Tony Nominated Choreographer, Robert Tucker, Passes Away
On December 22nd, at 3:30 pacific time, Broadway choreographer, Robert Tucker passed away. Mr. Tucker was not only an integral piece of the Broadway community, but a Tony Award nominee for Shenandoah. He was the right hand to Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins. Mr. Tucker is responsible for some of the fundamental dance moves that are still used today.
Robert Tuckers career in dance began with tap at the age of five in Oregon. After high school, Bobby left for California seeking a career in movies. He continued his ballet studies in LA at Nico Charisse's studio. As a result of this move, Bob received numerous roles in movies that David Lichine was in charge to choreograph. Their association continued until a show David choreographed, The Waltz King reached Chicago. The show folded, in lieu of salary, he was given the option of a fare home or any place of his choice. He decided to go to New York. Once arriving in New York, he found a replacement job in One Touch of Venus with Mary Martin. From that point on he worked constantly. In addition to dance jobs on Broadway, there was work for television's The Show of Shows.
When he felt it was time to expand his role in theatre beyond dancing, he began to assist choreographers in staging productions, John Butler with Kate Smith television show, Jerome Robbins with Peter Pan. Bobby was Ballet Master to Robbin's Ballet USA for several years. Bob Fosse began to take an interest in Tucker's career.
A long and fruitful association began that culminated in the collaboration with Hail the Conquering Hero. An apprenticeship that ended when Bob choreographed the movie version of Gypsy with Natalie Wood and Rosalind Russell, You Are A Big Boy Now, For Those Who Think Young, The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night's Dream. He co-choreographed the Noel Coward's Broadway production of Sweet Potato and Hail the Conquering Hero, The Ice Capades, and he staged the London Company of Bells are Ringing. Mr.Tucker assisted Jerome Robbins with Les Noces for the Ballet Theatre, The Bells are Ringing and Peter Pan. He also assisted Bob Fosse in the Broadway production of Sweet Charity and New Girl in Town.
His stock credits include Guys and Dolls, Most Happy Fella. Showboat, How to Succeed in Business, On a Clear Day, Bye, Bye Birdie, Funny Girl, Song of Norway, My Fair Lady, and others. For films, Mr. Tucker has arranged the dances seen in Under the Yum Yum Tree, You're a Big Boy Now, and For Those Who Think Young.