Tony Charmoli

Choreographer/ Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his five-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Tony Charmoli speaks about choreographing television shows including Your Hit Parade, Alice in Wonderland, NBC Comedy Hour, The Dinah Shore Show and T he Danny Kaye Show, among others. He describes the process of creating a dance routine and rehearsal schedules, and speaks of the challenges of choreographing for live television. He also shares fond memories of some of the notable talents he's directed and choreographed for throughout his career, including Julie Andrews, Mitzi Gaynor, Dinah Shore, Danny Kaye, Cyd Charisse and Carol Channing. Sunny Parich conducted the interview on December 12, 1997 in Los Angeles, CA.

"Dance was the only thing I wanted to do. We're always in pain, but we knew what caused the pain, so it was good pain. So when a dancer complains that it hurts, that's all right. They know why it hurts. You suffer the hurt because the passion says you must do this. If you don't have that passion, take up plumbing or do something else."

Highlights
Tony Charmoli on teaching Shirley MacLaine "The hustle" among other dances
04:06
Tony Charmoli on dance numbers he choreographed for The Danny Kaye Show
02:03
Tony Charmoli on memories of working with Bob Fosse
05:53
Tony Charmoli on winning the DGA award for his work on a John Denver special with The Muppets
04:19
Tony Charmoli on Liberace's appearance on the Lily Tomlin special, Lily-Sold Out
03:51
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences
On joining the Air Force during WWII; on performing as a dancer for the troops during the war; on attending the Ted Shawn school of Dance

Chapter 2

On his move to New York in 1946; on studying at the American Theater Wing; on joining the Choreographers Workshop; on his first job on Broadway: Make Mine Manhattan
On his introduction to television and his first job in the new medium; on choreographing for the TV show Stop the Music; on choreographing for Your Hit Parade

Chapter 3

On choreographing for Your Hit Parade and challenges working in live TV; on choreographing for theater versus television; on creating new dance routines for the same hit song week after week
On the directors and producers he worked with on Your Hit Parade; on different dances he incorporated into the show; on working with the dancers and crew on the show
On interference from the sponsors and the network; on how rock music affected Your Hit Parade

Chapter 4

On the effect of Rock and Roll on the TV show Your Hit Parade; on why he left the show in 1955; on receiving an Emmy and a Dance Magazine Award in 1955; on participating in color experimentation for TV
On the process of choreographing a show; on the relationship between director and choreographer; on how he casts and works with dancers; on the relationship between music and dance
On the collaboration between the choreographer and the writer of a show; on his awareness of the Blacklist in the 1950s; on why he moved from New York to Los Angeles

Chapter 5

On his move to L.A. and choreography for Dinah Shore Show; on choreography for an hour long show versus a half hour show; on working with an assistant
On the guests he choreographed on The Dinah Shore Show; on working with guests who were untrained dancers; on dancing on the Dinah Shore Show

Chapter 6

On appearing on The Dinah Shore Show; on movie stars who appeared on the show; on the end of The Dinah Shore Show; on working on TV specials with many celebrities
On choreography for The Danny Kaye Show; on The Danny Kaye Show dancers

Chapter 7

On individuals he worked with on The Danny Kaye Show; on the end of The Danny Kaye Show; on choreographing for The Julie Andrews Show
On his transition into directing; on directing thirteen TV specials for the Ford Motor Company; on his directing style
On going back to choreographing for The Julie Andrews Hour

Chapter 8

On working with Julie Andrews; on meeting Mitzi Gaynor and choreographing and directing specials for her
On directing and choreographing the special Gypsy In My Soul for Shirley MacLaine

Chapter 9

On choreographing for Shirley MacLaine; on directing the Shirley MacLaine special "Where Do We Go From Here?"
On directing and choreographing for The People's Choice Awards; on working on Circus of the Stars; on directing Diahann Carroll on The Anthony Newly Show; on his demeanor as a director
On winning the DGA award for his work on a John Denver special with The Muppets

Chapter 10

On winning a DGA award for directing a John Denver special with the Muppets; on what makes a successful variety special; on choreographing for the Lily Tomlin special Lily-Sold Out
On choreographing Raquel Welch; on then-current projects; on directing the TV version of The Nutcracker; on the importance of working; on highlights of his career
On regrets he has in his career; on his influence for dance and choreography in TV; on what represents TV at its best; on how he envisions TV in the next century

