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Alan Johnson

  • Birthplace: Ridley Park, Pennsylvania
  • Birthday: February 18
Date of passing: 
July 08, 2018

Obituary

Obituary: 

Alan Johnson was an American choreographer.

At a very early age, Johnson’s mother began taking him to dance classes at an early age. By the time he graduated from high school, his dance instructor had encouraged her to let him find work as a dancer in New York.

He got a job as an understudy in the original production of West Side Story, which opened in 1957, and later played small parts in the musical and its 1960 revival before going on tour with it.

Alan Johnson was an American choreographer.

At a very early age, Johnson’s mother began taking him to dance classes at an early age. By the time he graduated from high school, his dance instructor had encouraged her to let him find work as a dancer in New York.

He got a job as an understudy in the original production of West Side Story, which opened in 1957, and later played small parts in the musical and its 1960 revival before going on tour with it.

Johnson won Emmy Awards for the 1972 Jack Lemmon TV special ‘S Wonderful, ‘S Marvelous, ‘S Gershwin, Shirley McLaine’s 1984 special, Shirley MacLaine … Every Little Movement, and 1988’s Irving Berlin’s 100th Birthday Celebration.

Johnson choreographed musical numbers in several Mel Brooks films, such as the infamous "Springtime for Hitler" number in The Producers, two numbers in Blazing Saddles: Madeline Kahn’s comic ode to her ennui, “I’m Tired,” and a number with Dom DeLuise as a petulant choreographer rehearsing about two dozen men in top hats and tails as they sing “The French Mistake” (“Throw out your hands/Stick out your tush/Hands on your hips/Give them a push!), ”Puttin' On the Ritz" with Peter Boyle and Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein, and the "Spanish Inquisition" dance number from History of the World, Part I. Johnson also directed Brooks in the 1983 film To Be or Not to Be.

Johnson died July 8, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. He was 81.

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