Tommy Tune

(b. 1939)

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(b Wichita Falls, Tex., 28 Feb. 1939)

US dancer, director, and choreographer. He studied ballet with Camille Hill, Emma Mae Horn, and Shirley Dodge but at six ft. six in. he became too tall for a classical dancer and focused on the theatre instead. He performed in Broadway musicals, including Baker Street (1965), A Joyful Noise (1966), How Now Dow Jones? (1967), and Seesaw (1973), for which he won his first Tony Award. He revealed his skill as a tap dancer in such films as Hello, Dolly! (1969) and The Boy Friend (1971). He made his New York directing debut in 1976 with The Club. His subsequent production, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which he co-directed and co-choreographed, won him a 1978 Tony Award as Best Director of a Musical. He won additional Tonys in 1980 for direction and choreography on A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine. Other successes followed, including Caryl Churchill's non-musical Cloud 9 (1981) and Nine (1981), a musical based on Fellini's film 8½; both productions earned him further directing awards. In 1983 he starred in, directed, and co-choreographed (with Thomie Walsh) My One and Only, in which he and Twiggy donned top hats to sing and dance to a selection of George Gershwin show tunes. This resulted in another Tony award, this time for Best Actor in a Musical. After two attempts at Stepping Out (1983 and 1987), Tune staged the darker Grand Hotel (1989) and The Will Rogers Follies (1991), winning Tonys for both shows. In all, he has won nine Tony Awards. He published his autobiography, Footnotes: A Memoir, in 1997.

Subjects: Music — Dance.

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