Tony Tanner, 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' Director, Dies at 88

Half a Sixpence (1966 Broadway) Tony Tanner
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Tony Tanner in 'Half a Sixpence' on Broadway

The two-time Tony nominee also starred in stage and movie versions of 'Stop the World — I Want to Get Off.'

Tony Tanner, an actor, director and choreographer who received a pair of Tony nominations for his work on the original 1982 Broadway production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, has died. He was 88.

Tanner died Sept. 8 of cancer at his home in Los Angeles, his husband, Henry Selvitelle, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Tanner also directed a 1981 adaptation of Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey starring Amanda Plummer, Valerie French and Keith Reddin that was nominated for the Tony for best revival. He directed and choreographed Something's Afoot in 1976 and Prince of Central Park, starring Jo Ann Worley, in 1989 for Broadway as well.

Born in England, Tanner appeared on stage opposite Harold Pinter in The Birthday Party, then starred as Littlechap on the West End in Stop the World — I Want to Get Off and in the 1966 Warner Bros. adaptation.

He had come to the U.S. to replace Tommy Steele as the lead in the original 1965-66 Broadway production of Half a Sixpence, then toured with the musical comedy. He later appeared on the Great White Way in No Sex Please, We're British and Sherlock Holmes.

Tanner returned to the U.K. in 2010 to portray Ballets Russes founder Sergei Diaghilev in the one-man show Charlatan.

On television, he starred as Puck alongside Benny Hill in an ITV production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1964 and as Burgess Meredith/Penguin in the 2003 CBS telefilm Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt.

He and Selvitelle were together for about 50 years.