Error message

Deprecated function: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in include_once() (line 20 of /home/hirschfeld/public_html/includes/file.phar.inc).
 

"Tony Walton" 2001

"Once There Was A Russian" 1961

"Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum" 1962

"Golden Boy With Sammy Davis Jr. And Paula Wayne" 1964

"The Apple Tree" 1966

"Petulia" 1968

"The Boyfriend" 1971

"Pippin" 1972

"Uncle Vanya" 1973

"The Good Doctor" 1973

"Chicago" 1975

"Streamers" 1976

"Liza Minnelli" 1977

"The Wiz" 1978

"David Garrison" 1983

"Sophisticated Ladies" 1982

"Woman Of The Year" 1981

"Deathtrap" 1981

"Little Me" 1982

"The Real Thing" 1984

"Hurlyburly" 1984

"Whoopi Goldberg" 1984

"I'm Not Rappaport" 1985

"Death Of A Salesman" 1984

"Social Security" 1986

"House Of Blue Leaves" 1986

"The Front Page" 1986

"Anything Goes" 1987

"Linda Ronstadt" 1988

"Jerome Robbins' Broadway" 1989

"Lend Me A Tenor" 1989

"Grand Hotel" 1989

"The Will Rogers Follies" 1991

"Death And The Maiden" 1992

"Four Baboons Adoring The Sun" 1992

"Guys And Dolls" 1992

"Tommy Tune" 1992

"Laughter On The 23rd Floor" 1993

"Picnic" 1994

"Company" 1995

"Funny Thing Happened On The" 1996

"1776" 1997

"Annie Get Your Gun" 1999

"Taller Than A Dwarf" 2000

Farewell Tony

Louise Hirschfeld Remembers Tony Walton

Tony Walton was one of the finest—and busiest—set and costume deisiners over the last half century. His death leaves both the theatre and film world diminished. Above, we present almost all of the Hirschfeld drawings of shows and films that Tony designed. Below, Louise Hirschfeld bids farewell to her friend.

Sidney Lumet invited Al Hirschfeld and me to our first dinner together as a married couple. It was such a happy time because that is where I met Tony Walton.  He was charming, bright, and obviously adored Al. Tony’s early training was in caricature, which occupied his early days in London theater, as he made his way up a stage craft career as stage and costume designer. In fact, he began his New York theatre life as a caricaturist for Playbill while studying for the United Scenic Artists exam.

I remember another meal with Tony. There is a very special theatrical restaurant in Covent Garden called Rules. I had the pleasure of having lunch with Tony and his darling wife, Gen LeRoy in that historic place.  Tony looked so perfect in the location, surrounded by all the great figures of the British Theatre.  It is the Sardis of London.  And he belonged there.

But he belonged here as well.  He crossed the Atlantic and became one of the preeminent costume and stage designers.  England’s gift to Broadway and Hollywood. His awards included an Oscar for All That Jazz and an Emmy for the television version of Death of a Salesman. His exquisite costumes and sets for Murder on the Orient Express and The Wiz were nominated as well. His Tony awards were for Pippin, House of Blue Leaves, and the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls with numerous other awards and nominations.

Tony diversified his career by directing with productions of Major Barbara, Where’s Charley and Busker Alley, as well as The Big Apple Circus Stage Show in 1999. Among his many other artistic endeavors was a family project with his first wife, Julie Andrews and their daughter Emma. He illustrated a series of marvelous children’s books they had written for Harper Collins. (If you are looking for a great introduction to the theatre for young people, I suggest their The Great American Mousical.

In 2005, a great opportunity to work with Tony arose. The Al Hirschfeld Foundation organized a series of exhibitions in London that summer. For the exhibition, Brits on Broadway at the V & A Museum, Tony designed a lovely poster that still hangs in my home today…and it still brings me joy every time I see it. He is also contributed to the companion book Hirschfeld’s British Aisles. For the portrait of Tony, his old friend, Julie Christie, wrote the following:

“We worked together on Dick Lester’s Petulia, Francois Truffaut’s Farenheit 451, and on Mike Nichols’ Uncle Vanya on Broadway for which he designed for me one of the most beautiful costumes I have ever worn..,What the Al Hirschfeld portrait captures…is Tony’s sparkling and constant enthusiasm and warmth with which he embraces all the people with whom he works.”

In the same book, here's what Tony wrote about Hirschfeld’s portrait of Twiggy:

“I have been lucky enough to collaborate with Twiggy—and costume her…including a delirious film version of The Boy Friend. After seeing her as Elvira in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, the fine director, Karel Reisz emerged from her dressing room saying ‘Ah, at last I know what it means when they refer to someone having been touched by the angels.’ I agree and Al Hirschfeld, infallibly as ever in this drawing, managed to suggest that he felt the same.”

Tony directed Twiggy in If Love Were All at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, New York, run by his daughter, Emma and her husband Stephen Hamilton. Al and I arrived the day before the opening. We had lunch with Twiggy and Tony.  It was a riot! The sleepy town diner was dazzled by our group!

Tony Walton’s warmth and respect for theatre history shown through his personality like bright stars. Farewell dear Tony.

Louise Hirschfeld

Login or register to post comments.

March 2022
Louise Hirschfeld Remembers Tony Walton
November 2021
His Career As Seen by Hirschfeld
May 2019
Written by Alan Pally
October 2018
Award Winners Through the Ages
June 2018
Pygmalion and beyond
January 2018
All about Hirschfeld’s earliest-known portrait of an African American jazzman
September 2017
Simple, elegant lines
June 2017
A master class in 20th century entertainment
March 2017
Celebrating Women's History Month
November 2016
Scofield through the years
September 2016
Show Celebrates Golden Anniversary
June 2016
Forgotten Drawings from the Brooklyn Sunday Eagle
May 2016
Hamilton continues tradition
March 2016
Excerpt from "The Hirschfeld Century"
February 2016
Hirschfeld's Lost Manuscript on Soviet Theatre
December 2015
Excerpt from Michael Colby's THE ALGONQUIN KID
November 2015
Shakespeare's Jazz Flop
September 2015
Or The Making of the Musicial Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
July 2015
See curated collections of Hirschfeld art allover the web
June 2015
An excerpt from The Hirschfeld Century by David Leopold
May 2015
King Kong enters the Hirschfeld Pantheon
March 2015
A Previously Unknown Drawing
January 2015
Hello, Lyndon!
December 2014
Harvard's First Work
June 2011
More Than 70 Years of Album Covers
August 2010
AL HIRSCHFELD AND THE THEATRE OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS