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Geoffrey Holder

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Cause of death  Pneumonia
Name  Geoffrey Holder
Alma mater  Queen's Royal College
Role  Actor

Years active  1957-2014
Children  Leo Anthony Lamont
Height  6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Siblings  Boscoe Holder
Geoffrey Holder Geoffrey Holder Dancer Actor Painter and More Dies at
Full Name  Geoffrey Richard Holder
Born  August 20, 1930 (1930-08-20) Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Occupation  Actor, choreographer, director, costume designer, dancer, painter, vocalist
Family  Boscoe Holder (brother)
Died  October 5, 2014, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Spouse  Carmen de Lavallade (m. 1955–2014)
Movies and TV shows  Live and Let Die, Annie, Carmen & Geoffrey, Charlie and the Chocolat, Bear in the Big Blue House
Similar People  Carmen de Lavallade, Boscoe Holder, Julius Harris, Yaphet Kotto, Aileen Quinn

Supporting Actor Spotlights - Geoffrey Holder

Geoffrey Lamont Holder (August 1, 1930 – October 5, 2014) was a Trinidadian-American actor, voice actor, dancer, choreographer, singer, director and painter. He was known for his height (6 ft 6 in, 1.98 m), "hearty laugh", and heavily accented bass voice combined with precise diction. He is particularly remembered as the villain Baron Samedi in the 1973 Bond-movie Live and Let Die and for his 7 Up commercials of the 1970s and '80s.


Geoffrey Holder Geoffrey Holder Has Died Peoplecom

Early life

Geoffrey Holder Geoffrey Holder on emaze

Holder was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. One of four children, of parents who had emigrated to Trinidad from Barbados, Holder attended Tranquillity School and then secondary school at Queen's Royal College in Port of Spain. At the age of seven, he made his debut in the dance company of his elder brother Boscoe Holder, from whom he had been receiving lessons in dancing and painting.


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In 1952, choreographer Agnes de Mille saw Geoffrey Holder dance in St. Thomas. She invited him to New York; he would teach at the Katherine Dunham School of Dance for two years.

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Holder was a principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in New York City from 1955 to 1956. He made his Broadway debut in House of Flowers, a musical by Harold Arlen (music and lyrics) and Truman Capote (lyrics and book). He also starred in an all-black production of Waiting for Godot in 1957.

Geoffrey Holder Geoffrey Holder Biography IMDb

Holder began his movie career in the 1962 British film All Night Long, a modern remake of Shakespeare's Othello. He followed that with Doctor Dolittle (1967) as Willie Shakespeare, leader of the natives of Sea-Star Island. In 1972, he was cast as the Sorcerer in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex*. The following year he was a henchman – Baron Samedi – in the Bond-movie Live and Let Die. He contributed to the film's choreography.

Geoffrey Holder Geoffrey Holder the Original TonyWinning Director of The Wiz Has

In addition to his movie appearances, Holder became a spokesman for the 1970s and 1980s 7 Up soft drink "uncola" and 1980s "crisp and clean, and no caffeine" and "never had it, never will" advertising campaigns.

Geoffrey Holder Geoffrey Holder Bond Image Gallery HCPR

In 1975, Holder won two Tony Awards for direction and costume design of The Wiz, the all-black musical version of The Wizard of Oz. Holder was the first black man to be nominated in either category. He won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design. The show ran for 1672 performances.

Geoffrey Holder Geoffrey Holder dies at 84 Tonywinning director and 7Up pitchman

As a choreographer, Holder created dance pieces for many companies, including the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, for which he provided choreography, music, and costumes for Prodigal Prince (1967), and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, for which he provided choreography, music, and costumes for Dougla (1974), and designed costumes for Firebird (1982). In 1978, Holder directed and choreographed the Broadway musical Timbuktu! Holder's 1957 piece "Bele" is part of the Dance Theater of Harlem repertory.

Geoffrey Holder Broadway to Dim Lights for Geoffrey Holder on October 10 2014

In the 1982 film Annie, Holder played the role of Punjab. He was in the 1992 film Boomerang with Eddie Murphy. He was also the voice of Ray in Bear in the Big Blue House and provided narration for Tim Burton's version of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He reprised his role as the 7 Up Spokesman in the 2011 season finale of The Celebrity Apprentice, where he appeared as himself in a commercial for "7 Up Retro" for Marlee Matlin's team.

Geoffrey Holder Geoffrey Holder 1930 2014 Find A Grave Memorial

Holder was a prolific painter (patrons of his art included Lena Horne and William F. Buckley, Jr.), ardent art collector, book author, and music composer. As a painter, he won a Guggenheim Fellowship in fine arts in 1956. A book of his photography, Adam, was published by Viking Press in 1986.

Personal life

In 1955, Holder married dancer Carmen de Lavallade, whom he met when both were in the cast of the musical House of Flowers. They lived in New York City and had one son, Léo. They were the subject of a 2004 film, Carmen & Geoffrey. His elder brother Boscoe Holder was a renowned dancer, choreographer, and artist. His nephew was Christian Holder (Boscoe's son), who has also won acclaim as a dancer, choreographer, and entertainer.


Geoffrey Holder died in Manhattan of complications from pneumonia on October 5, 2014, aged 84. His immediate survivors were his wife, Carmen, and their son Léo.


  • House of Flowers, Original Musical, 1954 – Banda dance choreography, performer
  • Josephine Baker, musical review, 1954 – Performer
  • Waiting for Godot, revival (all black cast), 1957 – Performer
  • The Wiz, original musical, 1975 – Direction, costume design (Tony Award for Best Costume Design and Best Direction of a Musical, 1975)
  • Timbuktu!, original musical, 1978  – Direction, choreography, costume design, playbill cover illustration
  • The Wiz, revival, 1984 – Direction, costume design
  • The Boys' Choir of Harlem and Friends, staged concert, 1993 – Staging
  • Radio

  • KYOT-FM in Phoenix, Arizona, 1994–2011 – Voiceover
  • References

    Geoffrey Holder Wikipedia