Marge Champion has had a lengthy and renowned career as a dancer, actress, and choreographer on stage and screen. Her first dance instructor was her father, the noted ballet master Ernest Belcher who was one of the first dance directors for the cinema and also dance instructor for both the stars and their children in Hollywood. In 1946, she teamed up with dancer/choreographer Gower Champion, marrying him one year later. They rapidly became one of the top dancing duos on both the stage and the silver screen, appearing in the legendary musical Show Boat in 1951 and as the leads in Everything I Have is Yours in 1952, while also staging dances for their Broadway musical revues Lend an Ear and Make a Wish.

However, Champion’s earliest screen appearance was as the live-action reference model for Snow White, as well as the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio and the Hippopotamus Ballerina in the “Dance of the Hours” segment of Fantasia (which she also choreographed). On the eve of the release of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition, Toonzone News got a chance to speak with Champion over the phone about her experiences working for “Uncle Walt” as the model for the first Disney Princess.

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