Charles Walters

(1911 - 1982)

A photo of Charles Walters
Charles Walters
1911 - 1982
Born
November 17, 1911
Death
August 1982
Last Known Residence
Malibu, Los Angeles County, California 90265
Summary
Charles Walters was born on November 17, 1911. He died in August 1982 at 70 years of age. We know that Charles Walters had been residing in Malibu, Los Angeles County, California 90265.
Updated: February 06, 2019
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WRITTEN BY: Michael Barson
Charles Walters
AMERICAN DANCER, CHOREOGRAPHER, AND FILM DIRECTOR
BORN
November 17, 1911
Brooklyn, New York
DIED
August 13, 1982 (aged 70)
Malibu, California
NOTABLE WORKS
“Easter Parade”
“The Unsinkable Molly Brown”
dance
directing (movie and theater)
Charles Walters, (born November 17, 1911, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.—died August 13, 1982, Malibu, California), American dancer, choreographer, and film director who was best known for his work on MGM musicals. His notable directorial credits included Easter Parade (1948) and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964).
A former dancer, Walters choreographed such Broadway musicals as Sing Out the News (1938–39) and Let’s Face It! (1941–43) before moving to MGM. There he served as dance director on some of the best musical films of the decade, including Du Barry Was a Lady (1943), Girl Crazy (1943), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), and Summer Holiday (1948); he also handled some of the choreography for Ziegfeld Follies (1945) and The Harvey Girls (1946).
After directing the short Spreadin’ the Jam (1945), Walters helmed his first feature film, the bubbly Good News (1947), with up-and-comers June Allyson and Peter Lawford. It was a success, and prominent producer Arthur Freed rewarded Walters with a major assignment, the period piece Easter Parade (1948). Despite initial production problems—Gene Kelly broke his ankle and was replaced by Fred Astaire, and Judy Garland had Vincente Minnelli (her then husband) removed as director—it was one of the year’s top grossers. The film, which features songs by Irving Berlin, centres on a dancer (Astaire) who, after his partner (Ann Miller) leaves him to pursue a solo career, hires a chorus girl (Garland) to take her place. Astaire and Garland were slated to return for Walters’s The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), about a husband-and-wife musical comedy team. However, an unstable Garland was forced to leave the project, which led to the reuniting of Astaire and Ginger Rogers, who had not performed together in a decade. Despite being a box-office success, it was the last film to feature the popular screen duo.
Summer Stock (1950) paired Garland and Kelly, with Eddie Bracken and Phil Silvers providing able comic support; “Get Happy” later became a standard for Garland. In 1951 Walters directed his first nonmusical, Three Guys Named Mike (1951); Jane Wyman starred as a stewardess being courted by three men, one of whom was portrayed by Van Johnson. Although not as popular as Walters’s earlier productions, the film was a modest hit.
Walters returned to musicals with Texas Carnival (1951), though it was largely forgettable, despite a cast that included some of MGM’s top talent: Esther Williams, Howard Keel, Red Skelton, and Miller. Walters then reunited with Astaire for The Belle of New York (1952), but it failed to match the success of their earlier efforts. More popular was the sentimental Lili (1953). Leslie Caron gave a heartbreaking performance as a French waif who joins a carnival, and Mel Ferrer portrayed the bitter puppeteer who loves her. The film received six Academy Award nominations, including Walters’s sole nod for best director; only Bronislau Kaper’s score (which included “Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo”) won an Oscar.
In 1953 Walters directed Williams in the water musicals Dangerous When Wet and Easy to Love. That year he also made Torch Song, a melodrama with Joan Crawford as a difficult Broadway star who falls for a blind pianist (Michael Wilding). Although Crawford earned praise for her performance, the film was not a success when first released. However, it later developed a cult following as a camp classic. The Glass Slipper reunited Walters with Caron in a Cinderella-like fable with enchanting songs and dances, while The Tender Trap (both 1955) showed that Walters could mount a good romantic comedy; it starred Frank Sinatra as a womanizing agent who falls in love with an aspiring actress (Debbie Reynolds). Sinatra returned for High Society (1956), a musical remake of George Cukor’s The Philadelphia Story (1940). The popular film, which featured a number of memorable Cole Porter songs, also starred Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly (in her final feature film).

(From left to right) Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Celeste Holm in High Society (1956), directed by Charles Walters.
(From left to right) Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Celeste Holm in …
© 1956 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
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Kabuki Theater. Unknown Artist, ’Scene at Kabuki Theater’, 19th century. From a private collection. The strongest ties of Kabuki are to the Noh and to joruri, the puppet theatre that developed during the 17th century. Playing Around: Fact or Fiction?
Walters moved away from musicals for his next pictures. After the World War II comedy Don’t Go near the Water (1957), he made Ask Any Girl (1959), a predictable looking-for-love-in-the-big-city romp that nonetheless was a hit, thanks largely to the performances by Shirley MacLaine, David Niven, and Gig Young. Walters worked with Niven and Doris Day on his next picture, a lively adaptation of Jean Kerr’s play Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960). The domestic comedy was one of year’s highest-grossing films.


