The Great Ballerina Was Not the Greatest Revolutionary

A 1959 failed coup of the Panamanian government had a shocking participant – the world-famous dancer Dame Margot Fonteyn

Dame Margot Fonteyn's role in a plot to overthrow the pro-U.S. government of Panama in 1959 was all but forgotten until now. (Bettmann / Corbis)

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It was not to be. Profumo’s career would be destroyed four years later by his involvement with the prostitute Christine Keeler. After a change in government in Panama, Roberto Arias was allowed to return to the country—where he was shot and nearly paralyzed in an assassination attempt in 1964. And Fonteyn teamed up with Nureyev, carrying her career to dizzying new heights before she retired to Panama, where she helped to care for her husband until his death in 1989, at age 71. She died there in 1991, also at age 71.

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