Gower Champion

Gower Champion
Marianna Diamos / Los Angeles Times


Gower Champion
TV: South side of the 6100 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Actor | Dancer | Director
Born June 22, 1921 in Geneva, Ill.
Died Aug. 25, 1980 of Waldenstrom's disease in Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital, NY

Gower Champion was a premiere choreographer-director in the American theater.

A dancer, choreographer, actor, director and showman, Champion had devoted his life to entertainment in all its forms, achieving success on stage, in films, and on television.

His teaming with his first wife — the former Marjorie Celeste Belcher — was to become one of the most successful in the postwar era. But true stardom came only after several sidetracks.

In 1948, Champion staged dances for the Broadway show "Small Wonder" and this led to a trip back to Hollywood, where he choreographed "Lend an Ear," a stage show that was taken to New York for a successful run and won the Donaldson, Dance Magazine and Amtoinette Perry (Tony) awards for the best dances on the Broadway stage during the year.

The urge to perform remained strong, however and the team now known as "Marge and Gower Champion" became nationally known through television appearances on "Admiral Broadway Revue" and with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca on the DuMont and NBC networks.

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