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Toni Basil is a Actor, Director and Choreographer American born on 22 september 1943 at Philadelphia (USA)

Toni Basil

Toni Basil
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Birth name Antonia Christina Basilotta
Nationality USA
Birth 22 september 1943 (76 years) at Philadelphia (USA)

Antonia Christina Basilotta (born September 22, 1943), better known by her stage name Toni Basil, is an American singer-songwriter, actress, filmmaker, film director, choreographer, and dancer, best known for her multi-million selling worldwide No. 1 hit "Mickey" from 1982.


Early life
Basil was born Antonia Christina Basilotta in Philadelphia. Her mother, Jacqueline Jessica Anderson, was a vaudevillian acrobatic comedian in her family's act "Billy Wells and The Four Fays." Her father, Louis Basil, was an orchestra leader who conducted orchestras at the Chicago Theatre and at the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, among others.

It was while her family was living in Las Vegas that Antonia attended high school there; she was one of the sports cheerleaders for the Las Vegas High School Wildcats, and graduated as part of the class of 1961. Already known by the nickname "Toni" by this time, she later incorporated her cheerleading experience into her dance career (see below) and her performance of "Mickey" (also see below) in both performing the selection and choreographing its video. It is worth noting that her original cheerleading uniform from that period was not the same as the one she wore in the video for "Mickey;" that uniform had been re-designed by then, and it was the re-designed version that she wore in the video.

Dance career
Toni had been dancing professionally since childhood, but her adult career started when she served as an assistant choreographer and dancer on Shindig!, a breakthrough music variety show which premiered on the ABC network in 1964. In addition, Toni was assistant choreographer and a dancer on the 1964 concert film The T.A.M.I. Show (Teen-Age Music International) choreographed by David Winters, which featured fellow dancer and friend, Teri Garr. Some of her 1960s film choreography work include Village of the Giants (1965), The Cool Ones (1967), and the Monkees's 1968 film Head in which she is partnered on-screen with Davy Jones during "Daddy's Song."

Basil choreographed, and co-directed with David Byrne, the music video for "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads in 1980. She worked with Talking Heads again to direct and choreograph the video for the song "Crosseyed and Painless." She choreographed David Bowie's Diamond Dogs Tour in 1974, and Glass Spider Tour in 1987. She has worked with Bette Midler for many years, most recently on her 2008/2009 Las Vegas show The Showgirl Must Go On. She served as the associate director and choreographer of the worldwide Tina Turner Live: 50th Anniversary Concert Tour in 2008/2009. Her expertise as a choreographer led her to be invited to sit as a guest judge on season four and five of Fox Broadcasting Company's So You Think You Can Dance? In addition, she is credited with bringing street dance to prominence as a founding member and manager of The Lockers.

Her film choreography through the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s include American Graffiti (1973), The Rose (1979), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Something to Talk About (1995), That Thing You Do (1996), My Best Friend's Wedding (1997), Legally Blonde (2001), Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003), Charlie Wilson's War (2007), and The House Bunny (2008).

Basil is one of the seven original Lockers, the street dance group considered "the group that changed the face of dance." She is recognized as a seminal influence in bringing street dance to the attention of the American public. A 2012 Dance Magazine article cited Basil as the pioneer in merging ballet with street dance for a piece she choreographed for Saturday Night Live, "Swan Lake," in 1978.

The Lockers opened and toured with Frank Sinatra, including performances at Carnegie Hall. They opened for Funkadelic at Radio City Music Hall and many acts in Las Vegas, and made countless television appearances including the third episode of Saturday Night Live.

Basil choreographed the TV Land Awards salute to Soul Train in 2005, as well as the TV Land Awards salute to Sid and Marty Krofft in 2009.

Music career
Basil's recording career began in 1966 with a single for A&M Records which was the title song from the short film Breakaway. This film was made by internationally famous filmmaker and artist Bruce Conner. Basil was asked as a solo artist to sing the swinging jazz number "Wham Rebop Boom Bam" in the first season of Saturday Night Live. This came as a result of her sold out solo shows at The Roxy in Los Angeles, and singing the song on The Merv Griffin Show. She appeared as a guest during the first season of Saturday Night Live as one of The Lockers and on later seasons as a singer as well as a filmmaker with her urban style Swan Lake. In 1982, she released the single "Mickey", which went on to achieve international success. This song is a cover of "Kitty," a 1979 release by the UK band Racey, written by British songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman and produced by Chapman. The original song did not include the famous "Oh Mickey, you're so fine" chant, which Basil added.

