Tony Winner Geoffrey Holder Dies at 84

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Geoffrey Holder

Holder succumbed to "complications of pneumonia," a family spokesperson told The New York Times

Geoffrey Holder, who won a Tony award for best director for The Wiz and inhabited numerous recognizable roles across film, TV and Broadway, died on Sunday at the age of 84, the The New York Times reported

The cause was "complications of pneumonia," a family spokesperson told the newspaper. 

A true multi-hyphenate, Holder worked as an actor, dancer, choreographer, director, designer and painter in an entertainment-industry career that spanned more than half a century. He portrayed characters ranging from Oliver Warbucks' employee Punjab in the 1982 screen version of Annie to a James Bond villain in 1973's Live and Let Die

His film credits also include Dr. Dolittle (1967), Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask (1972) and Eddie Murphy's Boomerang (1992); he was also the narrator in the 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

For his work on Broadway, Holder won two Tony Awards in 1975 for The Wiz, an African American musical take on The Wizard of Oz, in the costume design and direction categories. He was nominated for another Tony in 1978 for his costumes on the musical Timbuktu!

Holder also starred in Coca-Cola's 1970s-era 7UP soda advertising campaign. 

He was married since 1955 to fellow performer Carmen de Lavallade, whom he met in the cast of his 1954 Broadway debut, the Harold Arlen-Truman Capote musical House of Flowers. Holder is survived by his wife and their son, Leo.

Broadway theater marquee lights will be dimmed in Holder's honor for one minute on Friday, Oct. 10, at 7:45 p.m.

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