Even in the depths of war in occupied France, Florence Waren and Frederic Apcar — or “Florence et Frederic,” as they were billed — dazzled Paris, he in tails, she in jeweled gowns with flowers in her hair, the two of them gliding and swirling across the stage as one of the most famous ballroom-dance teams in Europe.
In old black-and-white photographs, Ms. Waren, then in her early 20s, is often airborne, seemingly weightless in Mr. Apcar’s arms. At times they shared the stage with Édith Piaf and Maurice Chevalier. And on many nights Nazi officers were in the audience.
But what the members of the Wehrmacht did not know was that Ms. Waren was, as she put it, “hiding in the spotlight.”
Ms. Waren was a Jew in disguise, performing in a Nazi-held city where Jews lived under constant threat. She was a lawbreaker, hiding other Jews in her apartment, risking her own deportation to a concentration camp. And she was a smuggler, helping to supply guns to the French Resistance.
“I think she was very scared,” her son, Mark Waren, said in a telephone interview. “But I don’t think it was something she thought much about. It was simply what one did.”
Ms. Waren died on July 12 at her home in Manhattan, her son said. She was 95. She had eluded capture during the war and had come to New York not long afterward, to dance at the Copacabana with Mr. Apcar. She went on to carve out a career on stage and in television and to lead the dance and theater department at City College, even though she had never finished high school in her native South Africa.
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