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Transcript of interview with Rene De Haven by Nancy Hardy, August 2, 2003


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Rene De Haven was born on May 8, 1922 on a farm in Oklahoma. All his life he wanted to become a dancer and dreamed of one day dancing with the likes of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. Later on in life his dream actually turned into reality when he danced in the show Les Girls. Rene came to Las Vegas in 1959 to open at the Riviera. He discussed what the scene in Las Vegas was like in 1950s, describing the life of a dancer and revealing how different the lifestyle was from that of most people. In California, Rene spent some time in Los Angeles working at the Moulin Rouge and at Marineland. He also found time to start a film career while dancing at night. Some of his more notable film appearances were with Jerry Lewis and later with Elvis in Jailhouse Rock. In 1961, after dancing for many years, Rene suffered a heart attack and stroke while in Tahoe. He recovered and then went to the Sahara where he performed in his last big show. With all his experience in dance and shows he then began the transition from dancer to choreographer. He received an opportunity to go to Portland and choreograph shows there, although he would always come to Las Vegas when he needed a lead dancer for one of his productions. Rene De Haven currently works for Hollywood Props and Design Group where he has spent the last five years.

Digital ID



Rene de Haven oral history interview, 2003 August 02. OH-00375. [Transcript]. Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.


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An Interview with Rene de Haven An Oral History Conducted by Nancy Hardy The Boyer Las Vegas Early History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas © The Boyer Early Las Vegas Oral History Pro