Chapter 11

On how he would like to be remembered; on recollections of people he's worked with throughout his career
On commentary on B-roll footage - photos from his career
Shows

Anthony Newley Show, The

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Tony Charmoli on directing Diahann Carroll on The Anthony Newly Show
01:35

Circus of the Stars

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Tony Charmoli on working on Circus of the Stars
02:14

Danny Kaye Show, The

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Tony Charmoli on choreographing for The Danny Kaye Show
11:52
Tony Charmoli on the writers on the Danny Kaye Show, such as Larry Gelbart, Mel Tolkin
06:05
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of The Danny Kaye Show
02:45
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of The Danny Kaye Show with Danny Kaye
00:25

Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The

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Tony Charmoli on B-roll footage of The Dinah Shore Christmas Special
01:06

Dinah Shore Show, The

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Tony Charmoli on moving to L.A. to work on The Dinah Shore Show
10:27
Tony Charmoli on some of the big stars who appeared on The Dinah Shore Show, particularly Frank Sinatra
01:39

John Denver Specials

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Tony Charmoli on winning the DGA award for his work on a John Denver special
04:19

Julie Andrews Hour, The

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Tony Charmoli on choreographing for The Julie Andrews Hour
03:57
Tony Charmoli on choreographing for the variety-series The Julie Andrews Hour
06:30

Julie Andrews Show, The

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Tony Charmoli on working on The Julie Andrews Show with Julie Andrews and Gene Kelly
00:56

Julie Andrews Specials

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Tony Charmoli on working on The Julie Andrews Special with Julie Andrews and Gene Kelly
00:56

Lily: Sold Out!

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Tony Charmoli on choreographing for a Lily Tomlin special
03:51

Mitzi Gaynor Specials

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Tony Charmoli on meeting Mitzi Gaynor and choreographing and directing specials for her
16:47
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of Mitzi Gaynor on her special: Mitzi and a Hundred Guys
01:04

Nutcracker, The

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Tony Charmoli on directing the TV version of The Nutcracker
05:37
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of Mikhail Baryshnikov in The Nutcracker
00:29

People's Choice Awards

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Tony Charmoli on directing and choreographing for The People's Choice Awards
03:41

Shirley MacLaine Special, The: Where Do We Go From Here?

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Tony Charmoli on directing a Shirley MacLaine special "Where Do We Go From Here?"
09:19

Tonight

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Tony Charmoli on appearing on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen
03:55

Your Hit Parade

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Tony Charmoli on choreographing the show Your Hit Parade
05:09
Tony Charmoli on choreographing Giselle McKenzie for Your Hit Parade and the challenges of working in live TV
05:23
Tony Charmoli on receiving an Emmy Award and a Dance Magazine Award for his choreography on Your Hit Parade
03:55
Tony Charmoli on B-roll footage of Your Hit Parade dancers
00:56
Topics

Emmy Awards

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Tony Charmoli on receiving an Emmy Award and a Dance Magazine Award for his choreography on Your Hit Parade
03:55
Tony Charmoli on winning an Emmy for choreographing and directing for a Mitzi Gaynor special
04:40
Tony Charmoli on winning and Emmy for directing and choreographing the special Gypsy In My Soul for Shirley MacLaine
04:29
Tony Charmoli on highlights of his career, including his Emmy wins
01:50

Hollywood Blacklist

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Tony Charmoli on his awareness of the Blacklist in the 1950s
01:56

Industry Crossroads

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Tony Charmoli on his awareness of the Blacklist in the 1950s
01:56

Memorable Moments on Television

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Tony Charmoli on receiving a Dance Magazine Award on The Tonight Show for his choreography on Hit Parade and walking off The Tonight Show
03:55

Technological Innovation

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Tony Charmoli on his introduction to television and his first job in the new medium
06:08
Tony Charmoli on differences between choreographing for theater versus television
03:24
Tony Charmoli on participating in color experimentation for TV
06:02
Tony Charmoli on experimenting with Chroma-Key while working on The Dinah Shore Show
02:34
Tony Charmoli on how choreography evolved over time for television versus the stage
01:42
Tony Charmoli on choreographing for the variety-series The Julie Andrews Hour
00:42
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of the monolithic era of TV
00:51
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of the use of Chroma-Key while working with Dinah Shore
01:06

Television Industry

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Tony Charmoli on his awareness of the Blacklist in the 1950s
01:56

