Joan Nicholas

May 3, 1934 - April 6, 2019 Joan Nicholas passed away at her home in Beverly Hills on April 6, 2019 at the age of 84. Joan was born on May 3, 1934 in Clifton, New Jersey, to Helen and John Kuzmich. She began dancing at the tender age of three, eventually becoming one of the youngest Rockettes in history as a 16- year-old. Her beauty and dancing talent awarded her a position as a June Taylor dancer on the Jackie Gleason variety show and she later appeared on the cover of Life Magazine in 1952. That same year, Joan was voted Miss New York City and competed in the Miss America Pageant, where she won a talent award for her dancing. Joan performed at the Copacabana and Bill Miller's Riviera and toured the U.S and England with the Empire Theater Circuit. Joan danced on many television programs in the 1950s including shows hosted by KateĀ  Smith , Bing Crosby and Ben Blue. She appeared in the great Billy Wilder comedy, Some Like it Hot as a clarinet player in the all-girl band featuring Marilyn Monroe.

Joan leaves her husband of 36 years, Frederick M. Nicholas, her daughters from her marriage to Sidney Fields, Rebecca Fields, Joanna Stingray and Judy Fields, and four grandchildren, Angelica Shumov, Madison Stingray, Nikolai Shumov and Kali Kring.

In addition to raising a family, Joan worked tirelessly in the Los Angeles arts community supporting art institutions such as MOCA, AFI and the Cedars-Sinai Advisory Council for the Arts.

To our dear mother, loving wife and loyal friend, your true legacy lives within us all and you will never be forgotten.

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