Tony Walton, Award-Winning Designer of Mary Poppins and The Wiz, Dies at 87

Walton, a legendary designer of stage and screen, earned an Oscar for his design of Bob Fosse’s ”All That Jazz”.

Tony and Academy Award-winning set and costume designer Tony Walton has died at 87.
Tony- and Academy Award-winning set and costume designer Tony Walton has died at 87.
(© David Gordon)

Tony Walton, the multi-award-winning British costume and set designer for stage and screen alike, died on Wednesday evening at his Upper West Side apartment in New York City. He was 87.

According to reports, his death was caused by complications from a stroke. The news of his passing was announced on Facebook by his stepdaughter Bridget LeRoy, who wrote: "A fond and loving farewell to the most fabulous stepdad and human being in the world."

Walton won an Academy Award in 1979 for his production design of Bob Fosse's musical film All That Jazz. He had previously earned an Academy Award nomination for his work as production designer on the 1964 film Mary Poppins, starring his then-wife Julie Andrews, to whom he was married from 1959-68. He earned two additional Oscar nominations for his work on Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and The Wiz (1978).

Walton made his Broadway debut in 1961 as scenic and costume designer for the short-lived play Once There Was a Russian. He went on to provide scenic and costume design for the original Broadway production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), and earned Tony Awards for his scenic design of Pippin (1973), The House of Blue Leaves (1986), and Guys and Dolls (1992). Other notable Broadway credits include Chicago (1975), Sophisticated Ladies (1981), Little Me (1982), The Real Thing (1984), Anything Goes (1987), Jerome Robbins' Broadway (1989), Grand Hotel (1989), The Will Rogers Follies (1991), She Loves Me (1993), Company (1995), 1776 (1997), and Annie Get Your Gun (1999). Walton was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1991.

He is survived by his daughter with Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton, as well as his wife, author Gen LeRoy (who he married in 1991), his stepdaughter Bridget LeRoy, and five grandchildren.