Tony Walton

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Anthony John Walton
Born (1934-10-24) 24 October 1934 (age 79)
Occupation Art director, set designer, costume designer
Spouse(s) Julie Andrews (1959-1967, 1 child)[1]

Tony Walton (born Anthony John Walton, 24 October 1934) is an English set and costume designer.

Walton was born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England. He began his career in 1957 with the stage design for Noël Coward's Broadway production of Conversation Piece. Throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s he designed for the New York and London stage. He entered motion pictures as costume designer and visual consultant for Mary Poppins in 1964, for which he received an Oscar nomination.

His awards include an Oscar for All That Jazz in 1980 and an Emmy for the acclaimed 1985 TV version of Death of a Salesman. He has received many Oscar, Emmy and other nominations, including BAFTA nominations for costume and set design for Murder on the Orient Express in 1975 and Oscar nominations for both costume design and set direction/art direction for the motion picture version of The Wiz in 1979.

In December, 2005, for their annual birthday celebration to 'The Master', The Noël Coward Society invited Walton as the guest celebrity to lay flowers in front of Coward's statue at New York's Gershwin Theatre, thereby commemorating the 106th birthday of Sir Noel.

Broadway productions and others[edit]

More recently, Walton has diversified into directing, with productions of:

Inspiration for Disney's Winnie the Pooh[edit]

Walton gave the Sherman Brothers the insight and inspiration for the Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree songs as is explained in the Sherman Brothers' joint autobiography, Walt's Time:

Walt (Disney) said 'Read the Pooh stories and let me know what you think.' We tried, but the stories just weren't coming through to us. At that time designer Tony Walton was working on Poppins. He was English-born, and he was about our age, so we asked him to give us some insight on the Pooh character. His eyes lit up. 'Winnie the Pooh?', he said. 'I love Winnie the Pooh! Of course I'll help you!' Three hours later, he was still talking about Pooh, inspiring us no end. He explained how he had been a chubby little boy, and had felt very insecure. But Winnie the Pooh was his buddy, because Pooh was pudgy and proud of it. Pooh was probably the only character in the world who exercised to gain weight! Pooh was a wonderful, lovable friend who would never let you down or turn his back on you. Soon, we started to fall in love with Pooh ourselves. Our songs for Winnie the Pooh were truly a love affair, thanks to A.A. Milne and to Tony Walton.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Walton married his childhood sweetheart Julie Andrews in 1959, and the two had a daughter (Emma Katherine Walton Hamilton). Walton has said that he fell in love with Andrews when they were in their early teens and he saw her playing the egg in a theatre production of Humpty Dumpty. They divorced in 1967 but still remain close chums. Walton married Gen LeRoy in 1991. Daughter Emma Walton's godmother is actress and comedienne Carol Burnett, as well as the prima ballerina, Svetlana Beriosova. Emma's godfather is Vic Oliver. Tony Walton is grandfather to Emma's two children: Sam and Hope. He, Andrews and their daughter have worked several times together professionally. He has illustrated several children books written by Andrews and their daughter.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stevens Gen LeRoy (1991-present), Christopher (2010). Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams. John Murray. p. 372. ISBN 1-84854-195-3. 
  2. ^ Sherman, Robert B., Walt's Time: from before to beyond, 1998, p 68.

External links[edit]