Actor, Choreographer, Tony-Winning Director & Costume Designer Geoffrey Holder Dead

first_img Holder also directed and costume designed Timbuktu! in 1978 (he was again nominated for his costumes). This time, he added two more credits to his billing: choreographer and Playbill cover illustrator. Visual art—painting, in particular—was yet another gift he possessed. His work, often inspired by folk tales, was displayed in Washington D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery and at the Guggenheim Museum. Born on August 1, 1930 in Trinidad and Tobago, Holder grew up with three siblings. His oldest brother, Arthur Holder (known by his childhood nickname Boscoe), taught him dance and painting. At the age of 7, Geoffrey joined his brother’s folk dance group: Holder Dancing Company. He took over the company as director and lead performer, and in 1954, choreographer Agnes de Mille invited the company to New York. Holder is survived by de Lavallade and their son, Léo. Later that year, he made his Broadway debut in House of Flowers, for which he also choreographed a dance piece. The cast featured the likes of Pearl Bailey, Alvin Ailey, Diahann Carroll and the woman he would marry in 1955: Carmen de Lavallade. Holder’s stage talents hardly ended at dancing. In 1957, he was featured in an all black revival of Waiting for Godot as Lucky. Then, in 1975, following various stage and screen appearances, Holder made his directorial debut with the original production of The Wiz. He won Tony Awards for his direction and for his costume design.center_img On screen, Holder appeared in numerous films, including Live and Let Die, in which he reprised his role of Baron Samedi, a Haitian Voodoo spirit whom he portrayed in House of Flowers. His additional credits include Doctor Dolittle, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask, Annie and Boomerang. Broadway performer, director, dancer, choreographer and costume designer Geoffrey Holder died at the age of 84 on October 5. His death, a result of complications from pneumonia, was confirmed to The New York Times by Charles M. Mirotznik, a family spokesman. View Commentslast_img