Broadway dims its lights in memory of Geoffrey Holder

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The Broadway community mourns the loss of Geoffrey Holder, Tony Award-winning director, performer, choreographer and designer, who died Sunday, 5 October 2014 at the age of 84. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory tonight, 10 October 2014, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, released the following statement:
"No one who saw The Wiz will ever forget the memorable experience, in large part thanks to the direction and design brought to the Broadway stage by Geoffrey Holder. An incredibly talented artist seen in many mediums, his visual creativity and influence was unforgettable."

Mr Holder earned two Tony Awards (Best Direction of a Musical and Best Costume Design) for the original Broadway production of 'The Wiz' in 1975. He was nominated again for Best Costume Design for 'Timbuktu!' in 1978, which he also directed and choreographed. His Broadway acting credits include his debut in the 1954 musical 'House of Flowers', by Harold Arlen and Truman Capote, 1957's all-black production of Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot' in the role of Lucky, and supporting Josephine Baker in a Broadway revue in 1964.

His movie career highlights include 'All Night Long', 'Doctor Dolittle', 'Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex', 'Boomerang', and perhaps most famously as Bond voodoo-villain Baron Samedi in 007's 'Live and Let Die', and as Punjab in the 1982 film version of the musical 'Annie'.

Mr Holder was a prolific painter, art collector, book author and music composer, and in 1955, he married dancer Carmen de Lavallade, his fellow cast member in the musical 'House of Flowers'. The couple went on to have a son, Leo Anthony Lamont. He is survived by both his wife, Carmen and his son, Leo.

- by Tom Millward

Geoffrey Holder 1930-2014

Originally published on

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