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Gillian Lynne
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    (February 20, 1926-July 1, 2018)
    Born in Bromley, Kent, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Gillian Barbara Pyrke
    Dancer, choreographer and theater director
    Best known for choreographing the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals ‘Cats’ (1981) and ‘Phantom of the Opera’ (1986)
    Member of the Royal Ballet (1944-51)
    Appeared in the films ‘The Master of Ballantrae’ (1953) and ‘Make Mine a Million’ (1959)
    Choreographer for The Muppet Show, ‘Yentl’ (1982) and the TV movie ‘Alice in Wonderland’ (1985)
    Choreographer for stage productions of ‘The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd’ (1965),’Pickwick’ (1965), ‘Bluebeard’ (1966), ‘How Now Dow Jones’ (1967), ‘The Trojans’ (1969), ‘The Fool on the Hill’ (1975), ‘My Fair Lady’ (1978), ‘Cabaret’ (1986), ‘Faust’ (1990), ‘Gigi’ (1999), The Secret Garden’ (2000) and ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ (2002)
    Directed stage productions of ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’ (1977), ‘Jeeves Takes Charge’ (1980), ‘The Rehearsal’ (1983), ‘Cabaret’ (1986) and ‘Gigi’ (1999)
    Named a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (2014)
    She said, ‘As a little girl I was a pain in the neck,’ because she could not keep still.
    She quit the Royal Ballet when she did not get a part she wanted because company director Ninette de Valois felt she was too young.
    She said that during the filming of ‘The Master of Ballantrae,’ ‘I had a fling with Errol [Flynn], but so did everyone.’
    When she was 54, she married an actor half her age.
    When changes were made to her dances for the 2016 revival of ‘Cats,’ she said, ‘It makes me feel like I’d like to murder.’
    She noted about the success of ‘Cats,’ ‘It does tend to obliterate all the other things I’ve done.’
    When she was thirteen, her mother died in a car crash.
    After she put the Los Angeles cast of ‘Cats’ through an exhausting rehearsal, one of the dancers asked, ‘Do you have an indestructible body?’ (1985)
    She was the first woman not in the royal family to have a West End theater named after her.
    Lights at theaters in London dimmed for one minute before performances began the day after her death in tribute.

Credit: C. Fishel

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