Who is Cynthia Rhodes?
Retired American actress, singer and dancer Cynthia Rhodes was born in Nashville, Tennessee USA, on 21 November 1956, making Scorpio her zodiac sign. She appeared in 15 movies and TV series prior to retiring from acting in 1991, wanting to focus on raising her children, and she’s perhaps still known best for playing Penny Johnson in the evergreen 1987 romantic musical movie “Dirty Dancing”, which starred Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, and was directed by Emile Ardolino. It follows young girl Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman as she’s staying at the Catskills resort with her parents, and has now fallen for her dance instructor Johnny Castle; the movie won 12 of its 18 award nominations, including an Oscar win for Best Music, Original Song.
Education and early life
Cynthia was raised as an only child in Nashville, by her Baptist parents Edna and Adrian Rhodes; they were deeply religious, and Cynthia went to church with them at least once a week. She later revealed that it was because of her parents and upbringing that she refused to appear in movies which required nudity, and rejected when invited to pose naked for the magazine “Playboy”.
Cynthia studied at Glencliff High School, and was mostly into dancing and singing during her four years there; she worked at the theme park Opryland USA as a singer, during her teenage years.
Upon matriculating in 1975, Cynthia chose not to pursue a college degree but to focus on acting.
Roles in TV series
Cynthia appeared in only two TV series. Her debut was playing Even Dozen Dancer in a 1976 episode of the musical comedy “Music Hall America”, which starred Kenny Rogers and Chuck Woolery, and follows a group of comedians as they’re performing comedy skits.
In 1984, Cynthia played Merlise in the episode “Goin’ On Home/Ambitious Lady” of the popular adventure “Fantasy Island”, which starred Herve Villechaize and Ricardo Montalban, and was created by Gene Levitt. It follows the people staying at a mysterious but luxurious resort island in the Pacific Ocean, the series aired from 1977 through 1984, and was nominated for 10 awards.
Roles in movies
Cynthia’s debut film role was playing Dancer in the 1982 musical “The Tubes Video”, and the same year saw her play Woman in Red in the music video “Toto: Rosanna”.
In 1983, she portrayed Tina Tech in the romantic musical “Flashdance”, which starred Michael Nouri and Jennifer Beals, and was directed by Adrian Lyne. It follows a female welder and exotic dancer from Pittsburgh who’s trying to enroll at ballet school, and the film won 11 of its 26 award nominations, including an Oscar win for Best Music, Original Song.
She then appeared in the 1983 music video “Bee Gees: The Woman in You”, and the same year saw her star as Jackie in the popular romantic musical “Staying Alive”, which also starred John Travolta and Finola Hughes, and was directed by Sylvester Stallone. It follows Tony Manero who’s trying to become a professional dancer – the movie was nominated for six awards.
Some of Cynthia’s following roles were in the 1983 music video “Finding Out the Hard Way”, the 1984 crime action science fiction “Runaway”, and the 1986 romantic sports drama “Teenage Dream”. She was featured in the 1987 music video “Richard Marx: Don’t Mean Nothing”, and the year 1989 saw her appear in two music videos: “Animotion: Room to Move” and “Animotion: Calling it Love”.
Her only other film role was playing Vickie Phillips, one of the lead characters in the 1991 action “Curse of the Crystal Eye”, which also starred Jameson Parker and Mike Lane, and was written and directed by Joe Tornatore. It follows a man who’s seeking the supposed treasure of Ali Baba in Asia and Africa.
21 November, 1956, Cynthia Rhodes (58) was born, famous for her roles in Staying Alive (83) & Dirty Dancing (87) pic.twitter.com/oBeO3HRRzs
— On This Day In Film (@onthisdayinfilm) November 22, 2014
Cynthia was an assistant director on the 1986 musical series “Say Yes”.
She sang four songs in the 1983 movie “Staying Alive”, the song “Love Theme” in the 1986 movie “The Devil Wears White”, and the song “Let The Love Begin” in the 1988 movie “Hot Splash”.
Some of her talk-show appearances, while she still active in the film industry, were in “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson”, “Camp Midnite” and “VH-1 Where Are They Now?”
Awards and nominations
Cynthia was nominated for a 1983 Bravo Otto Germany Award for Best Actress.
Love life and marriage
Cynthia’s a highly secretive woman and prefers to keep the details of her love life to herself, but it’s known that she was married to famous American pop rock singer-songwriter Richard Noel Marx.
The two met on the set of the 1983 movie “Staying Alive”; Cynthia was starring in it, while Richard was working on its soundtrack. He’s seven years younger than her, which was why Cynthia refused to go out on a date with him; they met again two years later at a party, and after a four-year courtship exchanged vows on 8 January 1989.
Cynthia gave birth to their first son Brandon Caleb Marx on 11 September 1990, their second son Lucas Connor Marx followed on 14 September 1992, and she gave birth to their third son Jesse Taylor Marx on 4 January 1994.
Cynthia and Richard filed for divorce in April 2014, and it was finalized by the end of the year.
There are no other men whom she’s perhaps been with, that we know about; Cynthia seems to be unattached as of July 2023, was once married to Richard Marx and has three sons with him.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Cynthia shares a birthday with a number of celebrities, including British actress and producer Nicollette Sheridan, American actress Rachel Rogers, and Icelandic singer Björk.
Cynthia and her former husband Richard raised their sons in Highland Park, Illinois prior to moving to Chicago, Illinois.
She’s revealed that it was easy for her to leave the entertainment industry as she wanted to be a stay-at-home mother more than anything else.
Cynthia isn’t active on Instagram, as she respects her own privacy.
Her former husband Richard married his second wife, Cuban-American actress, comedienne and model Daisy Fuentes on 23 December 2015.
One of Cynthia’s favorite actresses is Julianne Moore, and some of her favorite movies include “Far from Heaven”, “Boogie Nights” and “The Kids Are All Right”.
Height, eyes and wealth
Cynthia’s age is 66. She has brown hair and eyes, is 5ft 7ins (1.7m) tall and weighs around 130lbs (60kgs).
Cynthia’s net worth’s been estimated at over $9 million, as of July 2023.