Tony Walton, a beloved Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning set and costume designer, has died of complications from a recent stroke. He was 87.
Mr. Walton was born on October 24, 1934 in Surrey, England. He began his career in 1957 with the stage design for Noël Coward's Conversation Piece, splitting his time between London and New York. In 1959, he married his childhood sweetheart, Julie Andrews, with whom he created the iconic aesthetics of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins. The pair divorced in 1968, but remained close friends.
Mr. Walton received Tony awards for the original productions of Pippin and The House of Blue Leaves, as well as the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls. He received Tony nominations for The Apple Tree, Chicago, A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, The Real Thing, The Front Page, Anything Goes, Lend Me a Tenor, Grand Hotel, The Will Rogers Follies, She Loves Me, Steel Pier and Uncle Vanya.
Of his 20 films, Mary Poppins, The Boy Friend, The Wiz, and Murder on the Orient Express earned him five Academy Award nominations. He won the Oscar for production design of Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz, and won an Emmy Award for the 1985 televised film version of Death of a Salesman, starring Dustin Hoffman, Kate Reid, John Malkovich and Stephen Lang.
His final Broadway credit was the musical adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities in 2008. Mr. Walton was elected to the Theater Hall of Fame in 1991.
As a producer, Mr. Walton co-presented six plays and musicals in London, including three in association with Hal Prince.
His opera designs have been seen throughout Europe and America, including designs for London’s Theatre Royal Covent Garden and The Sadler’s Wells Opera Company. Among his many ballet designs were St. Louis Woman for Dance Theatre of Harlem at Lincoln Center, and Peter and the Wolf and Sleeping Beauty for American Ballet Theatre, as well as many ballets for the San Francisco Ballet Company.
In his later years, Mr. Walton added the title of director to his never ending list of credits, helming productions at New York’s Irish Rep, San Diego’s Old Globe, Sarasota’s Asolo Rep, East Hampton’s John Drew Theatre, and the Bay Street Theatre, which his daughter Emma Walton Hamilton co-founded.
Mr. Walton is survived by his wife, author Gen LeRoy Walton; daughters, Emma Walton Hamilton and Bridget LeRoy; and five grandchildren. A private service is planned in Sag Harbor, and a public celebration will be held in the coming weeks.