In its relatively brief existence, the Philadelphia Ballet performed not only in Europe but also throughout the U.S., including in New York’s Lewisohn Stadium, the Hollywood Bowl and the White House. Catherine’s younger siblings, Dorothie and Carl, both talented and attractive performers, were instrumental in the troupe’s success. Catherine became an articulate and ardent advocate for the development of ballet in this country.
The Philadelphia Ballet, always known for its athletic men, disbanded when many of them joined the military after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Catherine redirected her energy toward more popular endeavors such as musicals and ice shows.
She created dance sequences for Kurt Weill’s The Firebrand of Florence, among other productions, and a succession of Sonja Henie’s Hollywood Ice Revues, performed in massive arenas nationwide. Without ever learning to skate herself, Catherine turned out spectacles of originality that reflected her ballerina’s sensibility.
She was arranging routines for Jimmy Durante’s television program (on NBC) when she died of cancer in 1951 at age 46. She is buried in Philadelphia’s Chelten Hills Cemetery along with other members of the Littlefield family.