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Emile Ardolino

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Name  Emile Ardolino

Role  Film director
Emile Ardolino Dirty Dancing39 Where Are They Now slide 18 NY Daily News
Born  May 9, 1943Maspeth, New York, United States
Cause of death  Complications from AIDS
Resting place  St. John Cemetery Queens, New York
Occupation  Film director, choreographer, film producer
Notable work  Dirty Dancing Sister Act
Died  November 20, 1993, Bel-Air, Los Angeles, California, United States
Parents  Ester Ardolino, Emilio Ardolino
Awards  Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature
Nominations  Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie
Movies  Dirty Dancing, Sister Act, Three Men and a Little Lady, Chances Are, The Nutcracker
Similar People  Cynthia Rhodes, Eleanor Bergstein, Jerry Orbach, Jennifer Grey, Jack Weston


Emile Ardolino (May 9, 1943 – November 20, 1993) was an American film director, choreographer, and producer, best known for his films Dirty Dancing (1987) and Sister Act (1992).


Emile Ardolino Pictures amp Photos of Emile Ardolino IMDb

Life and career

Emile Ardolino Emile Ardolino IMDb

Ardolino was born in Maspeth, a neighborhood of Queens, the son of Italian immigrants Ester (Pesiri) and Emilio Ardolino. He began his career as an actor in off-Broadway productions, but soon moved to the production side of the business. In 1967, he founded Compton-Ardolino Films with Gardner Compton. In the 1970s and 1980s Ardolino worked for PBS. His profiles of dancers and choreographers for their Dance in America and Live from Lincoln Center series earned him 17 Emmy Award nominations. He won the Emmy three times.

Ardolino won an Academy Award for Best Documentary for the 1983 movie He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'. He found commercial success with the 1987 sleeper hit Dirty Dancing, and went on to make several other mainstream films.

Ardolino, who was openly gay, died in California on November 20, 1993 of complications from AIDS. His last films, The Nutcracker (based on George Balanchine's New York City Ballet version), and the television production of Gypsy starring Bette Midler in the role created on Broadway by Ethel Merman, were released and shown posthumously. Ardolino is buried beside his parents at St. John Cemetery in New York.


  • 1969 Obie Award, for film for the Broadway production of Oh! Calcutta!
  • 17 Emmy Awards Nomination and 1 winning
  • 1983 Academy Award, Best Documentary Feature, He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'
  • Filmography (partial)

  • He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin' (1983)
  • Good Morning, Mr. Orwell with Nam June Paik, (1984)
  • Dirty Dancing (1987)
  • Chances Are (1989)
  • Three Men and a Little Lady (1990)
  • Sister Act (1992)
  • The Nutcracker (1993)
  • Gypsy (1993) (TV movie)
  • References

    Emile Ardolino Wikipedia