Robert Louis Fosse (June 23, 1927 – September 23, 1987) was an American actor, choreographer, dancer, and film and stage director. He acted in such films as Don Weis’s The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953), with Debbie Reynolds, Bobby Van, Barbara Ruick, Hanley Stafford, and Hans Conried; George Sidney’s Kiss Me Kate (1953), with Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller, Keenan Wynn, Van, Tommy Rall, James Whitmore, and Kurt Kasznar; Stanley Donen’s Give a Girl a Break (1953), with Marge Champion, Gower Champion, Reynolds, and Richard Anderson; and John Berry’s Thieves (1977), with Marlo Thomas, Charles Grodin, Irwin Corey, Héctor Elizondo, and Mercedes McCambridge.
Fosse directed and choreographed musical works on stage and screen, including Richard Quine’s My Sister Eileen (1955), with Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Betty Garrett, Rall, Dick York, Kasznar, and Lucy Marlow; George Abbott and Donen’s The Pajama Game (1957), with Doris Day, John Raitt, Carol Haney, Eddie Foy Jr., Barbara Nichols; Damn Yankees (1958), with Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon, and Ray Walston; and The Little Prince (1974), with Steven Warner, Richard Kiley, Gene Wilder, Donna McKechnie, Joss Ackland,Graham Crowden, Victor Spinetti, and Clive Revill. Some of these he also acted in.
Fosse directed the films Sweet Charity (1969), with Shirley MacLaine, John McMartin, Sammy Davis Jr., Ricardo Montalbán, Chita Rivera, Barbara Bouchet, Paula Kelly, and Stubby Kaye; Cabaret (1972), with Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Marisa Berenson, Fritz Wepper, and Joel Grey; Lenny (1974), with Dustin Hoffman and Valerie Perrine; All That Jazz (1979), with Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking, Leland Palmer, Cliff Gorman, Ben Vereen, and John Lithgow; and Star 80 (1983), with Mariel Hemingway, Eric Roberts, Cliff Robertson, Carroll Baker, Roger Rees, and David Clennon.
Fosse’s distinctive style of choreography included turned-in knees and “jazz hands”. He is the only person ever to have won Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards in the same year (1973). He was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning Best Director for Cabaret, and won the Palme D’Or in 1980 for All That Jazz. He won a record eight Tonys for his choreography, as well as one for direction for Pippin.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953) – directed by Don Weis – actor
- Kiss Me Kate (1953) – directed by George Sidney – actor
- Give a Girl a Break (1953) – directed by Stanley Donen – actor
- My Sister Eileen (1955) – directed by Richard Quine – actor, choreographer
- The Pajama Game (1957) – directed by George Abbott & Stanley Donen – choreographer
- Damn Yankees (1958) – directed by George Abbott & Stanley Donen – choreographer, uncredited actor
- Sweet Charity (1969) – director, choreographer
- Cabaret (1972)** – director, choreographer
- Liza with a Z (1972) – director – TV special
- The Little Prince 1974) – directed by Stanley Donen – actor, choreographer
- Lenny (1974) – director, uncredited actor
- Thieves (1977) – directed by John Berry – actor
- All That Jazz (1979) – director, co-writer, choreographer
- Star 80 (1983) – director, writer