Hermes was the son of a Greek candy manufacturer
and distributor who, after his father died found work with his
sister "Ditty" who supported themselves and their mother
with various song and dance jobs as teenagers. Having been exposed
to African American rhythms by his "Mammy" as he referred
to her (housekeeper,) he would pick up a lot of rhythm and soul
along the way.
Hermes Pan became a world class dancer and
choreographer and was considered one of the nicest guys to boot.
Pan worked with many stars such as Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy
Garland, Betty Grable, Ann Miller, Rita Hayworth etc. Danced with
Betty Grable in the 1943 movie the "Wishing Waltz."
Mr. Pan would also become Fred Astaire's main choreographer for
RKO pictures with 'Finian's Rainbow' being their last film working
together in 1968. It was this pairing in the film "Flying
Down To Rio" with Astaire and Rogers that made his career
and somewhat Astaire and Roger's as well ( Pan had already
worked with Ginger prior to them both coming to Hollywood.)
Hermes had one of the longest career's as
a dance director/choreographer. He hired a number of major American
dancers for their first Hollywood jobs including Bob Fosse and
After the dance team of " Astaire
went their separate ways, Mr. Pan would move to another studio
... 20th Century Fox, where he then worked with the fabulous Betty
Grable, and then later MGM.
Danced in such movies as 'Moon Over Miami',
'Pin-Up Girl' with Betty Grable,
'Sweet Rosie O'Grady', 'My Gal Sal' and the very popular 'Kiss
Me Kate' thru his career. Hermes Pan was nominated for three Academy
Award's for Dance Direction in 1937 and won for 'A Damsel in Distress'.
Won Emmy Awards for 'An Evening With Fred Astaire' (1959) and
'Astaire Time' (1961.)
He died peacefully at his home in Beverly Hills a few months
before his 81st birthday.