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Chet Walker, Co-Creator of Fosse and Choreographer of Pippin Revival, Dies at 68

Walker had recently been diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor.

Chet Walker
(© David Gordon)

Chet Walker, a longtime Broadway dancer who became an award-nominated director and choreographer and co-conceived the Tony Award-winning revue Fosse, died Friday, October 21, at the age of 68. Walker had recently been diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain tumor.

Walker began his Broadway career at the age of 16, when he appeared in the dance ensemble of the 1971 On the Town revival. His performance credits include the original productions of Fosse's Pippin and Dancin', and the 1986 revival of Sweet Charity, as well as Lorelei, The Ambassadors, and the 1973 revival of The Pajama Game.

As a director and choreographer, Walker's extensive credits included replicating the original Fosse Sweet Charity choreography in the United States, London, Holland, Japan, Mexico, and Norway; staging the 10th anniversary tour of La Cage Aux Folles; and assorted productions of Chicago, 42nd Street, Follies, A Chorus Line, and others. His original works were performed by companies including Cirque du Soleil, Jacob's Pillow, where he served for nearly 20 years as the Director of Musical Theater, and the Buenos Aires-based Compania Internacional de Teatro Musical, which he ran as co-artistic director.

Walker's biggest hit was the 2001 Broadway production of Fosse, which he created with Ann Reinking and Richard Maltby Jr., and for which he re-created Fosse's original moves. He received an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Choreography, and the Olivier Award for the London production. Walker also won Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Astaire Awards for choreographing the Diane Paulus Broadway revival of Pippin in 2013.

Recent credits included Singin' in the Rain in Madrid and The Producers in Tel Aviv and Argentina. Walker was at work on two musicals at the time of his death, Feelin' in the Mood: The Glen Miller Musical and Jack Cole, the Musical.

He is survived by his husband, Jack, and their daughter, Charlie, as well as three siblings and a sister-in-law. A memorial will be held at a date to be announced.

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