"Mickey" was actually recorded in 1980 and the video was conceived, directed, and choreographed by Basil herself for the UK-based label Radialchoice nearly a year before the inception of MTV in 1981. Issued on Chrysalis Records in September 1982 in the USA, the song knocked Lionel Richie from No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December. It also topped the chart in Canada where it was issued by Virgin Records. The infectious 45 was quickly certified Gold and in early 1983 reached Platinum status for sales of over 2 million copies in the United States alone. The music video for "Mickey" was one of the most popular early MTV videos. In the video, Basil wore her head cheerleader uniform from Las Vegas High School from which she graduated. During an interview on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of The 80's", Basil revealed that she still owns the same cheerleader sweater she wore in the video. In 2009, VH1 ranked "Mickey" Number 6 on its list of the 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the '80s.

For television, Basil has appeared as an actress and featured singer/dancer in many television shows and specials. She co-directed and choreographed two BBC specials with Alan Walsh and Ken Stephenson called "Toni Basil Tape 1" and "Toni Basil Tape 2".

Basil's recording career consists of only two albums. Her first album, 1982's Word of Mouth included a second Hot 100 single "Shoppin' from A to Z," as well as three songs by Devo, with the group providing the backing track. The track "Space Girls" was a re-recording of a 1974 Devo demo titled "Space Girl Blues" that would later be released on Devo's "Hardcore Devo: Volume One". Devo member Gerald Casale and Basil were in a relationship at the time, and Basil had been an early supporter of the group.

Toni Basil (1983), her eponymous second album, yielded a third and final Hot 100 charting single, "Over My Head," which reached No. 4 on the U.S. Dance chart. Her song "Girls Night Out" appeared on the soundtrack to the 1986 movie Modern Girls. To date, there have been five Toni Basil best of collections released on CD. In 1999, DJ and producer Jason Nevins's dance remix of "Mickey" was a club hit in Europe and Australia.

Basil contributed vocals for the Devo song "The Only One" in 1987, which was not released until 2000 on the demo compilation Recombo DNA.

Acting career
As an actress, Basil started off in the films Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces. Some of her other films include The Last Movie directed by Dennis Hopper, Greaser's Palace directed by Robert Downey, Sr., Mother, Jugs & Speed, Village of the Giants, Rockula with Thomas Dolby and Slaughterhouse Rock. On TV, she has appeared in episodes of Laverne And Shirley, Dark Justice and in Baywatch Nights as a fortune teller.

Film making and music videos
Basil directed short art films including Game of the Week, A Dance Film, Out Trip, and The Ping Pong Match. Predating music videos, these avant garde pieces found a new audience and were exhibited at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Getty Museum, and New York University's Grey Art Gallery. The Los Angeles Times noted Basil's 'deft editing transformed an ordinary ping pong match between Gray & Stockwell (both noted American actors) into an energetic dance routine.

Basil's "Word Of Mouth" video album was nominated for both a Grammy Award and an MTV Video Music Award.

Basil's late 1960s 8 mm and 16 mm films toured the U.S. with the show "Semina Culture: Wallace Berman and His Circle" in 2007.

The music video for "Mickey" is considered the first choreographed dance video, and due to its heavy play on MTV, inspired countless music videos of the modern era. The opening stunt, where a cheerleader jumps through the center of a human pyramid, is now illegal in competition.

Aside from directing her own video for "Mickey," she also directed and choreographed the video for Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime", featuring lead singer David Byrne against a white background in a similar style to Basil's "Mickey."

