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Gwen Verdon


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(b Culver City, Calif., 13 Jan. 1925; d 18 Oct. 2000)

US dancer, singer, actress, and choreographer. She studied ballet, Spanish dance, and East Indian dance (with La Meri) before appearing with Jack Cole's jazz troupe on Broadway. Her first major success was in Cole Porter's Can-Can, 1953, which won her the first of her four Tony Awards. Later starring roles were in the musicals Damn Yankees (1955), New Girl in Town (1957), Redhead (1959), Sweet Charity (title role, 1966), and Chicago (1975). She also appeared in many Hollywood films, and the big-screen version of Damn Yankees (1958), in which she reprised her stage role as the 172-year-old witch Lola. She was married to the choreographer and director Bob Fosse, with whom she often worked. In the 1990s she was involved in reviving and staging her husband's choreography and acted as artistic adviser to the 1999 Broadway show Fosse: A Celebration in Song and Dance.

Subjects: Performing arts

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