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Nini Theilade, Ballet Dancer in 1935's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' Dies at 102


She was discovered by the legendary Max Reinhardt, who directed her in the adaptation of Shakespeare's romantic fantasy. Nini Theilade, a ballet dancer who appeared with Mickey Rooney, Olivia de Havilland and James Cagney in the 1935 film adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, has died. She was 102. Theilade died Tuesday in her sleep at a retirement home in Funen, Denmark, Fatima Cerqueira, a teacher at The Royal Danish Ballet School, told The Hollywood Reporter.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, co-directed by Max Reinhardt and William Dieterle for Warner Bros., featured a cast that also included Dick Powell, Joe E. Brown and Victor Jory.

Theilade was just a teenager when she portrayed one of Titania's fairies in the memorable "Triumph of the Night" sequence. After her dance, she is lifted into the starry sky, her hands twirling for the camera. Theilade had appeared opposite Rooney in an earlier scene, rousing his character, the court jester Puck, as she sings, "Over hill, over dale, thorough bush, thorough brier."

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