In 2010 Toni choreographed "The Show Girl Must Go On" Bette Midler's award winning show at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Best films

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)
American Graffiti (1973)
Easy Rider (1969)

Usually with

Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper
(4 films)
Bob Rafelson
Bob Rafelson
(4 films)
Peter Tork
Peter Tork
(1 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Toni Basil (23 films)

Display filmography as list


Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, 2h41
Directed by Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Comedy-drama, Action, Crime, Western
Themes Films about films
Actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, James Marsden, Burt Reynolds, Zoë Bell
Roles une danseuse dans l'avion
Rating76% 3.8485253.8485253.8485253.8485253.848525
1969, à Hollywood. Le mouvement hippie est à son apogée et se manifeste massivement contre la guerre du Vietnam, toujours en cours. Richard Nixon est élu nouveau président des États-Unis, succédant à Lyndon B. Johnson, tandis que les émeutes de Stonewall débouchent sur un mouvement de lutte pour la libération des personnes LGBT.
Eating (1990)
, 1h50
Directed by Henry Jaglom
Origin USA
Genres Comedy-drama
Actors Frances Bergen, Mary Crosby, Gwen Welles, Elizabeth Kemp, Taryn Power, Sherry Boucher
Roles Jackie
Rating63% 3.196413.196413.196413.196413.19641
Set entirely inside and around a spacious house in Los Angeles with an all-female cast, Helene is a woman turning 40 years old and her friends, whom include French filmmaker Martine, house guest Sophie, and Lydia throw her a party. But also there is Kate, a friend turning 30, and Sadie, a Hollywood film agent turning 50. So, all of Helene's, Kate's, and Sadie's friends arrive for the triple-birthday party where Martine films the events with her movie camera and the shocking secrets revealed by Helene's mother Whitney, and her younger sister Nancy whom confide in their interviews about their obsession with food, and their roles in life.
Catchfire (1990)
, 1h56
Directed by Dennis Hopper
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Comedy-drama, Action, Crime, Romance
Themes Mafia films, Gangster films
Actors Jodie Foster, Dennis Hopper, Fred Ward, Dean Stockwell, Vincent Price, John Turturro
Roles (uncredited)
Rating54% 2.7040652.7040652.7040652.7040652.704065
Conceptual artist Anne Benton (Jodie Foster) creates electronic pieces that flash evocative statements, and her work has begun to attract major media attention.
Pacific Palisades, 1h32
Directed by Bernard Schmitt
Origin France
Genres Comedy, Romance
Actors Sophie Marceau, Adam Coleman Howard, Virginia Capers, Toni Basil, Caroline Grimm, Maaike Jansen
Roles Désirée
Rating36% 1.8449151.8449151.8449151.8449151.844915
A woman from Paris, Bernadette, comes to the United States after being promised a job. When she arrives, however, she learns that she is the victim of a hoax. Unable to return to France, Bernadette looks for work while staying with her close friend Shirley (Anne Curry), an actress looking for her big break. Their friendship is challenged when Bernadette finds herself falling in love with Shirley's boyfriend.
Rockula (1990)
, 1h30
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Horror comedy, Horror, Musical, Romance
Themes Musical films, Comedy horror films
Actors Dean Cameron, Toni Basil, Susan Tyrrell, Tony Cox, Rick Zumwalt, Bill Brochtrup
Roles Phoebe
Rating53% 2.656262.656262.656262.656262.65626
Ralph Lavie (Dean Cameron) is a friendly vampire. He's 400 years old and still lives with his mother, Phoebe (Toni Basil), who is also a vampire. Ralph is living under a curse. After meeting Mona, the girl of his dreams, 308 years ago Ralph lost her after she was killed by her jealous boyfriend, a pirate. Since that time Mona has been reincarnated every 22 years, only to fall in love with Ralph and die under the exact same circumstances (killed on Halloween by a rhinestone-peg-legged pirate wielding a giant hambone). Ralph, weary of the whole thing, vows to stay locked in his room and not meet Mona again until after Halloween, much to the chagrin of his sentient and libidinous reflection (another side effect of the curse).
Slaughterhouse Rock, 1h30
Directed by Dimitri Logothetis, Dimitri Logothetis
Origin USA
Genres Action, Horror
