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Alan Johnson, Choreographer of The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Dies at 81

Johnson worked on numerous films by Mel Brooks.

Alan Johnson, the choreographer behind the original Mel Brooks classics Young Frankenstein and The Producers, has died at the age of 81.

As a performer, Johnson's wide range of Broadway credits include the original production of West Side Story, No Strings, Anyone Can Whistle, and Baker Street. As a choreographer, he created the movement for the musicals So Long, 174th Street, several Shirley MacLaine solo shows, and Legs Diamond, for which he received a 1989 Tony nomination. Johnson's connection with West Side Story continued throughout his career, restaging the original Jerome Robbins choreography in various productions throughout the world.

Johnson began working with Brooks as Brooks was developing his Oscar-winning film The Producers. Johnson created the dance sequences in many Brooks films, including "Springtime for Hitler" (The Producers), "Puttin' on the Ritz" (Young Frankenstein), and "The Inquisition" (History of the World: Part I), among others. He was also a three-time Emmy winner.

He is survived by his sister, Judi Johnson.


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