Dorothy Farnon — 1926-2014


It’s not often that it’s a good thing when people associate you with Scrooge. But Scrooge is the legacy of Dorothy and Brian Farnon.

Dorothy Farnon

Dorothy Farnon

Dorothy Farnon died Jan. 3. She was 87.

Brian died in 2010.

The couple wrote an original production of “Ebenezer Scrooge”, which was staged of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe from 1982 through the late 1990s. It was a productions that is still talked about today by those who saw it or were in it.

Dorothy was born in Pennsylvania on Aug. 26, 1926. She and her family later moved to Chicago where she began taking dance, gymnastics and piano lessons. Being a gifted lyricist from a young age, she wrote the alma mater for her university.

In Chicago she danced at Chez Paris where she met her future husband, Brian Farnon, who was performing alongside such notables as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.

They moved to Los Angeles where she continued her dancing at the Moulin Rouge. She later formed The Farrells, a song and dance duo.

Dorothy was a talented choreographer and lyricist, teaching hundreds of students to dance and perform.

She and Brian wrote the Christmas song “Christmas Land” performed by Tony Bennett.

Dorothy, Brian and their sons moved to South Lake Tahoe in 1967. She had a thriving dance studio in South Lake Tahoe for many years, presenting annual recitals.

She will be remembered for her quick wit, love of animals and people, life, and Christmas.

Dorothy was philanthropic, donating to such organizations as Barton Memorial Hospital, Lake Tahoe Humane Society, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, and Lake Tahoe Boys and Girls Club. To continue this tradition, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dorothy’s name to: Lake Tahoe Humane Society, P.O. Box PET, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158 or Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, 1485 Cherry Hills Circle, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.

Dorothy is survived by her sons, Michael and Brian Farnon; grandchildren, Matthew Farnon and Meghan Farnon Tompkins; great-grandson, Brody Tompkins; and stepdaughters, Sharon Crigler, Charmian Carr, and Darlene Parker.

There will be an open house to celebrate Dorothy’s life on Feb. 8 from 10am-1pm at Edgewood Tahoe in Stateline. Click here for details and to RSVP.

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Comments (9)
  1. Jenee Michelle says - Posted: January 10, 2014

    Dorthy is much of the reason why I am still dancing and teaching today. She gave me so many amazing experiences as a young lady… and to carry her legacy…. I have created a company that lifts woman up through dance.

    My life wouldn’t be what it is today without her influence.

    Break a Leg Miss Dorthy….. We will dance another day again I know it!

  2. Diana Hames says - Posted: January 10, 2014

    Very sweet and caring women. RIP Dorothy❤

  3. Dumbluck says - Posted: January 11, 2014

    I had the pleasure in performing in “Scrooge” for many years. Dorothy was always very gracious to me when commenting about my so-called dancing. She maintained her poise and wit throughout all those long peformances and rehearsals. She had been missed on the South Shore for years and will always be remembered fondly.

  4. hikerchick says - Posted: January 11, 2014

    My daughter danced with Dorothy for years and performed in Scrooge as well. Miss Dorothy was such a positive influence in her (and our) lives. Dance classes were strict but a lot of fun too. Rehearsals for Scrooge took up every evening from Thanksgiving to opening night late in December. It was a great opportunity for the young cast members to participate in a professional level stage production. The shows were sold out every night.

    Many parents stayed during the dance lessons to observe and I think to enjoy Dorothy’s wit. She often told stories of her earlier career and made the funniest remarks. I remember her once saying (when she was frustrated by trying to get the students to plie properly), “When I die I want one word on my gravestone, PLIE!” Whether that word will be there or not, it will be there in spirit. Many now adults who were privileged to attend her classes still stand straight and hold their heads high because of her great positive training.

  5. Les Wright says - Posted: January 11, 2014

    Dorthy and Brian are Tahoe legends.
    They can Rest in Peace knowing what they had contributed to Lake Tahoe

  6. Paul and Mary Ann Werley says - Posted: January 12, 2014

    So many wonderful memories created working with both Dorothy and Brian through the years. Many thanks for their heartfelt devotion and sharing their talents with all of us. You will be missed Dorothy.

  7. Michael Farnon says - Posted: January 12, 2014

    Thanks to everyone in the community for enriching my mom’s life as much as see enriched your’s. She went to the lord with an enriched SOUL.

  8. Dawn Armstrong says - Posted: January 13, 2014

    Through the years, Dorothy’s compassion and concern created opportunities to help raise funds for local animals in need. It makes me smile to think you’re getting (and dodging) lots of well deserved, sloppy kisses right now, Dorothy! For the animals, Thank You.