Themes Prison films, Serial killer films, Se déroulant à Alcatraz
Actors Toni Basil, Ty Miller, Jeff Speakman
Roles Sammy Mitchell
Rating37% 1.8814151.8814151.8814151.8814151.881415
Alex Gardner (Nicholas Celozzi), a college student suffers from reoccurring nightmares in which he experiences the deaths of the victims of a vicious killer who lived on Alcatraz, before it became a prison. When the nightmares begin manifesting in reality, and his friends see him hovering over his bed, his teacher (Donna Denton), an occultist, tells him to go to the island to face down the ghost of the killer. The friends become stranded on the island, and Alex's brother Richard (Tom Reilly) becomes possessed, killing some friends and raping one of the girls. Alex is aided in his quest by the ghost of Sammy Mitchell (Toni Basil), a singer for the band Bodybag. Sammy teaches Alex how to levitate and escape his body, and is also the subject of a dance routine, intercut into the film. The friends lure the ghost of the killer, and Alex's brother into the prison chapel, and blow it up, releasing the curse.
Won Ton Ton: the Dog Who Saved Hollywood, 1h32
Directed by Michael Winner
Origin USA
Genres Comedy
Themes Films about animals, Films about dogs, Mise en scène d'un mammifère
Actors Madeline Kahn, Bruce Dern, Rintintin (acteur canin), Teri Garr, Art Carney, Phil Silvers
Roles Guest at Awards Ceremony
Rating47% 2.3662152.3662152.3662152.3662152.366215
En 1924, Estie Del Ruth se rend à Hollywood dans l'espoir de devenir une grande actrice. Sur son chemin, elle rencontre un chien du nom de Won Ton Ton (Rintintin) qui se met à la suivre. Une fois à destination, Won Ton Ton séduit tout le monde et devient une star à la place d'Estie.
Mother, Jugs & Speed, 1h35
Directed by Peter Yates
Origin USA
Genres Comedy
Actors Bill Cosby, Raquel Welch, Harvey Keitel, Allen Garfield, L. Q. Jones, Bruce Davison
Roles the junkie who kills Leroy
Rating59% 2.9507552.9507552.9507552.9507552.950755
The F+B Ambulance Company is locked in an intense battle with the Unity Ambulance Company to win a city contract for providing ambulance service to a territory within Los Angeles. Their star driver is "Mother" Tucker (Bill Cosby), a talented antihero who drinks alcohol on duty, harasses nuns, and behaves brazenly towards practically everybody he meets, including his partner Leroy (Bruce Davison). Indeed, the entire company is a band of misfits, including the hypersexual John Murdoch (Larry Hagman), his partner Walker (Michael McManus), putative medical student Bliss (Allan Warnick), and brash Texan "Rodeo" Moxey (Dick Butkus). Handling calls at the switchboard is Jennifer (Raquel Welch), whom the drivers nickname "Jugs" for her ample bosom. Harry "Doughnut" Fishbine (Allen Garfield) runs the company, using occasionally underhanded means (such as kickbacks) to maintain an income stream.
Greaser's Palace, 1h31
Directed by Robert Downey Sr.
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Western
Actors Allan Arbus, Luana Anders, Toni Basil, Pablo Ferro, Don Calfa, Woodrow Chambliss
Roles Indian Girl
Rating59% 2.9508352.9508352.9508352.9508352.950835
Greaser's Palace follows Jesse (Allan Arbus), a Christ-like figure in a zoot-suit, on his way to Jerusalem to find work as a singer-dancer-actor. In a run-down Western town, he runs afoul of the local boss, Seaweedhead Greaser (Albert Henderson), until he brings Greaser's son Lamy (Michael Sullivan) back from the dead.
The Last Movie, 1h48
Directed by Dennis Hopper
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Western
Actors Dennis Hopper, Julie Adams, Sylvia Miles, Toni Basil, Samuel Fuller, Peter Fonda
Roles Rose
Rating62% 3.1452353.1452353.1452353.1452353.145235
Kansas (Hopper) is a stunt coordinator in charge of horses on a western being shot in a small Peruvian village. Following a tragic incident on the set where an actor is killed in a stunt, Kansas decides to quit the movie business and stay in Peru with a local woman. Kansas thinks he has found paradise, but is soon called in to help in a bizarre incident: the Peruvian natives are "filming" their own movie with "cameras" made of sticks, and acting out real western movie violence, as they don't understand movie fakery. The film touches on the ideas of fiction versus reality, especially in regards to cinema. The movie is presented in a way that challenges the viewer's traditional cinematic understanding of storytelling, by presenting the story in a non-chronological fashion, and by including several devices typically only seen behind the scenes of filmmaking (rough edits and "scene missing" cards), and the use of jarring jump cuts.
