Honoring Chet Walker (1954-2022)
Award-winning dancer, director, choreographer and teacher Chet Walker died October 21 at his home in North Carolina. An expert in the work of Bob Fosse, Walker had an acclaimed career that spanned Broadway, television, film, music videos and commercials.
Walker’s Broadway debut was in On the Town at age 16; he went on to dance in Ambassador and Lorelei as well as in Fosse’s The Pajama Game, Pippin and Dancin’ before moving to Los Angeles to teach and perform in commercials. He returned to Broadway to perform in the 1986 revival of Sweet Charity, Fosse’s final production before his death. In 1998, Walker co-conceived and recreated choreography for the tribute musical Fosse, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1999. In 2013, he was nominated for a Tony for his choreography for the revival of Pippin.
Walker choreographed and taught Fosse style jazz all over the world, including spending nearly 20 years directing the musical theater program at Jacob’s Pillow. At the time of his death, Walker was at work on two new musicals: Feelin’ in the Mood, The Glenn Miller Musical and Jack Cole, The Musical. (Walker also worked to codify Cole’s work.)
A public memorial will be held at a later date.
Header photo by Nathan Johnson, courtesy Michael Moore Agency.