News

Alan Johnson Dies: Mel Brooks ‘Young Frankenstein’ Choreographer Was 81

Alan Johnson Dies: Mel Brooks ‘Young Frankenstein’ Choreographer Was 81

Alan Johnson, a three-time Emmy Award winning choreographer whose work spanned Broadway and Hollywood – and included four scenes from Mel Brooks’ comedies that became instant, irreverent classics – died July 7 of Parkinson’s disease at his home in Los Angeles. He was 81.

His death was confirmed to news outlets by his nephew Todd Johnson.

Johnson began his career as an understudy dancer for Broadway’s original 1957 West Side Story production and went on to include notable work for, among others, Chita Rivera, Tommy Tune, Bernadette Peters and Shirley MacLaine (including Emmy-winning choreography for the 1980 TV special Shirley MacLaine…Every Little Movement).

But the dance routines that are almost certainly his most widely viewed were performed far from any Broadway stage. As Mel Brooks’ go-to choreographer, Johnson collaborated with the director on unforgettable routines that became high points of the movies that contained them: The wildly, intentionally tasteless “Springtime For Hitler” (1967’s

See full article on Deadline