She was born in Amarillo, Texas.
She danced with the Ballet Russe using the names Maria Istomina and Felia Sidorova.
In 1952 she had a $5-million insurance policy accepted on her legs.
She was 70 years old when she made her Broadway debut in "Grand Hotel".
She and husband Tony Martin became a popular song-and-dance couple on TV and in nightclubs/cabaret shows after their heyday in film.
She almost starred in the lead femme role in An American in Paris - but was unable to due to pregnancy.
She said her husband could tell who she had been dancing with at work that day on the set. If she came home covered with bruises, it was with Gene Kelly - if not it was with Fred Astaire.
Fred Astaire referred to her as as "beautiful dynamite".