” (1939), “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944), and “Summer time Inventory” (1950)


Judy Garland is taken into account to be one of many best triple threats of Hollywood’s Golden Age and whereas many know her greatest for her function as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz, she starred in a number of different classics, together with Meet Me in St. Louis and A Star Is Born. Born Frances Gumm in Minnesota, Garland’s dad and mom had been Vaudeville performers and, at a younger age, Garland and her sisters carried out collectively in an act referred to as The Gumm Sisters. In 1935, MGM Studio head, Louis B. Mayer, noticed Garland carry out on the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles and signed the younger performer to a contract a number of days later.

Throughout her early days at MGM, Garland starred in varied cracker jack movies, notably with fellow Golden Age star, Mickey Rooney, in a number of Andy Hardy movies. On the age of sixteen, Garland was solid in The Wizard of Oz, which many take into account to be her breakthrough efficiency, and continued to star in hit musical movies, together with Meet Me in St. Louis, Easter Parade with Fred Astaire, and a number of other with Gene Kelly, akin to The Pirate and Summer time Inventory. Garland entertained audiences for a number of many years, finally focusing extra on a singing profession and performing for stay audiences, however Garland remains to be considered a staple in American cinema and palms down probably the greatest triple threats of the twentieth century.


3 James Cagney

“Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942), “One thing to Sing About” (1937), and “Footlight Parade” (1933)

It is onerous to imagine that James Cagney, who’s universally acknowledged for his gangster roles in classics akin to The Public Enemy and White Warmth, was additionally one of many top-tier triple threats of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Cagney was born in New York Metropolis and in his early years, he began faucet dancing and labored as a surroundings boy on the Lenox Hill Neighborhood Home the place his brother, Harry, carried out. After Cagney stuffed in for an actor who fell sick, he grew to become hooked on performing and began showing on the Vaudeville Circuit and the Broadway stage earlier than making his movie debut within the Warner Bros. movie, Sinner’s Vacation.


Cagney finally signed a seven-year contract with Warner Bros. and in 1931, he delivered his breakthrough efficiency within the gangster movie, The Public Enemy, which was a serious field workplace hit. Cagney continued starring in basic crime movies in addition to romantic comedies and dramas akin to The Strawberry Blonde and The Roaring Twenties. He was in a position to show off his musical skills in several films, including Lightfoot Parade, One thing to Sing About, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, which earned him the Academy Award for Finest Actor. All through his profession, Cagney appeared largely in non-musical movies, however contemplating the few unbelievable performances he did, he’s broadly remembered as one of the underrated triple threats of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

2 Fred Astaire

“Easter Parade” (1948), “Shall We Dance” (1937), and “Swing Time” (1936)


Fred Astaire is considered one of the standard performers of Hollywood’s Golden Age who’s greatest recognized for his movies with Ginger Rogers and his light-as-air dance strikes that made him a cinematic icon. Born in Nebraska, Astaire and his household moved to New York Metropolis when he was a baby and carried out alongside his sister, Adele, on the Vaudeville Circuit. The native media labeled them as the best youngster performers of Vaudeville, they usually finally landed a contract touring the Midwest on the Orpheum Circuit. After gaining minor fame on the Broadway stage, the siblings traveled to Hollywood however had been deemed unfit by Paramount Footage.

When Adele married, the duo cut up, however Astaire continued to carry out and finally discovered success with RKO Footage. Astaire was loaned out to MGM Studios the place he made his movie debut in Dancing Woman co-starring Joan Crawford, which was successful. When he returned to RKO, he made his first look with Ginger Rogers in Flying All the way down to Rio, which led the pair to star collectively in a number of standard musical movies. Astaire went on to innovate dance routines in movie and allowed audiences to see musical numbers of their full entirety through the use of a dolly to maneuver the digicam all through the efficiency in order that it appeared as if a stationary digicam was filming. Astaire’s contributions to the restructuring of musical movie and his unforgettable performances in a collection of classics dub him to be one of many best triple threats in Hollywood historical past.


1 Gene Kelly

“Singin’ within the Rain” (1952), “An American in Paris” (1951), and “Anchors Away” (1945)

If there was ever a great triple risk, it could be Gene Kelly, who’s remembered as an distinctive performer, director, and choreographer, finally altering the world of cinema ceaselessly. Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and began choreographing productions on the Pittsburgh Playhouse, and in 1938, he made his Broadway debut in Cole Porter‘s Depart It To Me! starring Mary Martin. After gaining prominence on Broadway, Kelly finally signed with David O. Selznick and made his movie debut within the 1942 musical movie, For Me and My Gal, alongside Judy Garland. In 1945, Kelly starred within the musical comedy, Anchors Aweigh! which earned him his first and solely Oscar nomination.


After serving in World Battle II, Kelly returned to Hollywood the place he starred in a collection of basic movies, together with Summer time Inventory, An American in Paris, and Singin’ within the Rain. Kelly had additionally moved into directing and choreographing along with his assistant choreographer, Stanley Donen, on his personal movies, in addition to others akin to The Flower Drum Music and Howdy, Dolly! While Kelly is best known for his musical films, he also starred in dramatic and non-musical films, particularly the authorized drama, Inherit the Wind, which many take into account to be one in every of his best performances. Kelly’s unbelievable achievements on and off the large display screen alongside along with his unbelievable expertise as a filmmaker and choreographer undoubtedly solidifies him as absolutely the best triple risk of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

KEEP READING: The 10 Golden Age Actors Who Won the Most Oscars


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