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Onna White

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Title: Onna White  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tony Award for Best Choreography, I Love My Wife, The Music Man, Mame (musical), Russell Baker
Collection: 1922 Births, 2005 Deaths, 20Th-Century Canadian Actresses, 20Th-Century Canadian Singers, 21St-Century Canadian Actresses, Academy Honorary Award Recipients, Actresses from New York City, Actresses from Nova Scotia, Broadway Theatre People, Canadian Choreographers, Canadian Expatriate Actresses in the United States, Canadian Female Dancers, Canadian Musical Theatre Actresses, Canadian Musical Theatre Directors, Disease-Related Deaths in California, Film Choreographers, People from Inverness County, Nova Scotia, Place of Death Missing, San Francisco Ballet Dancers
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Onna White

Onna White
Born (1922-03-24)March 24, 1922
Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada
Died April 8, 2005(2005-04-08) (aged 83)
Occupation Choreographer and dancer
Spouse(s) Larry Douglas (1948–1959)
Children Two

Onna White (March 24, 1922 – April 8, 2005) was a Canadian choreographer and dancer, nominated for eight Tony Awards.


  • Early life and career 1
  • Personal life 2
  • Awards 3
  • Theater credits 4
  • Choreographed films 5
  • Tony Award nominations 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life and career

Born in Inverness, Nova Scotia, White began taking dance lessons at the age of twelve, and eventually her studies took her to the San Francisco Ballet, where she danced in the first full-length U.S. production of The Nutcracker.[1] Her first Broadway performance was in Finian's Rainbow in 1947. Her next assignment was Guys and Dolls, in which she both performed and assisted the choreographer, Michael Kidd, beginning an association that lasted through various productions until, in 1956, she choreographed her first Broadway show, Carmen Jones.

Personal life

She married actor Larry Douglas in 1948; they divorced in 1959. they had two children: Jeanne and Stuart. She choreographed both the stage version and screen versions of The Music Man (1962), 1776 (1972) and Mame (1974). Douglas subsequently married Susan Luckey, who played the role of Zaneeta in the film of The Music Man.


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted White an Academy Honorary Award for Oliver! (1968), one of the rare occasions that the Academy recognized choreography in film. Other recipients include Gene Kelly for "career achievements", Jerome Robbins for choreographic achievement on film", Michael Kidd (White's mentor) for "services to the art of dance in the art of the screen" and Stanley Donen for "body of work". Fred Astaire's was much earlier, and was for his body of work.

White's Oscar is the only one that states the name of a film, i.e. "To Onna White for her outstanding choreography achievement for Oliver!

Theater credits

Choreographed films

Tony Award nominations

  • 1958 Best Choreography for The Music Man
  • 1959 Best Choreography for Whoop-Up
  • 1960 Best Choreography for Take Me Along
  • 1961 Best Choreography for Irma La Douce
  • 1965 Best Choreography for Half a Sixpence
  • 1966 Best Choreography for Mame
  • 1968 Best Choreography for Illya Darling
  • 1977 Best Choreography for I Love My Wife


External links

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