Five Easy Pieces, 1h38
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Origin USA
Genres Drama
Themes Transport films, Road movies
Actors Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Fannie Flagg, Sally Struthers, Lois Smith, Billy "Green" Bush
Roles Terry Grouse
Rating74% 3.7488553.7488553.7488553.7488553.748855
Bobby Dupea (Jack Nicholson) works in a California oil field (shot in and around the city of Taft in the San Joaquin Valley) with his friend Elton (Billy "Green" Bush), who has a wife and baby son. Most of Bobby's time is spent with his waitress girlfriend, Rayette (Karen Black), who has dreams of singing country music, or in the company of Elton, with whom he bowls, gets drunk, and has sex with other women. Bobby has evidently not told Elton that he is a former classical pianist who comes from an eccentric family of musicians.
Myra Breckinridge, 1h34
Directed by Mike Sarne
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Comedy
Themes Films about sexuality, Films about television, Erotic films, LGBT-related films, Transgender in film, LGBT-related films, LGBT-related film, Lesbian-related films
Actors Raquel Welch, Mae West, John Huston, Farrah Fawcett, Rex Reed, Roger C. Carmel
Roles Cigarette Girl
Rating44% 2.2066352.2066352.2066352.2066352.206635
Myron Breckinridge, étudiant en cinématographie, va en Europe pour y subir une opération de changement de sexe ; revenu en Amérique il se fait appeler Myra et part pour Hollywood. Une fois là-bas il cherche à prendre sa revanche des torts qu'on lui a faits et dont il se souvient, et il le fait avec une astuce toute féminine.
Easy Rider
Easy Rider (1969)
, 1h34
Directed by Dennis Hopper
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Action, Adventure, Crime
Themes Medical-themed films, Films about drugs, Transport films, Films about automobiles, Motocyclette, Road movies
Actors Jack Nicholson, Luke Askew, Karen Black, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Toni Basil
Roles Mary
Rating72% 3.64873.64873.64873.64873.6487
The protagonists are two freewheeling hippies: Wyatt (Fonda), nicknamed "Captain America", and Billy (Hopper). Fonda and Hopper said that these characters' names refer to Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid. Wyatt dresses in American flag-adorned leather (with an Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge affixed to it), while Billy dresses in Native American-style buckskin pants and shirts and a bushman hat. The former is appreciative of help and of others, while the latter is often hostile and leery of outsiders.
Head (1968)
, 1h26
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Musical theatre, Fantasy, Adventure, Musical
Themes Films about magic and magicians, Seafaring films, Films about music and musicians, Politique, Transport films, Mermaids in film, Musical films, Political films
Actors Victor Mature, Peter Tork, Teri Garr, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith
Roles Daddy's Song Dancer
Rating65% 3.2986353.2986353.2986353.2986353.298635
Head begins at the dedication of a bridge. A politician is supposed to give a speech but there is a barrage of feedback from the microphone. Suddenly the Monkees (further) interrupt the ceremony by running through the assembled officials to sound of horns and sirens. The rest of the film has no overriding plot but consists of a series of vignettes highlighting the unpleasant aspects of being public figures. There is a conflict and a resolution, but the film is essentially plotless; as the opening song related: "We hope you like our story/Although there isn't one/That is to say, there's many/That way, there is more fun!" Rather, it is a seemingly stream of consciousness stringing-together of musical numbers, satires of various film genres, elements of psychedelia, and references to topical issues such as the Vietnam War. The distorted consciousness and psychedelia elements resemble an LSD trip.. Recurring images include a black box in which the group are trapped, a desert location, and a gigantic Victor Mature.