US choreographer, dancer, and producer-director. He choreographed such stage musicals as Guys and Dolls (1950) and Can-Can (1953), and films such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and Hello, Dolly! (1969). He acted and danced in the film It's Always Fair Weather (1955), and directed the film Merry Andrew (1958).
He was born in New York City. He went to City College of New York and studied chemical engineering, but left to dedicate himself entirely to dance. He attended the School of American Ballet and made his stage debut in the chorus of The Eternal Road (1937). He toured with Ballet Caravan 1937–40 and danced leading parts with the Dance Players 1941–42 and the Ballet Theatre 1942–47. His first original ballet, On Stage!, premiered in 1945. He earned five Tony Awards for his dynamic and inventive dances, as well as an honorary Academy Award in 1997.