Walters returned to musicals with the circus spectacle Billy Rose’s Jumbo (1962). The fine cast included Day, Jimmy Durante, and Martha Raye, but the songs by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart were the true stars of the show. The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) allowed Walters to adapt a more current Broadway musical, and he made the most of it, getting the performance of Reynolds’s career (and her only Oscar nomination). The popular movie follows the life of Molly Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titanic. Walters’s final feature film was the romantic comedy Walk, Don’t Run (1966), a pleasant remake of George Stevens’s The More the Merrier (1943); Cary Grant, in his last movie role, portrayed a businessman in Tokyo who ends up playing matchmaker during the Olympics. Made for Columbia, it was the only motion picture Walters had worked on in almost 25 years that was not an MGM production. In the 1970s he worked on several television projects, notably two TV movies that starred Lucille Ball. He retired from directing in 1976.

Michael Barson
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Charles Walters
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Charles Walters
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Malibu, Los Angeles County, California 90265
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Amanda S. Stevenson
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Charles Walters (November 17, 1911 – August 13, 1982) was a Hollywood director and choreographer most noted for his work in MGM musicals and comedies in from the 1940s to the 1960s.
Charles Walters was born in Pasadena, California and educated at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
He is notable for directing many popular and successful MGM musicals, such as Good News, Easter Parade and High Society, featuring some of the studio's biggest stars, including Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Peter Lawford, June Allyson and Esther Williams.
Before directing feature films, Walters was one of the leading dance directors at MGM. Among the movies he choreographed are Meet Me in St. Louis, Best Foot Forward and Girl Crazy (in which he partnered Judy Garland on-screen).
He received a Best Director Oscar nomination for the 1953 film Lili starring Leslie Caron, for which Caron was also Oscar nominated. He also directed Debbie Reynolds to her only Oscar nomination in the film version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.
Walters directed the last pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), as well as Cary Grant in the actor's last film Walk, Don't Run, a 1966 remake of The More the Merrier. He also directed Doris Day in her last musical, Billy Rose's Jumbo.
He concluded his career in the mid-1970s, directing Lucille Ball in two made-for-television movies, and the TV series Here's Lucy.
Brent Phillips' book, Charles Walters: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance, illuminates Walters' private life as a gay man. Walters died from lung cancer at the age of 70. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6402 Hollywood Blvd.

Director
Ziegfeld Follies (1946)
Good News (1947)
Easter Parade (1948)
The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)
Annie Get Your Gun (1950) (uncredited)
Summer Stock (1950)
Three Guys Named Mike (1951)
Texas Carnival (1951)
The Belle of New York (1952)
Lili (1953)
Dangerous When Wet (1953)
Torch Song (1953)
Easy to Love (1953)
The Glass Slipper (1955)
The Tender Trap (1955)
High Society (1956)
Don't Go Near the Water (1957)
Gigi (1958) (uncredited)
Ask Any Girl (1959)
Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1960)
Cimarron (1960) (uncredited)
Go Naked in the World (1961) (uncredited)
Two Loves (1961)
Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962)
The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)
Walk, Don't Run (1966)
Actor[edit]
Pied Piper Malone (1924) - Child
Presenting Lily Mars (1943) - Lily's Dance Partner in Finale (uncredited)
Girl Crazy (1943) - Student (uncredited)
Abbott and Costello in Hollywood (1945) - Sailor (uncredited)
Lili (1953) - Dancer (uncredited)
Torch Song (1953) - Ralph Ellis (uncredited)
Easy to Love (1953) - Nightclub Dancer with Cyd Charisse (uncredited, Last appearance)
Bibliography[edit]
Phillips, Brent. Charles Walters: The Director Who Made Hollywood Dance. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 9780813147215.
Sep 13, 2017 · Reply

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Charles Walters died in August 1982 at age 70. He was born on November 17, 1911. We are unaware of information about Charles's surviving family. We know that Charles Walters had been residing in Malibu, Los Angeles County, California 90265.

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Charles' lifetime.

In 1911, in the year that Charles Walters was born, the first use of aircraft as an offensive weapon occurred in the Turkish-Italian War. First used for aerial reconnaissance alone, planes were then used in aerial combat to shoot down recon planes. In World War I, planes and zeppelins evolved for use in bombing.

In 1929, he was 18 years old when on March 4th, Herbert Hoover became the 31st President of the United States. Early in his presidency, the October stock market crash - "Black Tuesday" - occurred, which lead to the Great Depression. None of his economic policies were able to make a dent in the Depression. This lead to one term and the election of Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt winning the 1933 election in a landslide.

In 1933, by the time he was 22 years old, Frances Perkins became the first woman to hold a cabinet-level position, appointed by President Roosevelt to serve as Secretary of Labor. She told him that her priorities would be a 40-hour work week, a minimum wage, unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation, abolition of child labor, direct federal aid to the states for unemployment relief, Social Security, a revitalized federal employment service, and universal health insurance. President Roosevelt approved of all of them and most them were implemented during his terms as President. She served until his death in 1945.

In 1959, he was 48 years old when on January 3rd, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States and the first state not a part of the contiguous United States. The flag was changed to display 49 stars.

In 1982, in the year of Charles Walters's passing, on June 30th, time ran out on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The Amendment had only received 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications. First sent to the states in 1972, the Amendment stated that "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex".

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c. 1921 - Unknown 1921 - ?

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