We Laughed

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Tony Charmoli on receiving a Dance Magazine Award on The Tonight Show for his choreography on Hit Parade and walking off The Tonight Show
03:55
Professions

Dancer/Choreographer

View Profession
Tony Charmoli on choreography for an hour long show versus an half hour show while working on The Dinah Shore Show
01:32
Tony Charmoli on having an assistant, Dick Beard, while working on The Dinah Shore Show
04:40
Tony Charmoli on preparing to choreograph a TV special and the editing process
02:17
Tony Charmoli on how choreography evolved over time for television versus the stage
01:38

Directors

View Profession
Tony Charmoli on directing for TV
11:52
Tony Charmoli on his directing style
01:14
Tony Charmoli on his demeanor as a director
02:42
Tony Charmoli on winning the DGA award for his work on a John Denver special with The Muppets
04:19
Tony Charmoli on winning a DGA award for directing a John Denver special with the Muppets
01:14
Tony Charmoli on what's most important when creating a successful variety special
00:47
Tony Charmoli on why there are no variety specials today
01:15
Genres

Awards Shows

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Tony Charmoli on directing and choreographing for The People's Choice Awards
03:41

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

View Genre
Tony Charmoli on choreographing Giselle McKenzie for Your Hit Parade and the challenges of working in live TV
05:23
Tony Charmoli on choreographing for an hour long show versus an half hour show while working on The Dinah Shore Show
01:32
Tony Charmoli on choreographing for The Danny Kaye Show
11:52
Tony Charmoli on Danny Kaye's writing team for The Danny Kaye Show
05:28
Tony Charmoli on choreographing for The Julie Andrews Hour
03:47
Tony Charmoli on choreographing for the variety-series The Julie Andrews Hour
04:31
Tony Charmoli on winning an Emmy for choreographing and directing for a Mitzi Gaynor special
04:40
Tony Charmoli on winning and Emmy for directing and choreographing the special Gypsy In My Soul for Shirley MacLaine
04:29
People

Steve Allen

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Tony Charmoli on appearing on The Tonight Show with Steve Allen
03:55

Julie Andrews

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Tony Charmoli on working on The Julie Andrews Show with Julie Andrews and Gene Kelly
00:56
Tony Charmoli on working on The Julie Andrews Show with Julie Andrews and Gene Kelly
01:16
Tony Charmoli on choreographing for The Julie Andrews Hour
03:47
Tony Charmoli on choreographing for the variety-series The Julie Andrews Hour
04:40
Tony Charmoli on memories and thoughts about Julie Andrews
00:13
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of Julie Andrews
00:17

Lucille Ball

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Tony Charmoli on memories of choreographing for Lucille Ball and Danny Kaye
03:39
Tony Charmoli on directing and choreographing the special Gypsy In My Soul for Lucille Ball
04:29
Tony Charmoli on memories of Lucille Ball
00:25

Bob Banner

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Bob Banner and how he began working on The Dinah Shore Show
04:14

Mikhail Baryshnikov

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Tony Charmoli on directing the TV version of The Nutcracker with Mikhail Baryshnikov
05:37
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of Mikhail Baryshnikov
00:29

Diahann Carroll

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Tony Charmoli on directing Diahann Carroll on The Anthony Newly Show
01:35

Carol Channing

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Carol Channing
00:45

Cyd Charisse

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Tony Charmoli on directing Cyd Charisse in thirteen Ford Motor Company TV specials
06:17
Tony Charmoli on memories of Cyd Charisse
00:07
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of Cyd Charisse
00:38
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of him in the director's chair thanks to Cyd Charisse
00:21

Dorothy Collins

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Tony Charmoli on Dorothy Collins singing the same hit song for 27 weeks in a row
01:14

Bill Davis

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Tony Charmoli on choreographing for The Julie Andrews Hour with director Bill Davis
03:47

Doris Day

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Tony Charmoli on working on a closed set with Doris Day
00:33

John Denver

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Tony Charmoli on winning the DGA award for his work on a John Denver special
04:19
Tony Charmoli on winning a DGA award for directing a John Denver special with The Muppets
01:14

Nanette Fabray

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Nanette Fabray's appearances on The Dinah Shore Show
00:16
Tony Charmoli on memories of Nanette Fabray
00:28

Sylvia Fine

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Tony Charmoli on working with Sylvia Fine
00:54

