Gillian Lynne was a leading soloist with Sadlerís Wells Ballet, the star dancer at the Palladium, played opposite Errol Flynn in the movies and danced with all the greats on TV. She became instrumental in the development of jazz dance in Britain and her distinctive style Ė a fusion of classical and jazz Ė led to her groundbreaking work on the world-famous Cats, which was recognised with a new category of Olivier Award, specially created for her to acknowledge Outstanding Achievement of the Year in a Musical. Cats continues to be produced worldwide Gillianís 50-plus Broadway and West End shows include: Tonight at 8.30, Love on the Dole, The Match Girls, TomFoolery, Jeeves Takes Charge, Cabaret, The Roar of the Greasepaint, Pickwick, The Card, Phil The Fluter, Hans Christian Andersen, My Fair Lady, Songbook, The Phantom of the Opera and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
For the Royal Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Nightís Dream, The Comedy of Errors, The Way of the World, As You Like It, Once in a Lifetime and The Boy Friend. She has previously worked with Adrian Noble on the RSC production The Secret Garden.
Gillianís opera productions include the direction of Bluebeard, The Trojans, The Midsummer Marriage, The Flying Dutchman and Parsifal. Among Gillianís ballets are Breakaway, Lippizaner, The Brontes and Journey for the Bolshoi.
On television, Gillian has directed The Various Ends of Mrs Fís Friends, Easy Money, The Look of Love, The Morte díArthur, which won the Samuel G Engel Award in America, and A Simple Man, which won a 1987 BAFTA.
She staged many of The Muppet Shows for ATV and her 11 feature films include A Wonderful Life, Half a Sixpence, Man of La Mancha and Yentl. Gillianís most recent productions include the staging of a special gala in New York to celebrate The Phantom of the Opera overtaking Cats as the longest-running show on Broadway and Phantom Ė the Las Vegas Spectacular.
She was awarded the Austrian Silver Order of Merit for her production of Cats in Vienna, a Moliere award for Cats in Paris, and in 2001 she was honoured by the Royal Academy of Dance with the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award. Gillian was awarded the CBE in 1997.