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Overview for Tony Walton
Tony Walton

Tony Walton

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