Choreographer and director Gillian Lynne dies aged 92
Choreographer Gillian Lynne, whose credits include Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, has died aged 92.
News of her death was posted on Twitter by her husband Peter Land, who paid tribute to his “darling wife”.
“I am heartbroken to write that Dame Gillian Lynne and my dearest wife and friend and love for 40 years passed away at 6.20pm tonight, 1st July 2018 at the Princess Grace Hospital,” he wrote.
He added: “She leaves behind a huge legacy and is adored by many.”
Rest In Peace my darling Gillie. I am heartbroken to write that Dame Gillian Lynne DBE & my dearest wife & friend & love for 40 years passed away at 6.20pm tonight 1st July 2018 at the Princess Grace Hospital. She leaves behind a huge legacy&is adored by many espec @peterland_uk pic.twitter.com/Rn3182mRPt
— Dame Gillian Lynne (@Gillian_Lynne) July 1, 2018
Lynne was famed for her work with Andrew Lloyd Webber, who earlier this month renamed the New London Theatre in her honour.
Her credits with the composer included choreographing Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. She was musical stager for the Barbra Streisand film, Yentl. Other stage credits included Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Dear World, which she directed in 2013.
Tributes have poured in for Lynne, with Lloyd Webber saying that three generations of British musical theatre were in her debt.
Farewell dearest Gillie, three generations of the British musical owe so much to you. With love, Andrew
— Andrew Lloyd Webber (@OfficialALW) July 1, 2018
Cameron Mackintosh described her as “a unique light” in musical theatre.
“Inspirational and indefatigable, wickedly funny and fabulously sexy, Gillie’s brilliantly inventive talents over the decades have illuminated the lives of all those who have had the luck to work with her as well as the audiences who have witnessed her magic, he said.
He added: “She always signed her notes to me “Taut and Tight” – it perfectly summed up both her timeless elegance and her extraordinary work ethic. We will all miss her beyond words, but I have no doubt she already has the angels rehearsing the Jellicle Ball up there in the Heaviside Layer! God bless her. She is truly unforgettable.”
Matthew Bourne said Lynne had supported and “inspired” him.
RIP Dear Gillie… you supported and inspired me from the very beginning… your spirit & love of dance & dancers lives on in all of us who share that love ❤️ @Gillian_Lynne #DameGillianLynne all love to @peterland_uk x pic.twitter.com/g2jzQwNaGf
— Matthew Bourne (@SirMattBourne) July 1, 2018
John Owen-Jones described her as “one of a kind”.
My heart is with you Peter. So sorry. She was one of a kind. We shall never see her like again and we shall never forget her. xxx
— John Owen-Jones (@johnowenjones) July 1, 2018
Bernadette Peters said Lynne’s talents had given “joy” to so many.
RIP dear Gillian Lynne
Your talents created so much joy for us all❤️
— Bernadette Peters (@OfficialBPeters) July 2, 2018
Ben Forster recalled working with her on The Phantom of the Opera.
Darling @Gillian_Lynne.The most extraordinary person I have ever worked with. May I live my life to the fullest & be as fabulous as u. Rest In Peace,u truly amazing woman.Proud we worked @phantomlondon I will never forget your words.Thinking of u & admiring ur spirit always.❤️ pic.twitter.com/WTHRt1MEKr
— Ben Forster (@thebenforster) July 1, 2018
Director Laurence Connor described her as the “brightest jewel in the crown”.
So sad to hear of the passing of one of the great personalities in our business. @Gillian_Lynne you were the brightest jewel in the crown. Your dedication and love for your work was there to the very end. You will be missed. Rest peacefully Gilly.
— Laurence Connor (@LaurenceConnor1) July 1, 2018
A full obituary will appear in this week’s issue of The Stage.
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