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Dance Legend June Taylor Dies

Choreographer June Taylor makes a point during auditions for the June Taylor Dancers in New York in September 1962. Looking on, from left, are Frank Fontaine, Taylor, Jackie Gleason, and Sue Ann Langdon. Taylor, the Emmy-winning choreographer for Jackie Gleason's television variety show and later the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, died Monday, May 17, 2004. She was 86. (
AP
June Taylor, the Emmy-winning choreographer for Jackie Gleason's television variety show and later the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, died Monday. She was 86.

Taylor died at the Miami Heart Institute, hospital officials said. A cause of death was not immediately announced.

She founded the June Taylor Dancers in 1942 and made her television debut in 1948 on "The Toast of the Town," starring Ed Sullivan. Two years later, she joined Gleason's "Cavalcade of Stars," winning an Emmy for her choreography in 1954.

Gleason's show and the entourage that included Taylor helped give Miami Beach six years of showbiz glamour that is credited by some as helping change the face of South Florida.

Gleason brought his show from New York to Miami Beach before the start of the 1964-65 season. It remained in Miami Beach for the rest of its run, until September 1970.

Taylor began working with what was then known as the Dolphin Starbrites in 1978 and remained with the group until 1990. Her squad did Broadway-type routines on a stage in an end zone of the Orange Bowl during Miami's home football games and accompanied by a 22-piece brass band.