Advertisement
 
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Thommie Walsh, 57; 'Chorus Line' dancer won two Tony Awards as a choreographer

Obituaries

June 21, 2007|Mary Rourke | Times Staff Writer

Thommie Walsh, a Tony Award winning choreographer and dancer who was in the original Broadway cast of "A Chorus Line," has died. He was 57.

Walsh died of cancer on Saturday at his mother's home in Auburn, N.Y., said his manager, Robert Duva.

Walsh made his Broadway debut in 1973 as a dancer in "Seesaw," a romantic comedy directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett.

Two years later when Bennett directed "A Chorus Line," Walsh played the role of Bobby, one of the dancers who tell their story in the production's backstage scenes. He made a lasting impression with his boyish good looks and stylish dance moves.

Walsh later co-wrote a book about the experience, "On the Line" (1990), with writer Robert Viagas and dancer Baayork Lee, also a member of the original cast.

His next major success was in 1978 with "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," one of several musicals that brought Walsh together with director, choreographer and performer Tommy Tune. Walsh was the show's associate choreographer. Tune co-directed.

Two years later Walsh and Tune co-choreographed "A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine," which won them both a Tony Award. They also co-choreographed "My One And Only," which brought them another Tony in 1983.

Walsh had several more Broadway shows to his credit including "Nine," which led to a Tony nomination for his choreography in 1982. Tune directed the show.

Born Thomas Joseph Walsh III on March 15, 1950, in Auburn, N.Y., he began dance classes at age 5. Early in his career he used the name Thomas J. Walsh.

After his success in "A Chorus Line," he kept up a working relationship with several of the performers, including dancer Donna McKechnie, who had a leading role in the show. Walsh directed her in the autobiographical "Donna McKechnie: Inside the Music," which toured the U.S. five years ago.

He also directed a 2001 touring production of "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" that starred Ann-Margret and staged musical numbers for such major dancers as Chita Rivera and Mitzi Gaynor.

He had a role as one of the apostles in the 1973 movie "Jesus Christ, Superstar."

Walsh is survived by his mother, Ellie, and his sister, Barbara Walsh.

--

mary.rourke@latimes.com

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|