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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Penny Johnson was based on Jackie Horner

During 2011-2014, a blog titled Dirty Dancing was written by Sue Tabashnik. She has published the follwing two books:

THE FANS' LOVE STORY: How The Movie 'DIRTY DANCING' Captured The Hearts Of Millions!


The Fans' Love Story Encore: How the Movie DIRTY DANCING Captured the Hearts of Millions!

I have not read either book. Maybe I will.

In the meantime, I did read her entire blog, which included an interesting article titled Dirty Dancing Character Penny Was Based On A Real Person Jackie Horner. Here are excerpts.
The Dirty Dancing character Penny was loosely based on the real-life entertainment icon, Jackie Horner. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Ms. Jackie Horner during the summer of 2009 for my book: The Fans' Love Story: How The Movie 'DIRTY DANCING' Captured The Hearts Of Millions!

Jackie spent the summer of 1985 telling Eleanor Bergstein (writer of Dirty Dancing) her story--including going through photos of the era, clothing, and hair styles and telling her various anecdotes from her experiences as a dance pro at Grossinger's from 1954-1986. Check out the Dirty Dancing screen credits and you will see Special Thanks to Jackie Horner.

Here is one anecdote from Jackie: "Shelly Winters, bless her heart, was a dear friend and a Grossinger guest so often. One day she said, 'Jackie, you are going to get hurt practicing your lifts on these hard wood stages. Why don't you come down to the lake with me on Sunday and practice your dance lifts in the lake?'" 
Jackie was involved in stealing vodka-spiked watermelons for staff parties. Jackie taught a couple who was stealing and her partner was blamed for it. 
Sound familiar? Note though that Penny had an abortion and Jackie did not have an abortion--although per Jackie, there were other staff at the hotel who did. ....

Regarding Jackie's dance background, Jackie began taking dance lessons at the age of four and started as a touring professional at fourteen. She was a Rockette and a member of the June Taylor dance company. ....
Jackie Horner still gives dance lessons.

This video shows Jackie Horner dancing in 2011.

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