American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2010 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.  Page 33

Nicholas Brothers

Fayard b: 1914

Harold 1921 – 2000

Crowded as the field of tap was by great African American dancers, one team above others are remembered today because they had the good fortune to have a dozen or more superb dance routines committed to film, including the single most spectacular dance number in movie history, the Nicholas Brothers’ finale in Stormy Weather (1943) that would have sent all but a handful of dancers then or since into emergency care. The fact that brother Fayard, despite having both hips replaced, remains an energetic and loveable performer as at the age of 90 further burnishes their reputation.

The Nicholas Brothers began as a kid act in the early 1930s, starred on Broadway, made films and starred in Europe as they grew into maturity. There were few acts that rivaled them for energy, precision and class.