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
If you think of the Broadway show Cats, then you think of dancer, director, and choreographer Dame Gillian Lynne. On May 17th She celebrated her 38th wedding anniversary with her husband Peter Land. On June 22 the New London Theatre in the West End was renamed the Gillian Lynne Theatre. On July 1st she passed away. She was 93.
Dame Gillian Lynne went from classical ballet to dancing in theatre, film and television. She created the choreography and or performed for eleven feature films including include A Wonderful Life, Half a Sixpence, Man of La Mancha and Yentl. Gillian was in a film with Errol Flynn, but was uncredited and was the choreographer on The Owl and The Pussy Cat starring Barbra Streisand.
On television she directed The Various Ends of Mrs F’s Friends, Easy Money, The Look of Love, The Morte d’Arthur, which won the Samuel G Engel Award in America, and A Simple Man, which won a 1987 BAFTA. She also staged many of The Muppet Shows.
Starting off as a leading soloist with Sadler’s Wells Ballet she was the star dancer at the Palladium. For her work on Cats, she was recognized by the Olivier Award, with a new category specially created for her. Gillian’s 50-plus Broadway and West End shows include: Tonight at 8.30, Love on the Dole, The Match Girls, TomFoolery, Jeeves Takes Charge, Cabaret, The Roar of the Greasepaint, Pickwick, The Card, Phil The Fluter, Hans Christian Andersen, My Fair Lady, Songbook, The Phantom of the Opera and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
For the Royal Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors, The Way of the World, As You Like It, Once in a Lifetime and The Boy Friend. She has previously worked with Adrian Noble on the RSC production The Secret Garden.
She also worked in opera with productions of Bluebeard, The Trojans, The Midsummer Marriage, The Flying Dutchman and Parsifal.
In the ballet world she created Breakaway, Lippizaner, The Brontes and Journey for the Bolshoi.
For her work has received two Olivier Awards and a a Lifetime Achievement “Special” Olivier in 2013, the Austrian Silver Order of Merit, a Moliere award and in 2001 she was honoured by the Royal Academy of Dance with the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award. In 1997 she was given a CBE and was made a Dame in 2014 for her services to Dance and Musical Theatre.
The last time I saw Gillian was at the opening night of Dear World at The York Theatre with Tyne Daily and her husband Peter Land. My heart goes out to him on this sad passing.