- Bruce J. Evensen
Charisse, Cyd (8 Mar. 1921–17 June 2008), dancer and actress, was born Tula Ellice Finklea in Amarillo, Texas, to jeweler Ernest E. Finklea and Lela (Norwood) Finklea. Tula became “Sid” when her older brother E. E. couldn’t say “Sis” (and later the more exotic “Cyd” when her Hollywood career took off). She considered herself skinny and homely when she turned to ballet at six to strengthen her right side after a bout with polio, but she quickly became enthralled by the power of dance. At fourteen, her parents enrolled her in the Los Angeles ballet school of ...