Robert Louis Fosse’s stage name was Bob Fosse. He was an extremely talented choreographer. He was born into a vaudeville family in Chicago the year of 1972. At the age of thirteen, he was already touring with his own dance company called The Riff Brothers. By the age of fifteen he choreographed his first number in a night club. This act already displayed his sexy dance style by having girls manipulate ostrich feathers to ‘That Old Black Magic’. He developed skills in tap, ballet, jazz and modern styles of dancing.
After being in the US Navy, Fosse went to acting school for two years. In 1948, he began touring with the chorus of Call Me Mister. After touring for two year, he ended up dancing on Broadway in the revue Dance Me a Song. Not long after that Hollywood saw that he had talent and gave him a call. He had three small parts in a few films, including Kiss Me Kate (1958). That momentary success in Hollywood was short lived. Once he realized this wasn’t getting him anywhere he headed back to Broadway. A director, George Abbott, took a chance with Fosse to choreograph The Pajama Game (1954). The show became a huge hit. The following year, Fosse worked with Abbott on Damn Yankees.
Although most of his work was choreography, he did do some directing particularly in Redhead (1959). It’s interesting that his name became more famous than the stars in the shows. He had several hits, Sweet Charity (1966, 1972, & 1982), Pippin (1972), Chicago (1975), and Dancin’ (1978). These four shows alone added up to over 5,000 performances, and Fosse finished with a total of eight Tony Awards. This was only the beginning of several awards to come.
He also had a successful career in movies. His choreography of My Sister Eileen (1955), The Pajama Game (1957), and Damn Yankees (1958) was well received. He became the first man since Busby Berkeley to be given complete control over a produc