The Delirious Movie Wikia
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Toni Basil is an American singer-songwriter, actress, filmmaker, film director, choreographer and dancer best known for her song, "Mickey," a 1982 multi-million-selling worldwide 1982 hit which reached No 1 in several countries.
Born Antonia Christina Basilotta on September 22, 1943 in Philadelphia, the daugher of orcrestra leader Louise Basilotta from the Chicago Theater and Jacqueline Jessica Anderson, a vaudevillian acrobatic comedian in the family's act, "Billy Wells and The Four Fays." She attended high school at Las Vegas High School where she was a cheerleader, parlaying those skills into her dance career.
Starting out as an assistant choreographer to David Winters and dancer on the Sixties music variety series, "Shindig!," she later moved on to star in "Teen-Age Music International," also choregraphed by Winters. The show also featured and starred future actress Teri Garr, with whom Toni became friends. Through the Sixties, she worked as both a choreographer and actress in such movies as "The Cool Ones," the Monkees feature film "Head" in which she appeared on screen with Davy Jones and the cult film, "Village of the Giants" with Beau Bridges and Joy Harmon. Further acting jobs included roles in "Easy Rider" "Five Easy Pieces," "The Last Movie" directed by Dennis Hopper, "Greaser's Palace," "Mother, Jugs & Speed," "Rockula," "Slaughterhouse Rock" and an episode of the 70s TV series, "Laverne And Shirley."
She also had a singing career that started in 1966 with a single for A&M Records which was the title song from the short film "Breakaway," She sold out solo shows at The Roxy in Los Angeles in June 1976 and made appearances on both "The Merv Griffin Show" and "Saturday Night Live."
Basil went on to collaborate with David Byrne in the Talking Heads music videos for "Once in a Lifetime" and "Cross-eyed and Painless." She also choreographed David Bowie's "Diamond Dogs Tour" in 1974, and "Glass Spider Tour." Beyond the music industry, she also did choreography for dance sequences in the movies "American Graffiti," "The Rose," "Peggy Sue Got Married." In 1982, she choreographed and performed the iconic 80s song, "Mickey," which began a major cheerleader anthem through the Eighties. The video also featured a redesigned version of the cheerleader uniform that she wore in high school and granted her international stardom. Although she never had further single success, she remained in top demand as a dancer and choreographer.
In 1987, Basil did the choreography on Bowie's video for "Time Will Crawl," moving on to several years of collaboration with Bette Midler, most recently on her 2008 and 2009 Las Vegas show, "The Showgirl Must Go On." She was also the associate director and choreographer on Tina Turner Live: 50th Anniversary Concert Tour in 2008 and 2009. Her continuing movie work included John Candy and Emma Samms's dance in Delirious, "Something To Talk about," "that Thing You Do," "My best Friend's Wedding," "Legally Blonde," "Legally Blonde 2," "Charlie Wilson's War" and "The House Bunny" with Anna Faris.
In 2005, Basil choreographed the TV Land Awards salute to Soul Train as well as the TV Land Awards salute to Sid and Marty Krofft in 2009. She also became one of the seven original Lockers, a street dance group recognized as a seminal influence in bringing street dance to the attention of the American public. In 2012, a Dance Magazine article cited Basil as the pioneer in merging ballet with street dance in "Swan Lake," a performance she had choreographed for Saturday Night Live in 1978. The Lockers ended up touring with Frank Sinatra and opened for Funkadelic at Radio City Music Hall along with many acts in Las Vegas.
In 2010, Basil's "Word Of Mouth" video album was nominated for both a Grammy Award and an MTV Video Music Award. Her other awards include Hip Hop International's Living Legend Award, a Grammy nomination for Long Form Video ("Word Of Mouth") 1983, an Emmy nomination and win for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography / The Smothers Brothers 1988, two MTV Award nominations, American Choreography Awards: four nominations and two wins including Lifetime Achievement Innovator, and The Los Angeles Theater Ovation: Street Dance Award. Exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art: Videos, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art: Short Films. She has also received platinum and gold discs in the USA, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Philippines, and France. Her single "Mickey" was installed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the groundbreaking singles of the 1980s. She was given tribute at The Carnival: Choreographer’s Ball, Monsters of Hip-Hop Masters of Movement, and in Portraits of America's Great Choreographers. She was featured in the Museum of Modern Art Calendar of Artists and on the cover of Dance Magazine.

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