Music

Designer, director and Julie Andrews’ childhood sweetheart Tony Walton dies

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Award-winning British director and production designer Tony Walton has died aged 87 from stroke complications.

The Oscar winning director enjoyed a career spanning five decades in film, television and the stage and was famous for his work on Broadway in the US.

His death was announced on Facebook by stepdaughter Bridget LeRoy.

She penned: “A fond and loving farewell to the most fabulous stepdad and human being in the world. Love you forever, Tony Walton. Have a great trip.”

Tony's filmography work included Mary Poppins, The Boy Friend, The Wiz and Murder on the Orient Express, all of which earned him Academy Award nominations.

Tony was married to his childhood sweetheart Dame Julie Andrews from 1959 until their divorce in 1968.

The director was among the most prolific designers of his generation.

He was a three-time Tony Award winner for set design, Emmy winner and an Oscar winner for the art and set decoration of 1979’s All That Jazz.

Tony was the Production Designer for Madison Square Garden’s Christmas Carol for 10 years and his Broadway credits include Chicago, Grand Hotel and The Real Thing.

In 1991 he was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame for his pledge to the industry.

The British design was born in Walton-on-Thames in October 1934.

Following the news of his passing The Museum Of Broadway paid tribute to the “brilliant” designer.

“We mourn the loss of celebrated designer, Tony Walton,” the official account tweeted.

“Tony was a brilliant scenic and costume designer whose work was seen on Broadway across five decades, winning three Tony Awards. Rest In Peace.”

Tony and Dame Julie share one child together, Emma Walton Hamilton, 56.

Walton is survived by his wife, the author Gen LeRoy Walton; daughters, Emma and Bridget, and five grandchildren.

A private service will be held in Sag Harbor on a date yet to be determined.

A public celebration will be held at a later date.

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