Michael Kidd

Choreographer, Director, Performer, Producer
Michael Kidd

Also known as: Milton Greenwald

Male

Born: August 12, 1915
New York, New York

Died: December 23, 2007
Los Angeles, California

Michael Kidd, who won five Tony Awards as well as an Honorary Academy Award for his choreographic talents on Broadway and on screen, died Dec. 23, 2007, at his Los Angeles home, the New York Times reports. Mr. Kidd died from cancer, according to his nephew Robert Greenwald, who said his uncle was 92. Michael Kidd began his Broadway career as a performer in the late thirties/early forties in Filling Station, The Ballet Caravan, Billy the Kid, Interplay and Ballet Theatre. One of his early choreography credits was the original production of Finian's Rainbow, for which Mr. Kidd won a 1947 Tony Award, tying with Agnes de Mille (Brigadoon). He would go on to win four other Tony Awards — for his choreography for Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Li'l Abner and Destry Rides Again.

Li'l Abner — in 1956 — was the first Broadway production that Mr. Kidd both choreographed and directed. He would repeat both those duties for productions of Destry Rides Again, Wildcat, Subways Are for Sleeping, Ben Franklin in Paris, The Rothschilds, Cyrano and a 1980 revival of The Music Man.

Although he failed to win another Tony after his 1960 choreographic win for Destry Rides Again (he was also nominated for a director Tony for Destry), Mr. Kidd did receive five other nominations. Those nominations include three for choreography (Subways Are for Sleeping, Skyscraper and The Rothschilds) and two for direction (The Rothschilds and The Goodbye Girl). The latter, which starred Bernadette Peters in the title role, was Mr. Kidd's final Broadway credit.

In addition to his stage success, Mr. Kidd also enjoyed a Hollywood career. He staged dances and musical numbers for "The Band Wagon," "Knock on Wood," "Guys and Dolls," "Li'l Abner," "Star!" and "Movie Movie" and is credited with choreographing "Where's Charley?," "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," "Merry Andrew" and "Hello, Dolly!" Mr. Kidd also appeared in a handful of films: "Happy Days Are Here Again," "It's Always Fair Weather," "Smile," "Movie Movie" and "Skin Deep." He and Peter Anastos were Emmy-nominated for their choreography for the 1982 TV special "Baryshnikov in Hollywood."

Mr. Kidd was awarded an Honorary Academy Award in 1997 "in recognition of his services to the art of the dance in the art of the screen." He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996 from the American Choreography Awards, USA.

Mr. Kidd was born Michael Greenwald in Brooklyn, NY. He attended City College of New York, but left the college when he received a scholarship to the School of American Ballet in 1937. He was married twice: to Mary Heater, which ended in divorce; and to Shelah Hackett, who survives him. He is also survived by four children: Kristine Kidd and Susan Kidd, from his first marriage; and Amy Kidd and Matthew Kidd, from his second.

Mr. Kidd, the New York Times says, defined his dances as "human behavior and people's manners, stylized into musical rhythmic forms." "I always use real-life gestures, and most of my dancing is based on real life," Mr. Kidd once said.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - The Goodbye Girl The Goodbye Girl
Mar. 4, 1993 - Aug. 15, 1993
Director
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Music Man The Music Man
Jun. 5, 1980 - Jun. 22, 1980
Choreographer
(Original)
Who's Who
    Director
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - The American Dance Machine The American Dance Machine
Jun. 14, 1978 - Dec. 3, 1978
Featuring choreography from Destry Rides Again and Can Can
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Cyrano Cyrano
May 13, 1973 - Jun. 23, 1973
Director
(Original)
 
    Choreographer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Rothschilds The Rothschilds
Oct. 19, 1970 - Jan. 1, 1972
Director
(Original)
 
    Choreographer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Skyscraper Skyscraper
Nov. 13, 1965 - Jun. 11, 1966
Choreographer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Ben Franklin in Paris Ben Franklin in Paris
Oct. 27, 1964 - May 1, 1965
Director
(Original)
 
    Choreographer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Here's Love Here's Love
Oct. 3, 1963 - Jul. 25, 1964
Choreographer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Subways Are for Sleeping Subways Are for Sleeping
Dec. 27, 1961 - Jun. 23, 1962
Director
(Original)
 
    Choreographer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Wildcat Wildcat
Dec. 16, 1960 - Jun. 3, 1961
Producer
(Original)
 
    Choreographer
(Original)
 
    Director
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Destry Rides Again Destry Rides Again
Apr. 23, 1959 - Jun. 18, 1960
Director
(Original)
 
    Choreographer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Li'l Abner Li'l Abner
Nov. 15, 1956 - Jul. 12, 1958
Choreographer
(Original)
 
    Director
(Original)
 
    Producer
(Original)
 
Finian's Rainbow
May 18, 1955 - May 29, 1955
Based the original choreography
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Guys and Dolls Guys and Dolls
Apr. 20, 1955 - May 31, 1955
Original choreographer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Can-Can Can-Can
May 7, 1953 - Jun. 25, 1955
Dance and Musical Numbers Staged by
(Original)
 
Guys and Dolls
Nov. 24, 1950 - Nov. 28, 1953
Dances and Musical Numbers Staged
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Arms and the Girl Arms and the Girl
Feb. 2, 1950 - May 27, 1950
Choreographer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Love Life Love Life
Oct. 7, 1948 - May 14, 1949
Choreographer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Hold It! Hold It!
May 5, 1948 - Jun. 12, 1948
Choreographer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Finian's Rainbow Finian's Rainbow
Jan. 10, 1947 - Oct. 2, 1948
Choreographer
(Original)
 
Ballet Theatre
Sep. 30, 1946 - Nov. 9, 1946
Sailor Performer
(Original)
 
Concert Varieties
Jun. 1, 1945 - Jun. 28, 1945
Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Billy the Kid Billy the Kid
Apr. 21, 1942 - Jan. 1, 1900
Billy Performer
(Original)
 
    Re-Staging
(Original)
 
The Ballet Caravan
May 24, 1939 - May 27, 1939
Indian Man Performer
(Original)
 
    Dancer Performer
(Original)
 
The Devil and Daniel Webster / Filling Station
May 18, 1939 - May 26, 1939
The Gangster Performer
(Original)
 
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Did not open - Dec. 14, 1966
Choreographer
(Original)
 
 

Inside the Playbill (2)

See more Who's Who

Awards


Tony Award

Year Category Production Winner/Nominee
1993 Direction of a Musical The Goodbye Girl Nominee
1971 Direction of a Musical The Rothschilds Nominee
1971 Choreography The Rothschilds Nominee
1966 Choreography Skyscraper Nominee
1962 Choreography Subways Are for Sleeping Nominee
1960 Direction of a Musical Destry Rides Again Nominee
1960 Choreography Destry Rides Again Winner
1957 Choreography Li'l Abner Winner
1954 Choreography Can-Can Winner
1951 Choreography Guys and Dolls Winner
1947 Choreography Finian's Rainbow Winner
 
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