Fosse, Bob

Fosse, Bob (Robert Louis Fosse) fôˈsē, fŏsˈē [key], 1927–87, American choreographer and director, b. Chicago. Generally recognized as the most talented and influential theatrical choreographer and musical director of his generation, Fosse developed an unmistakable dance style that became his trademark—angular; provocatively sexy, with hunched shoulders, turned-in feet, and thrusting hips; and expressful of the full range of human emotion, from joy to bleak despair. He first appeared on Broadway in Dance Me a Song (1950). He choreographed dances for The Pajama Game (1954) and Damn Yankees (1955), choreographed and directed Sweet Charity (1966) and Pippin (1972), and choreographed, directed, and cowrote the book for Chicago (1975). Fosse directed and choreographed the films Sweet Charity (1969), Cabaret (1972), and the semiautobiographical All That Jazz (1979). In 1972, he became the only director to win an Academy Award (Cabaret), a Tony Award (Pippin) and an Emmy Award (“Liza with a Z”) in the same year.

See biographies by M. Gottfried (2003) and S. Wasson (2013).

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