Lady Moira Shearer Kennedy

Welcome back funny names fans, please pardon my tardy Tuesday post, I have been juggling one to many balls this week. I dropped the balls on the floor and this one rolled behind my desk. Fortunately, one of the cats found it and here were are. Pardon me, I think I got a little cat hair on you.

September is on the calendar and ballet should be in the air instead of hurricanes, forest fires, and smoke.

What happens when fate meets destiny–Moira Shearer

So let’s get more festive and meet Lady Moira Shearer Kennedy—British ballet dancer and actress, not to be confused with Moira Quirk the voice over actress and worthy of a post in her own right.

The name Moira is derived from the Greek meaning “destiny, share, fate” and fate is what took a little girl born Moira Shearer King born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland to Ndola, Northern Rhodesia in 1931 with her civil engineer father, Harold Charles King and mother, Margaret Crawford Reid (born Shearer).

Ballet is your destiny, Moira Shearer.

In Rhodesia she took her first ballet lessons from a former student of Enrico Cecchetti, the famed ballet teacher born in the costuming room of the Teatro Tordinona in Rome. After five years of studying the Cecchetti method her family moved to London and she trained under Russian teacher Nicholas Legat. A brief interruption caused by WWII sent her back to Scotland. After the war she returned to London.

Once her training was almost complete, not as a Jedi warrior but a ballet dancer, she made her first debut in a Posy Fossil advertisements for the book “Ballet Shoes”. She blew onto the international scene with her performance as Victoria Page in the ballet film Red Shoes, even her hair matched the shoes. It launched her film career, which spanned over the next few decades.

She married journalist Sir Ludovic Henry Coverley Kennedy in 1950, and as luck would have it, Moira became a lady by title as well as grace.

Let’s not have it said that all ballet dancers are serious. No, let’s not. After having four children who wanted something to tease her about, she decided to host the BBC’s Eurovision Song Contest in 1972.

But she didn’t stop there, she stayed busy. She wrote for the Daily Telegraph and gave talks on ballet all over the world before her passing in 2006.

Moira certainly shared her destiny with the world.

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom

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About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
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14 Responses to Lady Moira Shearer Kennedy

  1. kerbey says:

    When I think Shearer, I think Norma. So thanks for filling me in on Moira. The name Moira, as well as Ludovic, don’t really roll off the tongue like say, Isabella.

    • I haven’t thought of Norma Shearer in a long time. Wow.

      While Moira and Ludovic don’t roll of the tongue, they do seem to go together. They gave their children wonderfully Scottish names. Alastair, Ailsa, Rachel, and Fiona.

  2. The name Moira is fairly common in Scotland – or was. Now I think of it I can’t think of a Moira I know who’s under the age of 40. Moira Shearer was a Fifer like me but that’s where the similarities end. No ballet or title for me.

  3. ksbeth says:

    well, i wish it was genetic, because i am a kennedy as well, though not nearly as graceful as exciting as our moira. i’d consider myself more of an ‘enthusiastic’ style of dancer. )

  4. wdydfae says:

    Nice one Fannie!

    And thanks for bumping Pikotaro off the top. I was getting tired of looking at him.

    I got this lady mixed up with Greer Garson at first–they look really similar.

    So, by “one to many” do you mean


    I hope the name Moira makes a comeback. It’s one of those great lady names, like Dierdre and Beatrice.

  5. Thanks MDiddy! This week is the many+1=excessive. Glad it doesn’t happen too often.
    I’d love to see the name Moira come back and I love Dierdre and Beatrice too.

  6. Dave says:

    Haha, one of my favorite intro paragraphs in a while – and no worries about the cat hair. I can manage!

    Moira is such a great name… I think Moira Quirk was one of Rob’s first posts on this here blog.

    Don’t you just love seeing names like “Rhodesia” and “Cecchetti” when you’re reading up on a funny-named subject? It just brings me great joy, like Myrna Loy!

    As for the cancer, I’m going to rally! I was watching Law & Order:SVU at a friend’s place the other day, and they used the phrase “America loves a good comeback!” I think that’s going to be my new motto for a while. Not only that, Duke just announced a pretty amazing new innovation that has helped a few people with more severe cancer than mine.

    I’m just feeling like good things are going to come! Thanks for keeping the Funny Names train rollin’, Fannie!

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