Bob Finkel

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Tony Charmoli on memories and thoughts about Bob Finkle
00:29

Ernest Flatt

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Ernest Flatt
00:19

Bob Fosse

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Tony Charmoli on Bob Fosse filling in for him on the Broadway tour of Make Mine Manhattan
00:23
Tony Charmoli on memories of working with Bob Fosse
05:53

Judy Garland

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Judy Garland
00:20

Greg Garrison

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Tony Charmoli on working with director Greg Garrison for a Danny Kaye special
00:35

Mitzi Gaynor

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Tony Charmoli on some of the big stars he's worked with including Raquel Welch and Mitzi Gaynor
02:07
Tony Charmoli on meeting Mitzi Gaynor and choreographing and directing specials for her
16:47
Tony Charmoli on memories and thoughts about Mitzi Gaynor
00:15
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of Mitzi Gaynor
01:04

Larry Gelbart

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Tony Charmoli on working with writers Larry Gelbart, Mel Tolkin, Paul Mazursky, Larry Tucker, Sheldon Keller, Billy Barnes and Earl Brown
01:35

Peter Gennaro

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Peter Gennaro
00:21

Whoopi Goldberg

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Tony Charmoli on working on Circus of the Stars with Whoopi Goldberg
02:14

Alan Handley

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Alan Handley
00:45

Jim Henson

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Tony Charmoli on winning the DGA award for his work on a John Denver special and working with Jim Henson
04:19

Betty Hutton

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Betty Hutton's appearance on The Dinah Shore Show
01:18

Danny Kaye

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Tony Charmoli on choreographing for a Danny Kaye special
07:43
Tony Charmoli on choreographing for The Danny Kaye Show
11:52
Tony Charmoli on Danny Kaye's writing team for The Danny Kaye Show
05:28
Tony Charmoli on memories and thoughts about Danny Kaye
00:16
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of Danny Kaye and Juliet Prouse
02:45
Tony Charmoli on commentary on B-roll footage of The Danny Kaye Show with Danny Kaye
00:25

Gene Kelly

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Tony Charmoli on working on The Julie Andrews Show with Julie Andrews and Gene Kelly
00:56
Tony Charmoli on working on The Julie Andrews Show with Julie Andrews and Gene Kelly
01:16

Perry Lafferty

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Tony Charmoli on memories of working with producers Perry Lafferty and Robert Tamplin on The Danny Kaye Show
00:36
Tony Charmoli on Perry Lafferty
00:33

Shari Lewis

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Tony Charmoli on dancing with Shari Lewis on The Danny Kaye Show
01:27

Liberace

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Tony Charmoli on Liberace's appearance on the Lily Tomlin special, Lily-Sold Out
03:51

Gisele MacKenzie

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Tony Charmoli on memories and thoughts about Gisele Mackenzie
00:36

Shirley MacLaine

View Person Page
Tony Charmoli on directing and choreographing the special Gypsy In My Soul for Shirley MacLaine
04:29
Tony Charmoli on teaching Shirley MacLaine "The hustle" among other dances
04:06
Tony Charmoli on directing a Shirley MacLaine special "Where Do We Go From Here?"
09:19

Martha Raye

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Martha Raye
01:29

Thomas W. Sarnoff

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Tom Sarnoff
00:43

Dinah Shore

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Dinah Shore and choreographing for The Dinah Shore Show
05:50
Tony Charmoli on memories of Dinah Shore
00:09
Tony Charmoli on B-roll footage of The Dinah Shore Christmas Special
01:06

Frank Sinatra

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Tony Charmoli on some of the big stars who appeared on The Dinah Shore Show, particularly Frank Sinatra
01:39

Sid Smith

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Sid Smith and Clark Jones
01:21

Barbra Streisand

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Barbra Streisand's appearance on The Dinah Shore Show
02:39

Mel Tolkin

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Tony Charmoli on working with writers Larry Gelbart, Mel Tolkin, Paul Mazursky, Larry Tucker, Sheldon Keller, Billy Barnes and Earl Brown
01:35

Lily Tomlin

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Tony Charmoli on choreographing for the Lily Tomlin special, Lily-Sold Out
03:51

Gwen Verdon

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Tony Charmoli on working with Gwen Verdon on The Danny Kaye Show
01:04

Bud Yorkin

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Tony Charmoli on memories of Bud Yorkin
00:22

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