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Also Known As: Anthony John Walton Died:
Born: October 24, 1934 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Surrey, England, GB Profession: production designer, costume designer, director, producer, illustrator

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This noted British designer began his career at age 22 with the 1957 Broadway production of Noel Coward's "Conversation Piece". Walton alternated between designing for the London and New York stage throughout the late 1950s and early 60s. He entered films as costume designer and visual consultant on Disney's "Mary Poppins" (1964) which starred his then-wife Julie Andrews. His eye-popping, late Edwardian costumes for this landmark film that included a mix of animation and live-action earned him the first of five Oscar nominations. He went on to create the futuristic world of "Fahrenheit 451" (1966) and the Roaring Twenties look of Ken Russell's backstage musical version of "The Boy Friend" (1971). "The Sea Gull" (1968), with its 19th Century Russian settings, marked the first of seven screen collaborations with Sidney Lumet. Walton went on to earn Oscar nominations for his elegant costumes for the director's "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974) and for both sets and costumes for Lumet's misguided "The Wiz" (1978). Walton finally shared a statuette (with Philip Rosenberg) for Bob Fosse's superb "All That Jazz" (1979), which required the creation of not only contemporary Manhattan settings, but also...

This noted British designer began his career at age 22 with the 1957 Broadway production of Noel Coward's "Conversation Piece". Walton alternated between designing for the London and New York stage throughout the late 1950s and early 60s. He entered films as costume designer and visual consultant on Disney's "Mary Poppins" (1964) which starred his then-wife Julie Andrews. His eye-popping, late Edwardian costumes for this landmark film that included a mix of animation and live-action earned him the first of five Oscar nominations. He went on to create the futuristic world of "Fahrenheit 451" (1966) and the Roaring Twenties look of Ken Russell's backstage musical version of "The Boy Friend" (1971). "The Sea Gull" (1968), with its 19th Century Russian settings, marked the first of seven screen collaborations with Sidney Lumet. Walton went on to earn Oscar nominations for his elegant costumes for the director's "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974) and for both sets and costumes for Lumet's misguided "The Wiz" (1978). Walton finally shared a statuette (with Philip Rosenberg) for Bob Fosse's superb "All That Jazz" (1979), which required the creation of not only contemporary Manhattan settings, but also elaborate fantasy and flashback sequences, most notably a hospital setting.

Walton, however, has been one of the preeminent stage designers since the 1960s. Beginning with his witty costumes and sets for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" in 1963, he has created the look for many successful musical productions including the Fosse-directed "Pippin" (1972) with its Carolingian setting, and "Chicago" (1975), set in the 20s, the Tommy Tune-staged "A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine" (1980), which recreated the Tinseltown glamour in of the 30s, and "Grand Hotel" (1989), set in pre-war Berlin, and the acclaimed revival of "Guys and Dolls" (1992). Walton has frequently worked with Mike Nichols, creating everything from the barracks of "Streamers" (1977) to the contemporary English settings of Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing" (1984). More recently, Walton has branched out into directing, staging and designing a well-received 1996 revival of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest".

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Milestones close milestones

1955:
Worked as a designer at Peter Haddon's Company in Wimbledon, England
1957:
First Broadway production as designer, Noel Coward's "Conversation Piece"
1958:
London stage debut as designer "Valmouth"
1959:
TV debut as designer, "The Julie Andrews Show" (BBC)
1959:
Debut as stage producer, the British production of "The Ginger Man"; also designed sets and costumes
1962:
Designed the sets and costumes for the original stage production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"
1963:
Debut as opera designer, the Sadler's Wells Opera Company production of "The Love of Three Oranges"
1964:
First film as costume designer and consultant "Mary Poppins"; earned first Oscar nomination
1965:
First feature credit as production designer "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"
1966:
Received first Tony Award nomination for designs for the musical "The Apple Tree"; first stage collaboration with Mike Nichols
1968:
First screen collaboration with Sidney Lumet, "The Seagull"
1972:
Won first Tony for scenic design for the Bob Fosse-directed musical "Pippin"
1974:
Won Oscar nomination for his costumes for Lumet's "Murder on the Orient Express"
1976:
US TV debut as designer, "Free to Be . . . You and Me" (NBC)
1978:
Received two Oscar nominations for his costumes and sets for Lumet's "The Wiz"
1979:
Won Oscar for his production design for Fosse's "All That Jazz"
1982:
Last screen collaboration with Lumet, "Deathtrap"
1983:
Created the designs for Fosse's last film "Star 80"
1986:
Won second Tony Award for his scenic design for the revival of John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves"
1986:
First screen collaboration with Mike Nichols, "Heartburn"
1991:
Served as production designer on Nichols' "Regarding Henry"; last screen credit as of 1997
1992:
Earned third Tony for designing the acclaimed revival of "Guys and Dolls"
1996:
Stage directing debut, "Song at Twilight" at Bay Street Theater
1996:
Directed the Off-Broadway production of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" co-starring Eric Stoltz and Nancy Marchand; also designed the sets and costumes
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Radley College: Abingdon , Oxfordshire - 1948 - 1952
Oxford School of Technology, Art and Commerce: - 1949 - 1952
Slade School of Fine Arts: - 1954 - 1955

Notes

"As a designer, you build up a close relationship with actors when they are at their most insecure. The first sight of themselves at that first costume fitting can be very unsetlling." --Tony Walton quoted in The New York Times, October 20, 1996.

Walton has contributed illustrations to various publications including Playbill, Theatre Arts, and Vogue.

Inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1991

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Julie Andrews. Actor. Married May 10, 1959; divorced in 1968.
wife:
Genevieve LeRoy. Playwright. Married on September 12, 1991.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Lancelot Henry Frederick Walton. Orthopedic surgeon.
mother:
Hilda Betty Walton.
daughter:
Emma Kate Walton. Theater producer. Runs Bay Street Theater Festival in Sag Harbor, New York with Sybil Christopher; mother, Julie Andrews.
step-daughter:
Bridget LeRoy.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Peacocks and Avarice" Harper & Brothers
"Cindy-Ella" W.H. Allen & Co.
"God Is a Good Friend to Have" Simon & Schuster
"Witches Holiday" Pantheon
"The Importance of Being Earnest" and "Lady Windemere's Fan" Limited Editions Club
"Wonders" Simon & Schuster
"Adelie Penguin in Wonders"
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